2013-07-25 / Front Page

Uncertainty surrounds South River appointments


SOUTH RIVER — Borough officials have attempted to fill spots on the borough’s Economic Development Commission (EDC), but whether that has officially occurred will be the subject of further discussion.

The EDC is composed of five regular members and four alternates, and at least five of those nine openings were scheduled to be filled prior to the July 8 Borough Council meeting.

Borough Administrator Frederick Carr said the mayor appoints members of various borough commissions, pending the Borough Council’s approval. At the agenda session preceding the July 8 council meeting, there was a list of names for Republican Mayor John Krenzel to appoint, but that list was withdrawn, Carr said. Borough Democrats submitted a replacement list prior to the July 8 meeting, he said, but it was too late to be added to the agenda.

As such, the issue of vacancies appeared under “Unfinished Business” at the July 8 business meeting, with David Deerson, Michael Steffaro and Tele Koukourdelis listed as the names for regular members to be appointed, and John Costello and Marta Suchcicka as alternates. When the consent agenda portion of the meeting concluded, Democratic Councilman Matt Vaughn made a motion to approve various members to EDC roles — members whose names did not appear on the business meeting agenda. His motion called for Costello and Koukourdelis to be appointed as regular members, and for Suchcicka and former Councilman Rui Almeida to be appointed as alternates. The motion passed.

The discrepancy between the list of names on the agenda and those that Vaughn motioned to approve will likely require guidance from the borough attorney, Carr said.

“They’re going to have to sort that out,” he said after the meeting, adding that the sequence of the alternate positions is important because it dictates the voting order.

The EDC historically has been in charge of the borough’s Cruise Night events and has other projects it would like to pursue, EDC Vice Chairman Jack Alai said. However, the vacancies on the board has left the commission without a quorum for the past couple of meetings, he told the council on July 8.

“[The EDC’s] goal is to make downtown a better place,” Alai told the council.

EDC Chairwoman Nicole Sansone said after the meeting that her priority is getting the one remaining full-time role filled.

“The only holdup on this,” she said, “is finding someone who is willing to volunteer their time and commit to it.”

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