The 2015 Roselle Park council approved a new person for the position of municipal prosecutor during this year’s Re-Organization meeting for $15,000. That decision increased the municipality’s expenditures from $50,000 to $65,000 since that job was done at no cost to taxpayers by Richard Huxford who served as both the Borough Attorney as well as Municipal Prosecutor, and had been doing so for a number of years.
The appointment was unanimously given to Russell Huegel, a Democratic councilman from Fanwood.
In reaching out to council, First Ward Councilman Eugene Meola and Fourth Ward Councilman Mohamed ‘Gino’ Elmarassy both stated that part of the decision was to move in a direction to separate the positions rather than have one firm handle both services. This in spite of the fact that Neglia Engineering in past years has served as not only the Borough’s engineer but also the Municipal Land Use Board (MLUB) engineer was well as the temporary Department of Public Works (DPW) Superintendent at the same time. This year they have added MLUB Planner to their responsibilities to the municipality with one of the deciding factors for that was a lower cost than the previous MLUB Planner, Harbor Consultants.
“The Democratic Party has control and they make the decision on what committee position [is appointed],” remarked Fifth Ward Councilman Michael Yakubov when reached by phone regarding the vote; this even though he voted in the affirmative.
Phone calls were made to newly sworn in Second Ward Councilman Joseph Petrosky and he did call back to leave a message but no comment was able to be obtained in time for this article. Third Ward Councilman stated he had no comment. Mr. Huxford also chose not to comment. Repeated calls were made to Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey, who previously stated that council had a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers, but they were not returned.