During last night’s special Mayor & Council meeting – which was not taped for broadcast on TV-32/34 – Mayor Joseph Accardi made a public statement calling for members of the community to notify him if they were interested in serving on 15 various committees, councils, commissions, or boards that have – or will have – vacancies by the 2013 Municipal Re-Organization Meeting which will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2013.
“I put out there for the public that I will be speaking to anybody who has an interest in the following committees,” the mayor said and followed by reading a laundry list of open positions.
He started with three Ad hoc committees: the Arts Council and the Local Access CATV/Technology Committees. Mentioning that the Arts Council prepared art shows, a concert, and a movie series in 2012, the mayor commented that he wants to expand the members of that council from four members to five or six to include residents with interests in any of the arts which includes, according to the mayor, performing arts, graphic arts, musical arts, and instrumental arts.
Additionally, the mayor stated that he would like to combine the CATV/Technology Committees into one Technology Committee – a recommendation made by that committee – and lessen the number of members. The committee members would serve in an advisory capacity to help improve the Local Access TV as well as the borough web site.
The Board of Health, which deals with matters such as influenza vaccinations, restaurant issues, and animal control, has one vacancy.
The Casano Center Committee, which deals with usage of the community center as well as community-related events, has various openings.
The Community Development Committee has seats available and so does something the mayor called the “Downtown Development Committee”. It was not certain if this latter committee was the same as the Special Improvement District (SID) committee or if it were to become a newly formed committee in 2013.
The Environmental Commission will have some openings. The commission addresses matters related to trees, flooding, and clean-up, according to Mayor Accardi.
The Morses Creek Control Commission, which deals with flooding issues, also has an undetermined number of vacancies.
The mayor stated that there are two openings on Library Board and although there are residents currently interested, he would to speak to anybody that has an interest.
The Municipal Land Use Board has two (2) openings and those positions would probably serves as alternates for current seats.
The Union County Air Traffic Noise Advisory Board will have two (2) vacancies at the beginning of next year.
Rounding off the list were the Municipal Alliance Committee, the Recreation Committee, the Union County Transportation Advisory Board, and the Youth Center Committee, all which had vacancies even though the number of available seats were not mentioned.
“I also ask the members of council if you know of anybody that’s interested, please give me a call so that way we can talk to any citizens who wish to become a member of one of those committees,” Mayor Accardi stated in his closing comments on committee appointments.
The mayor did not mention vacancies for the Joint Sewer representative and alternate which serve on the Joint Meeting of Essex and Union Counties (JMEUC). It is one of two sewerage authorities for which representatives can be appointed by the mayor. The appointment to the JMEUC, as far back as can be recalled, has always gone to sitting members of council. The other sewerage authority, the Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority (RVSA), has been appointed to a Roselle Park resident. There is a stipend for both positions with the RVSA having a stipend of $600/year while the stipend for a JMEUC member is $538/month or $6,456/year; the chairs for each of those authorities receive more. According to Samuel McGhee from the JMEUC, members do not have to be in attendance to receive their stipend.
Additionally, Mayor Accardi failed to mention the Citizens Service Form which is a result of the Citizens Service Act of 2009. In place of calling the mayor if interested in a position, as stated during his comments, the Citizens Service Form allows for any resident who is interested in serving on a Board, Committee, Committee, or Council to formally file with a municipality to be considered for a position if there is a vacancy. The Citizens Service Act, according the New Jersey League of Municipalities (NJLM), also requires the municipal clerk to compile and maintain a directory of all local authorities, boards and commissions. The following was taken from the NJLM website:
The law requires the directory to include, but not be limited to, the following information for each entity: the name of the authority, board or commission; the number of members or positions; a list of currently appointed members, along with their terms of office; vacancies; general frequency of meetings; and the appointing authority, and enabling statute, ordinance or resolution that describes the entity and responsibilities of the members.
A copy of Roselle Park’s Citizen Service Form can be viewed/printed/downloaded below.