[Editorial] The Ballad Of The CAO

[Editorial] The Ballad Of The CAOthumbnail
Published: March 8, 2012 @ 9:18 PM EST

Not to spend any more time than necessary but is the breakdown of Mayor Accardi’s plea for a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and his request to have Doreen Cali hold that position.

June 2006: The position of CAO is voted on by council on a temporary basis from June to December and Ms. Doreen Cali, the Borough Clerk, is appointed at the temporary CAO.

January 2007: The temporary position expires and it is not voted or even brought up again by council.

November 2011: Mayor Accardi asks that Ms. Cali officially be appointed at the CAO since, according to both of them, has been performing the job without the title nor the pay. In the request, it is explicitly stated that Ms. Cali will perform the duties of CAO for no extra pay. The proposed resolution is voted down by council by a 4-2 vote.

June 2012: Mayor Accardi once again calls for the need of a CAO due to issues with bulk pick-up.

July 2012: Council votes down the salary of $10,000.00 for a CAO during a budget workshop, thereby effectively ending the CAO position. This is voted down by a 5-1 vote.

The speculation for having Mayor Accardi hire a CAO is so that he can have a point person to notify him of issues and to act on his direction. The problem with this is that Roselle Park has a Borough form of government which is also known as a ‘strong-council/weak mayor’. This means that decisions and almost all executive responsibilities are held by the council, not the mayor. Having a CAO would allow the mayor to call one person and have them do what he directed as opposed to conferring with council. This goes contrary to a Borough form of government.

The other issues is the position which is on the books and it is ambiguous; who does the CAO take directions from, who does this position answer and report to. It should either be removed/repealed until it is re-worked to better define the responsibilities or it should be re-worked now.