Council Directs Borough Clerk To Have DPW Superintendent File FDS

After more than a year of Doreen Cali – the Borough Clerk – refusing to do so, the governing body has directed her to have the Department of Public Works (DPW) Superintendent fill out a Financial Disclosure Statement, also known as an FDS.

A Financial Disclosure Statement is an annual requirement for certain municipal employees and volunteers that make public any financial interests they or certain family members might have. The purpose is to enhance transparency by giving forehand knowledge of such associations should a certain contractor or vendor, who an LGO (Legal Government Official/Officer) is associated with, bid to work with the municipality.

Originally and repeatedly brought up by Roselle Park News in 2015, the matter was once again raised by former Roselle Park Mayor Joseph DeIorio at several meetings during the public comment portion this year. The matter was discussed in a closed session of the May 19, 2016 Mayor & Council meeting and publicly announced as resolved with the resolution being to have the governing body direct the Borough Clerk to place the DPW Superintendent position on the municipality’s LGO roster.

A seven-page opinion by Richard Huxford – the Borough Attorney – concluded that given the legal opinions by both the New Jersey Attorney General and the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) as well as the Borough Clerk’s past practice, the DPW Superintendent should file an FDS.

Giving reasons that contradicted her actions years before when she required both the previous DPW Superintendent Vince Cahill and Assistant DPW Superintendent Rich Graves, Ms. Cali refused to place Mark Pasquali – the current DPW Superintendent – on the list of those who need to file a Financial Disclosure Statement.

Mr. Huxford cited Local Finance Notice 2016-08 and determined that it directed the municipality to continue its past practice of requiring individuals that it deemed managerial or executive, based on New Jersey Attorney General’s opinions, to complete a Financial Disclosure Statement. The Borough Attorney even cited an instance when a DPW Superintendent in Madison was required to file an FDS because the PERC determined that the position was a managerial executive; such a position is required to fill out an FDS. These citations, along with the fact that the Borough Clerk previously placed the same DPW position on the LGO roster, gave sufficient cause to have her place the position back on the municipality’s required list.

A review of Roselle Park’s LGO Roster today revealed that the DPW Superintendent was finally listed.