UPDATE (December 4, 2015 @ 1700H): A copy of Councilwoman Storey’s resignation letter is included at the end of the article.
This morning, Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey walked into the Borough Clerk’s office and submitted her resignation to the Borough Clerk’s attention effective January 7, 2016 which is the Borough’s Re-Organization meeting.
Councilwoman Storey’s resignation was in response to the governing body last night voting and approving to change the name of the “Annual Holiday Tree Lighting” to “Annual Christmas Tree Lighting”. The proposal came from Mayor Hokanson at that meeting. After the vote, the councilwoman left the meeting without saying anything publicly (article link).
This leaves the Council-At-Large seat open for appointment.
According to N.J.S.A. 40A:16-11, the Roselle Park Democratic Committee (RPDC) has up to 15 days from the effective resignation date to present three names to the governing body in order to fill the vacancy. The governing body then has up to another 15 days to appoint one of the nominees. In all likelihood, a successor will be picked at the January 7th meeting. Whomever is appointed Council-At-Large by the governing body will have to run in a special November election to finish out the unexpired Council-At-Large term which will end on December 31, 2017.
Such a scenario could have Richard Templeton, who lost his bid to remain 5th Ward Councilman, be nominated by the Roselle Park Democratic Committee (RPDC) to become Council-At-Large. He would still have to be appointed by a majority of council. In fact, any resident who is a registered Democrat can put their name as a consideration to the RPDC. Additionally, politically speaking, this will have three seats up for election in November 2016. Currently, the governing body has four (4) Democrats and two (2) Republicans. In November the power might shift if Republicans win two out of the three seats.
Councilwoman Storey stated that she would speak with Roselle Park News tonight in order to provide more detail and insight on this issue but, for the time being, due to a time constraint, commented, “I stand by my comments last night.”
Below is a copy of Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey’s letter of resignation: