Mayor Might Not Have Authority To Remove Councilwoman As Liaison

A memorandum sent out by Mayor Carl Hokanson dated August 8th, the head of the borough stated the following:

“At this point I am contemplating if a change in liaison to the Governing Body is necessary to insure the appropriate line of communication exists.”

This memo was in response to a complaint filed by Gregory Storey, Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey’s husband, which resulted in a letter from the Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC) demanding that a silhouette display titled “Kneeling Soldier Memorial” be removed from the library grounds on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

A review of appointments made during the annual reorganization meetings shows that the mayor might not have the power to remove Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey as the council liaison to the library.

Reorganization meetings are the first municipal meetings of the year held in January. It is at those meetings where appointments to various committees and liaison positions are made. Some of those positions are at the sole discretion of the mayor and others are appointed by council confirmation. The liaison to the library is an appointment made by council.

A member of council would have to make a motion to remove the councilwoman as a liaison. If seconded, the matter would be put up for a vote. It is not sure if the councilwoman herself could vote on any such resolution, but seeing as she was allowed to vote for her own appointment in January, it would be hard to find a legal argument that would prohibit her for doing taking part in the vote.

The motion and subsequent formal resolution would require a majority vote. In this case, if there was a 3-3 tie, the mayor would be able to cast a deciding vote. If removed, another councilmember would need to be appointed to become the council liaison for the library.