Resolutions For Disputed Library Donation Placed On August 18th Meeting Agenda

Resolution 197-16 and 198-16 have been placed on the agenda for the August 18th Mayor & Council meeting.

Resolution 197-16 will formally, and retroactively, accept the donation of the “Kneeling Soldier Memorial” from Mayor Carl Hokanson. Mr. Hokanson was acting in the capacity of a private resident in his donation.

Resolution 198-16 will then formally, and again retroactively, accept placement of the aforementioned donation in front of the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library. Even though Mr. Hokanson was acting as a private citizen with his donation, the display was put into place at the library by the Department of Public Works (DPW) under the direction of Mayor Carl Hokanson.

This display is currently in place in front of the library and is the subject of a letter sent by the Apagnani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC) calling for the display to be removed from the library grounds on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

The resolutions would have to pass by a 4-2 vote. A tie would not be sufficient to approve either resolution.’

The second resolution is rare since, usually, the donated item and its use would usually be combined in one resolution. This also means that if one or both are not approved by a majority of council – since the mayor cannot vote due to a conflict of interest – the display would be removed from in front of the library. The resolutions would have to pass by a 4-2 vote. A tie would not be sufficient to approve either resolution.

With regard to a donated item on library grounds, these resolutions call into question the donation of book houses which were first installed on the West Clay Avenue side of the building then moved to the walkway in front of the library. Those book houses have never been approved by either the municipal governing body nor the library board through any formal resolution. Both donations used taxpayer dollars without any formal discussion or acceptance from any governing body in Roselle Park.

The Mayor & Council meeting where Resolutions 197-16 and 198-16 are scheduled to be discussed and voted on will be held on Thursday, August 18th, at the Roselle Park Municipal Complex located at 110 East Westfield Avenue.

A copy of the full agenda is available below courtesy of Fifth Ward Councilman Thomas ‘Thos’ Shipley from his website (link):

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