MANCHESTER – The governing body set appointments and goals at the re-organization meeting held at the beginning of the year.
Councilman Craig Wallis was selected as the council president for 2018. Councilwoman Joan Brush was sworn in to her spot on the council, and chosen as vice president. She had run unopposed in 2017 to fill out the last year of a one-year term left by Councilman Brendan Weiner, who moved out of town.
They thanked the council members and township staff for their hard work.
Mayor Kenneth Palmer said that there needs to be some reinvestment back into Manchester. Much of this is the township’s paving plan, and upgrades to the water and sewer system.
“You can put them off for a little while, but they will catch up,” he said.
He also said that he will be focused on bringing more into town: more grants, more state funding, and more businesses.
Wallis also addressed Manchester’s role in what is going on with the rest of the state. With a new governor, he said he wants to continue pushing for school tax reform, although he doesn’t think Phil Murphy will be very receptive to it. Historically, Manchester receives fewer tax dollars per student than urban areas in northern New Jersey because of the school funding formula.
Additionally, since Murphy had wanted legalization of marijuana, Wallis said he would consider a ban on sales throughout the township. Berkeley Township recently introduced an ordinance that does this.
Locally, he said the township needs to seek as many grants as possible. The police department needs a few more officers, and a few more non-officer staff on the clerical side.
A number of appointments were also made at the meeting:
- Sam Fusaro to the Open Space Advisory Committee
- James Vaccaro Sr. to the Planning Board
- Maureen Kumitis as public agency compliance officer
- Art Abline as emergency management coordinator
- Mark Pellecchia as deputy Office of Emergency Management coordinator
- Joseph Faccone of Samuel Klein & Co. as auditor
- Angela Koutsouris of Gilmore and Monahan as attorney
- Jerry Dasti of Dasti, Murphy, Ulaky, Koutsouris and Connors for legal services in utilities
- Armando Riccio as labor counsel
- Michael McKenna of Hiering, Gannon, McKenna; Stephen Trimboli of Trimboli & Prusinowski; and Jerry Dasti as special labor counsel
- Edward Purcell of DiFrancesco, Bateman, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer and Flaum as special counsel for telecommunications
- Jean Cipriani and Robin LaBue of Gilmore and Monahan as counsel on affordable housing matters
- Community Grants, Planning & Housing as administrative agent in affordable housing matters
- Christopher Walrath of Gluck/Walrath as bond counsel
- Gregory McGuckin and Christopher Dasti of Dasti, Murphy, Ulaky, Koutsouris & Connors as municipal prosecutors
- Matthew Sage as public defender
- Brian DiStefano and Brian Rumpf as conflict defenders
- Robert Mullin of Maser Consulting as engineer
- Alan Dittenhofer of Remington and Vernick Engineers for engineering services for water and sewer
- Center State Engineering; Frank Little and Douglas Klee of Owen, Little and Associates; Patrick Jeffrey and Charles Rooney of T&M Associates as special project engineer
- Kim Whelan and Noreen White of Acacia Financial Group as financial advisers