Lacey Looks At A Challenging New Year

Lacey Township Clerk/Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh, left, administers the oath of office to Committeeman Mark Dykoff who is joined by members of his family during the recently held Township Committee reorganization meeting. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  LACEY – The Township Committee’s reorganization meeting began with a prayer offered up by Township Clerk/Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh for Committeeman Nicholas Juliano who is currently hospitalized and battling a serious illness.

  Committeeman Steven Kennis was also absent due to illness. The first point of business was the swearing in of Committeemen Timothy McDonald and Mark Dykoff to their new three-year terms.

  The next course of business was for the governing body to choose the 2022 mayor and deputy mayor and the Committee unanimously voted to confirm the nomination of Juliano as this year’s mayor and Dykoff as deputy mayor.

  Laureigh read off this year’s committee assignments and township professionals hired and rehired for 2022 which largely remained the same as last year.

Lacey Committeeman Timothy McDonald is sworn in by Lacey Clerk/Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh, at left, while surrounded by family members at the Lacey Township reorganization meeting held earlier this month. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Regina Discenza, a mainstay at many local meetings, noted the completion of her two terms and six years on the Lacey School Board. She did not run for re-election. She encouraged interested residents to run for school board office terms in the new year. Three seats are up this year on the board.

  Committeeman Peter Curatolo, who served as mayor last year, wished the very best to Juliano. “He is facing some challenges to his health and I wish to extend the best to him and his family.”

  Curatolo thanked his family, the Board of Education and others for their support during his time as mayor last year which also marked the 150th anniversary of the township. He also noted a public referendum regarding the idea of whether recreational marijuana industry should operate within the community.

  The official was a strong vocal opponent of the idea and opposed the referendum which had been proposed by McDonald and Dykoff that allowed the public to weigh in on the controversial issue.

  Ultimately, the referendum was defeated and supported the position promoted by Curatolo, the Board of Education, Municipal Alliance and Police Department not to allow distribution, sales and cultivation of cannabis within the township. Several committee meetings had their share of disagreements among the members of the all-Republican governing body.

  Dykoff and McDonald said after election day that they were pleased that voters had the opportunity to speak out through their vote on the matter.

  McDonald said during the committee comment period that 2021 was a challenging year. “It was not easy and Peter got us through with the ups and downs and sideways. I also want to thank the committee and while we had our differences, we got through it and the township is in good shape.”

  He also thanked his family for his support and the 150th Anniversary Committee who he noted, “had a very tough job. I want to thank Jim Wioland and his committee, considering COVID it was a great year.”

  McDonald said, “we have a good bunch of guys up here who aren’t afraid to speak their mind and can compromise. As for 2022 we’re going to be full of challenges. I want to thank Nick and wish his family nothing but the best.”

  Kennis called in and also wished Juliano well.

Lacey Deputy Mayor Mark Dykoff speaks to residents about the challenges and hopes of the new year at the close of the annual Lacey Township Committee reorganization meeting held at Town Hall. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Dykoff congratulated Curatolo during his reign as mayor during the township’s milestone celebration year. “Mr. Curatolo took a lot of pride in what he did as mayor and we really appreciate that. I want to thank the appointees and reappointed. All the volunteers on boards it takes time out of their lives.”

  The deputy mayor also expressed his best wishes to Juliano and his family. “Nick certainly takes pride in his job and I wish him and his family all the best. I also want to thank my family.”

  Dykoff closed saying, “may your best day in 2021 be your worst day in 2022.”