CHATHAM, NJ - In the final meeting of 2013, the Chatham Township Committee bid farewell to committee member Nicole Hagner and longtime township attorney, Carl Woodward.
Hagner, who has been a member of the committee for nine years, served the last four years as the township mayor before announcing her retirement from public office. Woodward is retiring after serving as the township attorney since 1992.
"We made a lot of positive changes," said Hagner, who was brought to tears during her farewell address. "We brought transparency by having our meetings televised. We have a new, improved website. I've enjoyed a lot of friendships I've made."
Hagner, who is leaving to spend time with her daughter, Brooke, decided to run for office after she went before the Planning Board and was denied an easement on her property.
"I was really upset with the culture, not because of the ordinances, I understood that, but that they didn't know how to productively do things," Hagner said. "That's what got me involved. I think there are ways to do things, rather than just say no. You want people to enjoy living in the town."
Hagner's position on the committee will be filled by Curt Ritter, who was elected this past November.
"It's just been a joy working with her, seeing this whole maturation of an individual," said Committee member Bailey Brower, who was elevated to mayor when Hagner stepped down on Dec. 4. "I've never heard anyone speak badly about Nicole Hagner and that speaks volumes. Talking about her accomplishments, she's done so many things behind the scenes. I hate to see her leave the committee."
Woodward was honored with a resolution, citing his many years of dedication to the township, and a plaque.
In other business, the township committee unanimously adopted a salary range ordinance, setting the minimum and maximum salaries for township employees. The township administrator tops the list with a minimum of $85,000 and a maximum of $176,000. The chief of police's minimum is $125,000 and the maximum is $140,000.