WEST ORANGE, NJ -Social media took center stage at tonight's Town Council meeting as contracts for marketing and social networking were approved and alleged Facebook postings by West Orange Police officers were questioned.
During public comment, Jean Lecky, mother of Raymar Lecky demanded that two West Orange Police Officers accused by the New Jersey Star Ledger of posting negative and disparaging comments about her son on a Facebook page, be fired. Other friends of Lecky asked that at the very least the officers be placed on Administrative Leave. The Town Council advised Ms. Lecky that the accusations are currently under investigation by Internal Affairs and that at this time the process had to be completed before more information was forthcoming.However,they assured her that no behavior outside the parameters of the policy regulations of the township and its employees would be tolerated.
The agenda included several Resolutions that were passed A-I, although several were pulled for discussion prior to vote.
Most notably, the Resolutions to approve a contract for Social Media Coordination Services with Bashkoff Enterprises for $12K and a Branding Consulting Agreement with Direct Ignition, LLC, for 15K, came under fire. Councilman Krakoviak grilled Perry Bashkoff regarding posts on Bashkoff's personal Facebook page that included an obscenity (Baskoff is a Social Networking Executive at Warner Bros. and works with several clients, including Michael Buble, who the post in question was about). Bashkoff noted that his personal Facebook page was different from his professional Facebook pages and that he was aware of the difference. Krakoviak also questioned Bashkoff's creation of the St. Cloud PTA website, which was voted as the best PTA website in NJ. Bashkoff explained his participation to the satisfaction of the council.
Jessica Glicker, Town Information Officer, was questioned about the pedigree of Bashkoff Enterprises by Councilman Krakoviak. She responded that the Public Relations Commissioners had unanimously voted to approve the contract for Mr. Bashkoff. (The PRC also unanimously voted for Patrick Sutherland and Direct Ignition, LLC.)
Patrick Sutherland of Direct Ignition, who created the current township Logo, 'Where Invention Lives', was questioned as to concerns about the portion of his contract relating to third party media releases. The contract as it was written was amended to satisfy that issue.
The council voted on the two resolutions, 4-1, with Councilman Krakoviak voting no on both.
Unanimous Resolutions included the Raffle License, termination of the shared services agreement with Roseland, the Fibertech Utility pole additions, application for $5K from Homeland Security for the WOFD, and the unclaimed vehicle auction.
The council voted 4-1 in favor of Herbst-Musciano to become architects in development of the new concession stand at WOHS; and 4-1 in favor of Keller and Kirkpatrick to survey land that Essex County will develop into fields at Mountain Drive and Highwood Road. Councilman Krakoviak voted no to both.
Additionally, it was noted by CFO John Gross that Prism will not be delinquent in their current tax payment until February 11, 2013. Town Administrator Jack Sayers said Prism advised that their financial information would be provided to the township by Wednesday, February 6.
A Planning Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, at 7:30 pm in council chambers.
A Zoning Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 7, at 8:00 pm in council chambers.