RARITAN, NJ - There will be one more public hearing before an anti-nepotism ordinance is voted on by the Raritan Borough Council.
The ordinance, which was first publicly introduced by councilman Pablo Orozco in March, is to prevent nepotism in the workplace between supervisor and subordinate. Neighboring towns have similar ordinances to prevent nepotism, the act of favoring a family member, particularly by granting them a job.
If approved, the ordinance will apply to borough employees and restrict immediate family members from working under one another. The policy only applies to paid positions, meaning volunteers on committees and boards will not be affected by the rule.
No current borough employees will be affected by the introduction of this ordinance either.
“Everybody’s positions were grandfathered in, I wanted to make sure that right from the beginning when we started talking about this, everybody knew that,” Orozco said.
This is a policy Orozco said he felt was necessary as the borough prepares for a new administrator. Borough administrator Dan Jaxel will be retiring officially at the end of 2020, but will be leaving at the end of September.
“We’re going into a new era with a new administrator in the building, so I want to make sure that administrator has all the tools to set up a modern office,” he said.
The council has been working on and discussing the ordinance and its merits for months. Council members, in the past, have expressed concerns over the need for this ordinance and have said it would be too restrictive in a town of about 7,000 people.
But there was no discussion by council members at the introduction of the ordinance.
“It was bi-partisan work, so I see no reason why it shouldn’t pass,” Orozco said.
“This is something that previous councils just haven’t talked about,” he added. “I’m very happy that this council, we did the work and we got it done. I’m very proud of that.”
The ordinance will be discussed publicly at the next meeting Sept. 22.