CHATHAM, NJ - Committee member Karen Swartz asked for a vote to "rescind" the Nov. 14, 2019, decision to designate the municipal building as the site for 65 affordable housing units at a special meeting of the Chatham Township Committee on Thursday afternoon.
The special meeting was called for the purpose of going into executive session to discuss pending litigation. The court's Special Master was scheduled to meet with the Township Committee Thursday to discuss mediation with the Fair Share Housing Center in preparation for the Feb. 28 affordable housing hearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Gaus.
But after hearing citizens ask for answers about what is being considered as alternate plans during the public comment session, Swartz asked for a vote that would undo the original vote. See her remarks in the video below.
The question about rescinding the vote was put to Albert Cruz, township attorney, who declined to answer the feasibility of the question in public. He told Swartz he would give his opinion during the executive session.
Swartz was the lone "No" vote in the 4-1 passage of the measure that designated the municipal building as the site for 65 affordable housing units at the Nov. 14, 2019 meeting. In that vote, committee members Curt Ritter, Mayor Tayfun Selen, Deputy Mayor Mike Kelly and committee member Tracy Ness voted for the designation.
In response to the overflow crowd who objected to the Nov. 14 vote to turn over the municipal building, all five members of the 2019 committee had agreed at the Nov. 26, 2019 meeting to reconsider their votes designating the municipal building. No such vote was taken or brought up again until Swartz mentioned it Thursday.
At the 2020 reorganization meeting, Kelly was voted in as mayor, Ness as deputy mayor with Ritter and Selen gone from the committee. Stacey Ewald and Celeste Fondaco joined as new committee members.