HAMILTON, NJ -- Two weeks is too long to leave the public in the dark about the status of the Township health inspector's license, Hamilton Councilwoman Ileana Schirmer told TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville. On Monday, Schirmer renewed her call for Mayor Kelly Yaede to provide an update on the inspection license status of Health officer Jeff Plunkett.
On July 15, the New Jersey Department of Health notified Plunkett that his health inspector license would be revoked after finding several violations that put "public health, safety and welfare at risk" related to the inspection of local restaurants and the animal shelter.
In emails obtained by TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville, Schirmer has reached out to Yaede and Business Administrator Dave Kenny several times since July 17, two days after the Department reached its decision.
Schirmer repeatedly urged the Mayor to hold a public press conference on the matter. "The public and council needs to know what corrective measure you are planning to take to address the Health Officer issue and ensure the safety of the public and the reputation of our restaurants." It does not appear that there was any response to the emails.
As previously reported by TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville, Plunkett was given 30 days following the decision being rendered to notify the Department if he intends to file an appeal.
Reached by telephone, Schirmer said that the Township Council and public have a right to know what is going on with the license status of the township health inspector and the reassurance that health inspections are being properly handled.
"As a Council body, we do not have any information on the status of Jeff Plunkett or even if he's going to file an appeal. We do not know if any contingency plans are in place if he loses his license. How is that acceptable? Residents have a right to know," added Schirmer.
Since Plunkett's potential suspension became public, Yaede has only issued a public statement via the Township's Facebook page stating that "these are some of the most egregious, false statements being made by Governor Murphy’s State Department of Health. These false statements will only undermine public confidence, are detrimental to all public employees, and will undoubtedly impact our local Hamilton business community."
The use of the Hamilton Township website and official Facebook page is another area of contention for Schirmer. The councilwoman also has contacted the township administration to express outrage over the use of the government run website and social media pages.
In emails to township lawyer Michael Balint, Schirmer repeatedly called for the immediate removal of Facebook posts that are "beneath the office of the mayor." She noted that "the Township website is to inform the public of township related information it is not a platform for the mayor to spew her ridiculous political attacks."
Calls to the Mayor's office for comment were not answered as of publication of this article.
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