HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - It was not only questions about property appraisals and taxes that made Tuesday’s Hasbrouck Heights Council meeting exceed two and a hours. There were several other items brought up during the public hearing portion of the meeting.
June Raymond, the President of the Hasbrouck Heights Leisure Club, addressed Mayor Jack DeLorenzo, following up on comments she stated she had already posted on Facebook, expressing her displeasure at being removed from the Mayor’s Committee on Seniors.
She declared that it was politics, as her son (Adam Mucci) ran for Council in November, and she was removed as payback. She stated that as the President of the Leisure Club, she represented over 200 seniors, and that historically the President of the Leisure Club had always been on the Council.
DeLorenzo stated that it was not retribution that took her off the committee, but “a sense that she was unhappy with the direction the committee was acting” so he decided to make a change. He also noted that “anyone is entitled to run public office” and that he would not take retribution for someone’s decision to do so.
He also suggested that they meet privately after the meeting to discuss the matter further, but Raymond was not appeased, noting that she “was not begging to be put back on the committee”, once again noting that Leisure Club represented over 200 seniors in town. She also followed up with the assertion that was political payback.
DeLorenzo stated he would review the matter further, and asked if there was a limit to how many people can be appointed to that committee before moving on to other topics.
Later in the public session Mucci brought up a question he previously had asked in the fall concerning the hiring a replacement for former Borough Administrator/CFO/Purchasing Officer Michael Kronyak. Mucci had asked whether one person would be hired to replace Kronyak, or multiple people would be required. At the time he was told one, and the Borough has hired a new CFO, David Sireci. He asked how the other two positions were going to be filled.
DeLorenzo stated that the Sireci was the CFO only, and that the Borough had other employees who were able to take over the responsibilities. (Borough Clerk Laurie Varga has added Borough Administrator to her responsibilities). He noted that the people have previously been performing these duties on a temporary basis and had proved to be capable.
Mucci then asked about the need for two Borough Attorneys, a question he has brought up in the past. DeLorenzo defended the current arrangement with two borough attorneys. (Ralph Chandless has been Borough Attorney Emeritus starting in 2020, Richard Malagiere is the current Borough Attorney). He noted that Chandless brings a tremendous amount of history, having served in his role as Borough Attorney for over 30 years, and helps handle the tax appeals.
DeLorenzo also stated that the arrangement has been cost-efficient, because of Chandless’ knowledge, and that town’s legal bills have not increased.
When Mucci questioned that the legal expenses have not gone up, DeLorenzo affirmed that there has not been an increase in legal billing. Mucci then followed up, noting that at the beginning of the meeting there was some discussion about the legal bills dating back to July, and questioning if there were more to come.
DeLorenzo stated that he believed that the legal bills had all been submitted, but would follow up with the Borough Administrator as the bills came in.
Other issues discussed included the need for more 4-way stop signs throughout town.