HOLMDEL, NJ - By the time you've had your morning coffee on Wednesday, 12/18, the Holmdel Township committee may have concluded their special meeting to conduct last-minute business prior to the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays. Be there by 9AM if you want to see government in action.
It turns out they are quite the busy elves prior to ringing in the New Year.
The agenda includes new contracts for insurance professionals, police contracts and a new firetruck. Holmdel Police are looking forward to two new officers set for hire during the meeting as well, Thomas Wilson and John Ruan.
One standout item for some is a $48,000 stocking stuffer for the Police Chief John Mioduszewski for his interim work as a temporary Township Administrator, boosting his total pay to $230,000 for the year. The Township committee suspended with pay former Administrator Donna Vieiro early in the year. After she was suspended, the Township appointed the Police Chief to serve in the dual role as administrator. He initially asked for no compensation, but he will be paid a lump sum for his services as an acting administrator of $48,000.
Now, the total cost of the pushed out former administrator (who is paid full salary and health insurance to the end of this month), the last minute stipend for the Chief, and the new salary for the recently hired administrator will ballon the cost for 2019 to a whopping $500,000 of taxpayer funds when lawyers, salaries, pension and other benefits are factored in. The investigation was initiated by outgoing Committeeman Nikolis (as well as committeemen Greg Buontempo and Rocco Pascucci). The investigation resulted in no charges filed, and the administrator leaving in 'good standing'. She now works as a City Manager in Asbury Park.
The full agenda can be viewed HERE
An important item to so many in Holmdel is fire safety. This will be addressed on the Wednesday agenda with a new fire truck set for purchase. It is a pumper valued at nearly $700,000. Holmdel in 2020 will still need to determine the proper location of a new proposed firehouse. Committeeman Pascucci recommends the farm at F and F Nurseries, across from his former neighborhood at Falcon's Ridge. This would be a 10,000 square foot expandable building set on 6 acres of the property near Falcons Ridge and Bell Works Toll Brothers homes. Some homeowners are not happy about the prospect of a firehouse next door. The other location, preferred by many is simply utilizing the building already existing by the current EMS building on Crawfords Corner Road, near the Holmdel Post Office. Both are 'southern holmdel' locations.
Executive session has its own excitement for Wednesday morning. While it is not open to the public, the Township Committee is scheduled to discuss the lawsuit filed by Mayor Hinds that accuses the governing body of breaking the law. Committeemen Greg Buontempo, Mike Nikolis and Rocco Pascucci are implicated in the suit. Perhaps they settle their differences in a show of holiday harmony as Hinds' attorney seeks to rescind a censure, arguing it was contemplated illegally according to the Open Public Meetings Act.
The Holmdel Superior Officers can ring in the New Year with a new contract as well. They have worked without one for nearly a year. This would impact positions such as Lieutenants and Captains - the salary for each one respectively will grow to $160,000 and $175,000 during the contract term.
Other business during the special meeting the committee will discuss reorganization and professional services appointments as well as personnel positions such as the Township Clerk, Judge and Acting Construction Official. The Special Meeting starts at 8:30AM in executive and the public portion starts at 9 AM.