Councilman's Resignation and Backlash - While Mayor Lists Accomplishments of His Record

Credits: Kathy Lloyd

ROSELLE, NJ - Roselle Fifth Ward Councilman Roy Locke, citing increased demands from his personal and professional obligations, submitted his resignation to Mayor Jamel C. Holley and the Roselle Borough Council on Wednesday. Councilman Locke agreed to serve out the remainder of this month and will vacate his seat on Feb. 28 at midnight.

“Councilman Locke and I have had several meetings and discussions over the past few days and we both agree that the best course of action is for him to step down and focus on his flourishing legal practice and his family,” said Mayor Holley. “Roy is a dedicated father and husband who made a difficult decision between serving the public and serving the family. Those of us in public life understand the strains that are put on one’s career and family. The balancing act is difficult on the best of days. I thank him for his service and I will be in consultation with him on a replacement for the Fifth Ward Council Seat.”

Following the vacancy of Fifth Ward Council seat, the Roselle Democratic Committee will submit three names for consideration by the Borough Council. An interview process will take place and the Borough Council will select a replacement.

“I am extremely proud of my tenure as a public servant here in Roselle, where I was able to help a lot of people and do some wonderful things to make our community a better place,” said Councilman Locke. “I thank the people of the Roselle for the opportunity to represent them.”

Following Locke’s resignation, the Borough Council intends to examine the municipal code to better define parameters regarding any council member's attendance so that if another situation arises, there is a standard by which a council member's performance can be measured. Locke will not be required to pay back his salary.

"There is a need for all elected council members to be held to a defined standard regarding their performance in representing the people of Roselle,” said Council President Kim Shaw.  “I am now working with the Mayor, the Borough Council and the Borough Attorney to amend the council bylaws to allow for a process with which to effectively handle council performance, with a goal of always maintaining the trust and confidence of the residents who count on us to represent their interests.”

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First Ward Councilman Yves Aubourg blasted his colleagues and Mayor Holley on what was the last few minutes of the mayor's final meeting with his community.

Aubourg made remarks calling the borough a “weak council and strong mayor, instead of a strong council and weak Mayor run government.” He also spoke on policies that he felt should not be allowed such as nepotism, not allowing council members families to be borough employees, and the use of taxpayer dollars for vehicles.

In retort, Council President Kim Shaw pointed out that Aubourg’s own family member had worked as a borough employee at one time. Holley ended his final meeting as mayor with a lengthy list of accomplishments achieved under his command. The Mayor thanked the council members as well as the residents of Roselle for their dedication and support during his time as mayor.

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