ROSELLE PARK, N.J. – After an announcement made on Saturday evening that Councilwoman Charlene Komar Storey rescinded her resignation from council, an official announcement was made by the Mayor and Councilwoman that a new committee on diversity in the borough will be created and Storey will chair it.
Storey submitted her resignation, effective Jan. 7, on Friday a day after Hokanson proposed, and a majority of the council approved, a resolution to change the name of the borough’s public tree-lighting ceremony next week to include the word “Christmas.” The event had been called a holiday tree lighting since the 1990s, and Storey objected on the grounds that the change amounted to an endorsement of a specific religion.
The new name of the event will remain in place, as approved by the council, the mayor and the councilwoman said. Storey still opposes the change.
Storey and Hokanson said a misunderstanding between them before this week’s council meeting led to each feeling blindsided at the session.
“It was never my intent to insult anyone’s beliefs or religion,” said Hokanson. “We live in an increasingly diverse community, and we have to come to grips with that fact.”
Storey said,“The new committee will help the borough identify and better deal with diversity and all of its issues, and hopefully head off such disagreements.”