Minutes of May 22, 2013 meeting of the Consolidation Study Commission SP-F
The meeting was called to order at 8:05. Those present were Mr. Molenaar, Dr. Saltzman and Mr. McCarey from Fanwood, and Mr. Lange, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Wiener and Mr. Parisi from Scotch Plains. Mr. Nagy, an alternate from Fanwood, was also present. Mr. DiBattista was absent.
In addition Eugene McCarthy attended to represent the State Local Finance Board. He explained that he is a non-voting member of the commission and one of his functions is to guide the commissioners through the process of commissioning a consolidation study.
Mr. Lange made the public notice announcement and remarked that the main purpose of the meeting was to select the two remaining commissioners, one from Fanwood and one from Scotch Plains.
Two candidates from Scotch Plains, Craig Nowlin and Sarah Dreikorn, then presented their backgrounds and were interviewed. Following their interviews, Bruce Arthur from Scotch Plains introduced himself as a candidate and presented his background and answered interview questions from the commissioners. Matthew Juckes from Fanwood then arrived from a Fanwood Planning Board meeting and presented himself as a candidate from Fanwood. Alternate Pat Hoynes arrived from the Planning Board meeting as well. Mr. Juckes presented his background and responded to questions from the commissioners.
Mr. Molenaar then moved to go into executive session, seconded by Mr. Parisi and unanimously approved. The commission members and alternates then considered the various candidacies in executive session. At the conclusion of the executive session Mr. Molenaar moved to go into public session, seconded by Mr. Parisi and unanimously approved.
After the candidates were invited back into the public session, Mr. Parisi moved to select Ms. Dreikorn as the fifth commissioner from Scotch Plains and Mr. Arthur as an alternate, if he was willing to act as such. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion. During discussion on the motion, Mr. Arthur acknowledged that he was willing to act as an alternate. Mr. Wiener then pointed out that every candidate was highly qualified and presented impressive backgrounds and that it was unfortunate that not all could be selected. As only the four members from Scotch Plains were to vote on this selection, all four unanimously approved the motion. Ms. Dreikorn and Mr. Arthur were then invited to join the commission members for the remainder of the meeting.
Mr. Molenaar then moved to table the selection of the Fanwood commissioner, explaining that a miscommunication about the date and process may have actively prevented a second candidate from Fanwood from presenting his candidacy. Dr. Saltzman seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved by the Fanwood commissioners.
The commissioners decided that the organizational meeting will be held on June 12 at the BOE offices at 7:30 and at that meeting the remaining Fanwood commissioner will be selected. There was some discussion about whether the commissioners will need to be sworn in before or at that meeting. Mr. McCarthy said he would check on that. Mr. Wiener also mentioned that the Scotch Plains municipal council may have appointed an alternate prior to this meeting but as of the close of the meeting that person’s identity was not known. Once known, he or she will be invited to all subsequent meetings.
There being no further business, Mr. Parisi moved to adjourn, seconded by Dr. Saltzman and unanimously approved. The meeting adjourned at 9:45.
The Commision was formed in June 2013. It is charged with overseeing a study, by an independent contractor, on the benefits and costs of consolidating Fanwood and Scotch Plains into one municipality without either losing its identity as a community.
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