VERNON TOWNSHIP, NJ - Former mayor Sally Rinker was one of the first to address the council during public participation at the October 22 meeting.
At the last council meeting, Rinker and council president, Brian Lynch, argued over an ordinance passed in July pertaining Main Street Associates (Click here to read previous article by The Alternative Press).
“I have been told that it was not signed yet,” stated Rinker.
Rinker then read a document dated from August 10 from township attorney, Kevin Kelly, which said, “Enclosed, please find a fully executed document.”
“I have been here long enough to know what 'fully executed' means,” said Rinker.
In response, Kelly stated to Rinker, “I don’t think it is open for public discussion, but you will get a response. I have handled many contracts with you before, you know you will get a response from me.”
Rinker continued to discuss the salary ordinances of the mayor and council members.
“You need to tell the truth about the raises. You cannot keep information withheld from the public,” said Rinker. “[Victor] Marotta had $30,000 a year plus benefits, and six months later took $50,000 plus benefits. You want to raise your own salaries to 67 percent. It is unfair to have the taxpayers pay a 30 percent increase due to the change in government.”
Rinker then went to address her beliefs on the council members individually.
“Councilman [Patrick] Rizutto, you lash out when it comes to people and taxpayers,” said Rinker.
Rinker then started stating her opinions of Lynch.
“Thank you Sally, your five minutes is up. You need to let others speak,” interrupted Lynch, several times while Rinker spoke.
“So, you don’t want to hear the rest because it is about you?” asked Rinker.
“That is not it at all,” Lynch replied. “Your time is up.”
Citizen Mary Ellen Vichiconti addressed the mayor and council as well.
“I just wanted to say along with Mayor Marotta, Eddie [Dunn] and myself, that we tried really hard to change our form of government,” stated Vichiconti.“Now, the mayor sits there and Eddie sits there.”
“I think it's disgusting what the mayor has done to Tom McClacherie,” stated Vichiconti, referencing a newspaper article where she said Marotta had made comments about McClacherie. “He [McClacherie] attends every council meeting, every board of education meeting, raised two fine girls and worked hard all of his life. I hope someday Tom is the mayor of this town. What the mayor did was despicable and he owes Tom a public apology."
Another citizen approached the podium and stated, “Its not easy to stand here, just like it is not easy for you to sit there. The mayor constantly makes comments under his breath when certain citizens come up to speak.”
This statement was in regard to the last meeting when Vichiconti had approached the stand, Marotta said something under his breath, which sounded like, “Ugh."
When Vichiconti asked Marotta, “What did you just say?” his comment in reply was, “I said hello.”
“The video tape does not lie,” said the citizen speaking of the live taped recording of the meeting.
Editor's Note: The Alternative Press attempted to reach the mayor's office for further comment on this story, and received no reply to the request for comment.