WATCHUNG, NJ - The Watchung Borough Council voted unanimously to approve all volunteer appointments at its last meeting except tthose to the Watchung Library Advisory Committee. The six-member Watchung Library Advisory Committee has three seats up for grabs and the council voted 4-2 to table Mayor Keith Balla’s nominations of Anette Von Brandis, Eileen Dicken and Tamara Benc for re-appointment.
The process of mayoral appointments has changed since the council adopted new bylaws in 2018 and now requires a council vote on all mayoral appointments.
Von Brandis, Dicken and Benc will continue to serve until they are either re-appointed or a successor is appointed, Borough Attorney Albert Cruz said. He said he wanted to qualify that they are not being removed but will continue to serve on a holdover basis.
Council president Robert Gibbs said that,”we remain committed to a library in Watchung,” but we need to balance it with a practical realization of what else is coming down the pike. We have a lot of residents that want to volunteer.
Balla said there were close to 40 applicants for the three available seats on the Library Advisory Committee.
Councilman Stephen Black said he would like to understand all of the applicants for all of the committees in the future.
Eisenberg-Knegten said, “I am disheartened to hear that Council President Gibbs will not at this time allow the nomination and re-appointments of three hard-working members of the Watchung Library Advisory Board.”
Black, Gibbs, Nehls, and Sopko voted to table the reappointments and Eisenberg-Knegten and Goodloe voted against.
Video of the meeting can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/312233658
Earlier in the meeting, the council honored Elizabeth “Betty Jean” Aldrich