ENGLISHTOWN – Councilman Gregory Wojyn has been elected by his fellow members of the governing body to serve as president of the Borough Council in Englishtown for 2022.
The council’s annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 3 began with the swearing in of Daniel Francisco and William Lewis, who were the winning candidates in the November 2021 election, to three-year terms on the governing body.
Francisco was already serving on the council and Lewis is a newcomer to the panel.
Because the position of municipal clerk had not been officially filled at the time the meeting began, Francisco and Lewis were sworn in to office by Borough Attorney Joseph Youssouf.
Youssouf, who has represented Englishtown for many years, was then sworn in to begin serving a new one-year term as borough attorney by Deputy Chief Financial Officer Laurie Finger.
Republicans hold all six council seats and the mayor’s office in Englishtown.
After all of the members of the governing body had been seated, Councilman Eric Mann nominated Wojyn, who has been a member of the council since 2011, to serve as council president for 2022. Councilwoman Cecilia Robilotti seconded the motion.
Councilman Dan Marter nominated Francisco to serve as council president, but his motion was not seconded by another member of the governing body.
On a roll call vote to elect Wojyn as council president, Mann, Marter, Lewis, Francisco, Robilotti and Wojyn voted “yes.”
Appointed as members of the Planning Board were Mayor Thomas Reynolds, Robilotti, Water/Sewer Superintendent James Mastrokalos, Deana Mann, Jerry Leonardis, Lauren Roth and Patsy Fierro.
In other business, Gretchen McCarthy was appointed as Englishtown’s new municipal clerk in a 4-3 vote.
When a motion was made to appoint McCarthy to the position, Wojyn, Mann and Robilotti voted “yes.” Francisco, Lewis and Marter voted “no” without comment.
Reynolds, who only votes to break a tie, said the position of municipal clerk needed to be filled and voted “yes” on the motion. McCarthy was appointed in the 4-3 vote.
“If we don’t appoint a clerk tonight, it will take us months to find one. To protect the municipality, I will vote ‘yes,’ ” Reynolds said.
McCarthy succeeds Peter Gorbatuk, who retired in late 2021. Gorbatuk began serving as Englishtown’s acting municipal clerk in 2006 and officially became the municipal clerk in 2009.
Prior to her appointment as clerk, McCarthy was the borough’s deputy municipal clerk. She served as the interim municipal clerk following Gorbatuk’s retirement.
Prior to the council’s vote on her appointment, Mann praised McCarthy for her work as the interim municipal clerk.
“(McCarthy) did an exemplary job. She will be a valuable member of the borough,” he said.
Wojyn also praised McCarthy for her work during the final months of 2021, noting the research she performed in her position.
During the annual appointment of Englishtown’s professionals, Youssouf was appointed borough attorney with a salary not to exceed $75,000; Robert Allison was appointed borough auditor with a salary not to exceed $45,000; Thomas Herits was appointed borough engineer with a salary not to exceed $100,000; Richard Kelly was appointed municipal prosecutor with a salary not to exceed $10,500; John Cantalupo was appointed bond counsel with a salary not to exceed $10,000; and Michael DuPont was appointed public defender with a salary not to exceed $3,000.
Each appointment will expire on Dec. 31, 2022.
Wojyn, Francisco, Mann, Marter and Robilotti voted “yes” on each appointment. Lewis abstained from voting on each appointment.
In a 4-2 vote, Mann was appointed Englishtown’s police commissioner for 2022. Wojyn, Francisco, Lewis and Mann voted “yes” on the appointment. Marter and Robilotti voted “no.”
Robilotti was elected to serve on the borough’s police commission with “yes” votes from Wojyn, Mann, Marter and herself. Lewis voted “no” and Francisco abstained.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Richard Thompson, who had been serving as Englishtown’s code enforcement officer, noted the position was identified as vacant in the list of municipal appointments.
After Thompson asked if he had been fired from the position, Youssouf said the matter dealt with whether Thompson was being reappointed as the code enforcement officer.
A code enforcement officer for 2022 is expected to be named at the next council meeting on Jan. 26.
Police Chief Peter Cooke, who is Thompson’s superior, said he received no prior notification of Thompson not being reappointed as the code enforcement officer. During his comments, Cooke praised Thompson’s service to Englishtown.