New council members take seats

Residents question temporary mayor's 2015 vetoes

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  • Photo by Vera Olinski Sussex Borough Mayor Katherine Little, left, administers the Oath of Office to newly appointed Councilman Albert Decker as his grandson, Albert Demarest, holds the bible.

Municipal Clerk Mark Zschack administered the Oath of Office Jan. 5 at the Sussex Borough Council reorganization meeting to three Council members, and on Jan. 19, the council appointed Albert Decker to take the place of newly elected mayor Katherine Little on the council.

The public questioned why Councilman-Elect Edward Meyer vetoed two council passed ordinances while acting as temporary mayor at the end of 2015.

Little took the Oath of Office for a four-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2019; Councilwoman Linda Masson for a three-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2018; and Meyer, also for a three-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2018.

The Sussex Municipal Democratic Committee submitted three nominees: Albert Decker, Gail Anne Zubl, and Michael La Morte to fill the vacancy created when Little became mayor. The seat remains vacant, because no council member made a nomination.

The council unanimously approved Decker’s appointment with Councilman Franklin Dykstra abstaining. The term will end after the general election in November.

During the meeting, Little honored former Mayor and now Freeholder Jonathan Rose for his terms as mayor, councilman, and member of the Sussex Planning/Zoning Board.

Little also honored former Councilman Mario Poggi for his term as councilman and would have honored former Councilwoman Annette Stendor, who was absent.

Councilman Robert Holowach was named Council President by a 3-1 vote, with one abstention. Councilmen Frank Dykstra, Meyer, and Councilwoman Georgeanna Stoll voted yes, Masson no, and Holowach abstained.

Meyer was named to the Sussex Planning/Zoning Board by a 3-1 vote, with one abstention. Dykstra, Holowach, and Stoll voted yes, Masson no, and Meyer abstained.

Masson requested almost every resolution re-organizing the borough government be tabled, but no one seconded her motions. She said the re-organization should be tabled until they had a full council.

The council unanimously approved the Sussex Fire Dept. officers for 2016. They also unanimously approved appointing Bruno Associates, Inc. as the Sussex Borough Grant Writer through March 2016 to fulfill the existing contract beginning April 2015.

Public comment brought up that Meyer, while Temporary Mayor on Dec. 21, vetoed ordinances which had been adopted by the council. It was also stated that there was a conflict of interest due to ties with one of the businesses.

Later, Meyer said the first ordinance contradicted state law; and the second singled out three restaurants in calculating water/sewer rates, thus, possibly opening the town to litigation.

He added that he does not have a conflict of interest, but would like to revamp the rate structure, thus, fostering business growth and development which would connect to the utility.

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