Vernon to reinstate bills' list

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VERNON — The Vernon Township Council will once again review and vote on a list of the municipality's bills, restoring a practice that was abandoned in 2011.

The council voted 3-2 on Monday to revive the procedure at the suggestion of Councilwoman Sandra Ooms. The township attorney recommended against the move, citing past litigation that found it is not in the council's purview to approve or disapprove bills paid by the mayor. But Ooms argued several other towns with the same mayor-council Faulkner style of government used in Vernon include a list of bills on their council meeting agendas.

“The judge says that we're not compelled; well, there's a lot of things we're not compelled to do and we do because it's best practice. I don't think there's a law that says you cannot,” she commented.

Councilman Dan Kadish objected to the return of a bills list review. While Kadish voted against the removal of the bills list from the agenda in 2011, he noted the current system has been working and he would not vote to reinstate what he called a “cumbersome” process. Kadish also cautioned some vendors might be dissuaded from working with the township if bills are not paid on time due to council delays.

Ooms countered that review of a bills list might help save the township money by ensuring each dollar is being spent wisely and returns the maximum result.

Council President Jean Murphy was the other dissenting vote; Councilmen Patrick Rizzuto and Richard Wetzel voted to approve the measure.

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