VERNON — The recently submitted petition to overturn Vernon’s Mayor Marotta’s 133 percent salary increase was announced as a success during Monday's Township Council meeting.
A sufficient number of valid signatures was reviewed by the clerk’s office. A referendum on the matter will be included on the ballot during the general elections on Nov. 4.
Petitioners stationed outside the Vernon A&P and other locations around town managed to gather more than 1,000 signatures, most collected throughout the course of a single weekend. Only 792 – 5 percent of the township’s registered voters – signatures were needed to place the item on November’s ballot.
New township clerk Lauren Kirkman reported that Deputy Clerk Angie Bates certified that the petitions “met the sufficient amount of qualified voters in regards to Ordinance 14-01. Therefore it will be placed on the ballot in the next general election.”
The ordinance was originally passed at the Jan. 27 Township Council meeting with a 3-2 vote. Council members Dick Wetzel and Patrick Rizzuto, along with Council President Brian Lynch, voted yes while Council members Dan Kadish and Jean Murphy voted no.
The situation is very similar to the first time Marotta requested a raise in 2012. He asked for a raise to $50,000 which the council approved. Because of petitions, it was overturned in November of that year by 87% of Vernon’s voters.