Vernon council appoints co-business managers to replace Voelker

VERNON. Police chief and chief financial officer to share the duties of the position until Feb. 28.

Vernon /
| 18 Dec 2022 | 02:31

The Vernon Township Council on Dec. 12 appointed Police Chief Daniel Young and chief financial officer Donelle Bright as acting co-business managers, while Mayor Howard Burrell seeks a replacement for Charles Voelker.

The council approved a release and settlement with Voelker on Nov. 21 after seeking his removal when officials learned that two properties containing township radio equipment mistakenly were sold in a property auction a year earlier. The township has repurchased the properties.

Young and Bright were appointed for 90 days, retroactive to Dec. 1, with a term ending Feb. 28 unless a permanent replacement is made before then.

They each will receive a weekly stipend of $750 in addition to their regular salaries while they serve as co-business administrators.

Burrell said the township has advertised the business manager position and he is hoping to hire someone within the 90-day window. However, many business administrators are tied to the term of the mayor, which will be up for election in 2023, he noted.

“People don’t want to take a position for one year, and we don’t want to just take anybody,” he said. “But there are some good individuals out there who do temporary work. They are retired business administrators and they’ve got all the credentials.”

Several residents expressed concerns about the co-business administrator arrangement and how it would affect the regular duties of both officials. Bright also is administrator of the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority.

“I do have a problem with having two people, especially one of which is our cfo,” resident Steve Dunlop said. “She’s already the administrator of the MUA and those are two pretty important jobs. Now to add this, I wonder what else might fall through the cracks.”

Resident Peg Distasi said adding a third position to Bright’s plate was “poor business management” as it limits checks and balances.