Vernon council postpones meeting to discuss business administrator

Vernon. The Vernon Township Council will meet at a special meeting on Nov. 10 to discuss the possibility of bringing forth a resolution seeking the removal of Business Administrator Charles Voelker due to the mistaken sale of township property and equipment in 2021.

Vernon /
| 31 Oct 2022 | 09:48

The Vernon Township Council on Oct. 24 tabled a resolution that would have provided notice to Business Administrator Charles Voelker of an opportunity to respond to charges seeking his dismissal.

The resolution will be put back on the floor at a special council meeting on Nov. 10.

The resolution charges Voelker with failure to perform duties, inefficiency, or substandard performance; conduct unbecoming of a public employee, or other sufficient cause for removal.

He was to have an opportunity to respond to the charges at an Executive Session meeting on Nov. 2, but Councilman Mike Furrey objected because he was not notified of the Nov. 2 meeting prior to the Oct. 24 meeting.

Council President Patrick Rizzuto said he had tried to call Furrey twice earlier that day, but Furrey objected saying the agenda was already out with the Nov. 2 date in there.

The resolution was originally passed 3-0-1 with Furrey abstaining.

“For the most part, the actual resolution, we discussed it, and we agreed upon it,” Furrey said. “The one thing that wasn’t agreed upon, is when I read this, that there was a scheduled special hearing on Nov. 2 to make the final decision. I was never consulted about that day.”

Rizzuto later asked for the motion to be reconsidered because he did not want to go forward on the matter without a unanimous council vote.

“This way we can move forward, or it will fall in total,” Rizzuto said. “I’m going to waste the council’s time on a 3-1 vote.”

The matter goes back to the township’s accidentally auction sale of two properties, one of which – 6 Mondamin Road – included a township-owned radio tower and equipment.

A report commissioned by the council found deficiencies that led to the error, which caused the township to have to buy it back.

A previous resolution indicated that Mayor Howard Burrell would have suspended Voelker without pay for 32 days, but Burrell had not done it.