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Point Beach Mayor Pushes through Nepotism, Referral Rules

Mayor Vincent Barrella
Mayor Vincent Barrella
Point Beach Mayor Vincent Barrella broke ties on the Borough Council to overcome Republican objections to broader rules around nepotism and business referrals ahead of the GOP's takeover of the council in January.

Barrella said the ordinances introduced were "good government" practices, while Republicans doubted they would stand up to scrutiny or legal challenges when they go for public hearing at the December 17 meeting.

The nepotism ordinance is aimed at limiting employment of elected state and county officials, Barrella said.

The debate was particularly heated with Republicans accusing Barrella of having a vendetta against  state Senator Jim Holzapfel's (R-10th District) law firm and to block him from any appointments in January.

Barrella said Holzapfel's firm -- Citta, Holzapfel, Zabarsky -- provided poor service as the borough's prosecutor, which led to their replacement in January.

"They were fired for incompetence," Barrella said, noting they were sending first year associates that did not work well with court officials.

Republican Councilman Stephen Reid said after Tuesday night's meeting that the council will be issuing request for proposals from professional firms for January's reorganization meeting.

Regarding the introduction of the referral ordinance, Barrella said the rules prohibit referrals of work from professionals and vendors doing business with Point Pleasant Beach's government to governing body members or their immediate family.

Republicans criticized the proposal as too broad and that existing bribery and local government rules already govern what can be construed as favors from vendors.

Both of those ordinances were introduced and will be open to public comment at the next Borough Council meeting on December 17. 

Council members Kristine Tooker, Dave Cavagnaro, and Bret Gordon supported introduction of the ordinances, while Republicans Andy Cortes, William Mayer and Stephen Reid opposed their introduction.   

Barrella, a Republican who was re-elected as an independent for mayor in 2011, said an ordinance regarding meeting protocols was also introduced to prevent the role of mayor from being marginalized when Republicans take control of the Borough Council in January.

That ordinance was introduced in a 6-0 vote to repeal a 2010 ordinance, which Barrella said was a period when the "office of the mayor was under assault." The mayor said didn't see much difference between the present and 2010, when he overcame a recall election.

In November's election,  Republicans Tom Vogel and Tom Toohey won seats, giving the party four of the six council votes when the Borough Council reorganizes in January.
 
proud December 04, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Lame duck season.
Randle McMurphy December 06, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Just read in the OS that some of the ordinances the Mayor pushed through were already covered by state laws and that the towns attorney was against the passage of the ordinances. If the towns attorney who is paid to give legal advise was recommending against them why in the world would you pass them. It would seem that the Mayor had a agenda and that was to continue his paranoid, chaotic reign into 2014. How shocking was it to see his puppets Gordon and the two outta here in a couple weeks, Cavagnero and Tooker vote the way they were told too.
Rick Ricky December 06, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Don't you get it. It doesn't matter who is in or who gets in? They all become puppets to keep the gravy train going. This is happening in all the towns. The town residents lose.
proud December 06, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Ain't gonna be a lot of tie breakers next year.
proud December 06, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Mr.HappysaysvoteforDavisandCav hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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