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UPDATE: Point Boro Mayor Appoints New OEM Coordinator Monday

Gary Colberg, retired Boro Police Corporal, sworn in on Monday

 

A retired Point Borough police corporal was appointed and sworn in on Monday as the new Borough Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Coordinator.

Gary Colberg was appointed by Mayor William Schroeder on Monday to replace William Ippolito, who quit the position on Jan. 7, the day after he was sworn in at the Borough Council's organization meeting.

Colberg will be paid $3,350 per year for the part-time, civil service position, Schroeder said. Colberg, who was hired as a police officer on May 19, 1986 and retired on Oct. 1, 2011, has 25 years of police experience.

Council does not vote on appointments made by the mayor.

Kiel Arnone, the Deputy OEM Coordinator, posted on the OEM Facebook page, "It is with great joy that we welcome Retired Point Pleasant Police Officer Gary Colberg as our new Coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management."

Schroeder said Colberg, starting next week, will work with Schroeder and other Borough officials on an OEM budget and other plans. Patch could not immediately reach Colberg for comment.

Schroeder said Colberg's years of police experience and his interest in doing the job were the primary reasons he appointed him.

"I was impressed that he called and asked to fill this position," Schroeder said. "He has the background and the knowledge and everything we need for this. And he has no full-time job, so nothing will interfere."

Interference was something Ippolito's boss was worried about when he found out Ippolito had accepted the new position. Ippolito is a full-time Point Beach police sergeant whose decision to accept the Borough position was reviewed by Point Beach Police Chief Kevin O'Hara.

UPDATE: O'Hara said in an email on Monday afternoon: "I reacted by having a violation of my department's rules and standard operating procedures investigated by appropriate personnel within my department. When the facts were determined the officer involved was given a choice. Obviously, you cannot be in two places at once during a state of emergency, my duty as Chief of police is to insure the rules of my department are followed and that the operations of my department are not adversely effected by any outside influences, at any time."

Ippolito said, "The chief told me to resign from one or the other. He was pretty adamant."

There is a standard operating procedure calling for officers to get outside employment approved by the chief before accepting it, Ippolito said.

"I had thought of this as more of a volunteer position," he said. "I was going to give my stipend to Kiel because he would be doing most of the field work and I would be assisting him with planning."

Ippolito had told Patch on Jan. 6, just after being sworn in, that he had not even realized the job came with a stipend.

Just after the Jan. 6 meeting, when asked how he will allocate his time if there is an emergency, such as another Irene or Sandy, that impacts the Borough and the Beach, Ippolito said that while his full-time job comes first, he will use his off-duty hours to devote to the OEM position and when he is working in the Beach, he will delegate to Arnone.

When asked after the meeting about Ippolito's duel duties, Schroeder had said he is confident that Ippolito will fulfill his new duties when he is not working in his full-time position, and, when necessary, delegate to Arnone, who he is confident can successfully fill in for Ippolito.

Schroeder said the Borough may also ask for a volunteer to serve as a second deputy.

The position of OEM Coordinator was vacated about a week after Sandy struck when Bill Dikun, a former Borough councilman and longtime member of the volunteer fire department, left the position following what he characterized only as "philosophical differences with the mayor."

Since then, Arnone has filled in and was paid $3,200 for his work responding to post-Sandy emergency calls, establishing, operating and supervising the Borough's emergency relief center and various other duties, Schroeder said.

Now that Colberg is in the coordinator position, Arnone will no longer be paid unless council decides to expand the Emergency Management budget, Schroeder said.

Tom Szymanski January 14, 2013 at 08:11 PM
The 5th OEM Coordinator in two months? Hmmm...
Denise Di Stephan (Editor) January 14, 2013 at 10:20 PM
I've been in touch with Tom Szymanski and Kiel Arnone going over this information, and Kiel and I are coming up with 3 OEM Coordinators in addition to Kiel serving as acting coordinator twice, all during a period of two and a half months.
A Palanchi January 14, 2013 at 10:24 PM
The President of the Republican Club making an comment about the OEM Coordinator but remaining silent on the Rogers arrest. Hmmm.....
Alex Viecelli January 15, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Good choice Mayor. I would like to see a board put together to explore purchases of backup Generators. They would be useful at the school's that are used for shelters. We need to learn from Sandy. Schools would be the best because of the cafeteria's bathrooms, and how well built they are. many people were cold at night in there homes due to no electric to run there heat. If this would happen in the summer many of our elderly would suffer from the excessive heat. Its and option that needs to be looked at. Rudox generator in north jersey is a good start as well as Floey caterpillar generators in central jersey.
Jim Jensen January 15, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Jim Jensen When Mayor Schroeder appointed Bill Ippolito as the Emergency Management Coordinator I felt confident that Bill had the knowledge, education and experience to manage the OEM through whatever we encountered in the future. When Bill had to resign I was disapointed but confident that the Mayor would select an appropriate replacement. I commend him for the selection of Gary Colberg who is not only an experienced police officer of over 25 years but has experience as the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator. I know that Gary will do a good job and wish him the "" best of luck". To Kiel Arnone I say "great job. When needed you rose to the occasion.
Chief Wahoo January 15, 2013 at 02:02 AM
boy these "retired" police , do not stay retired long....must be the power of the public trough is too hard to stay away
Christopher Goss January 15, 2013 at 02:27 AM
A $3,350 annual stipend for what can be an extremely taxing and exhausting commitment to your community is hardly growing fat off the public trough.
Quaghogdigger January 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Usually, the OEM job goes to "public trough" wanna be's....That $3,350 stipend counts a year in the pension system....10 to 15 years at it, then a better paying local, county, or state job for a few years, and BAM, a nice little pension. Also, I believe the OEM job in Pt. Beach is headed up by a Pt. beach policeofficer....hhmmm....wonder how that works....Anyway, best of luck Gary.
Denise Di Stephan (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 03:27 PM
To Quaghogdigger: The Point Pleasant Beach Emergency Management Coordinator is Guy Dempsey, a retired Point Pleasant Beach police sergeant and a current Point Pleasant Beach special police officer. His deputy coordinator is Kyle Grace, a Point Beach police officer. Officer's Grace's positions as a full-time police officer and a part-time deputy OEM Coordinator are in the same town, just fyi. And the Point Beach police operations, along with those provided by Point Beach Fire and EMS, are part of the overall emergency response operations overseen by Guy Dempsey and Kyle Grace when there is an emergency, such as Irene or Sandy. So there is not a situation where Guy Dempsey or Kyle Grace are called on to be in two places at once, which was, as story reports, one of Chief O'Hara's concerns about Sgt. Ippolito accepting the Point Pleasant Borough OEM Coordinator position. Now a decision has been made for retired Corp. Colberg to fill the Borough position and a lot of people are applauding that decision, so hopefully we can all move forward in a constructive, positive way because I'm sure we all know that public safety is the top priority.
Kim January 15, 2013 at 04:03 PM
There is no pension included in the OEM job if I am correct. Gary has no interest in getting a job that has a pension included he is young and wants to work to keep himself occupied. It's too bad all people can't just be happy that someone that is qualified is now doing the job and will do it well! It's truly a shame that people have to look further into this than needs to be. Too bad those who critize did't apply for the job!!
A Palanchi January 15, 2013 at 09:56 PM
To Tom Szymanski: After all that people have gone through due to Sandy, you want to make one of the most important positions a community can have a political issue? Get back to college, sonny, and learn that there are issues to fight and those to keep your mouth shut with. I'm sure there will be others for you to pick in the future that aren't as abrasive and painful to some. And, you are the leader of the Republican Club? If they are not embarrassed, they should be. BTW, where's that comment on the Roger's arrest.
A Palanchi January 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM
.....oh, I just figured it out, Syzmanski! Colberg's not one of your club boys, is he? That's right. Qualifications and commitment to service don't mean anything to your type.
Bill Cooper January 16, 2013 at 10:26 PM
What are you doing online? Don't you have some sandwiches to go fix?
Kim January 17, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Bill Cooper what are you doing online other than saying nasty things as usual. You truly need to get a life! Try being nice and you might have friends to hang out with rather than going on the computer to be mean to others. I do believe you are a cyber bully. You are a name without a face are you like this on a daily basis? I would love to meet you face to face and see what you have to say then!!!!!!!!
Tom Szymanski January 18, 2013 at 04:36 PM
A certain Former OEM Coordinator has been publicly outspoken in recent days regarding his reasoning for leaving his position. They include, and are not limited to, immediate restoration of liquor sales in the Boro, the cancelling of storm briefings, and lack of collaboration between the Mayor and OEM. In the wake of Sandy, as a citizen I wanted our OEM to have the knowledge, resources, and flexibility to make the best decisions possible to keep our residents safe, as I'm sure you and ALL residents did. It appears this was not the case in large part due to Mayor Schroeder failing to acknowledge or realize that OEM has full decision making authority in a state of emergency. All I'm saying is I don't like the pattern we're seeing. I want strong leadership at OEM and for that reason I wish Mr. Colberg and his team the best of luck. This is not a political issue sir(or madam), it is a public safety and common sense issue.

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