Well, just watched the January 24th Council Meeting and wouldn't you know it - we can't have a full-time mayor, at least according to the Faulkner act. So, being duty bound as they are, the council had to amend 2-2.1 of the township code to take out the reference to full-time. Seems former Mayor Jun 'RforMe' Choi had it put in and no one told the council at that time that it was illegal when they voted for it. They didn't get good advice. Unlucky for Diehl!
Unlucky for us too - now we're back to having the next mayor of Downtown Edison picked by some 156 Democratic committee people. Surprise..surprise! Bet you didn't see that coming!
Here's how the vote went:
Well, that's not true, Karabinchak did speak out against comments from a resident but Karabinchak's comments were so far out that they deserve their own section below.
Now, Diehl said that by law, the mayor's job can't be full or part-time and they're just correcting that bit of ordinance that was illegal. He also said being mayor isn't really a career (someone should of asked him how long he's be there) with only one or two terms and there's no stability in it to expect it to be full-time. He also believes that next part-time mayor will put 40 hours on the clock all the time.
Prasad hung his hat on the illegality too and explained a tad bit of how Choi wanted a raise and gave some numbers and to make the job full-time - but did raise the issue of compensation and no matter if full-time or part-time, he knows everyone will give their best effort.
Lombardi indicated that he did some research and was only redacting that portion that was illegal.
Now, what can you say about Karabinchak? Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak. His ramblings so bend the concept of reality and credibility that even some of the residents were calling him out.
'Whether part-time or full-time, he's 24/7 and most important part of any position is management style, vision and strategy - those are the more important skills. He means no disrespect but full-time, part-time is just words.' Continuing on, 'he believes anyone with the flexibility at their full-time job, like him, will have the time to come running back and forth to the Municipal Complex. Part-time, full-time is not the issue for him - 24/7 is!' What a guy!
But here's the best part, when someone in the audience asked him how many hours he put in a week on his full-time job - he said 100 hours! Then, the logical next question that was asked - then how many hours could you put in as part-time mayor - he said another 100 hours! How could you not laugh at that and certainly residents in the audience did!
But here's the interesting part - no one on the council wanted to answer the simple question, asked many times by those in the audience - why don't you just put it up as a ballot question and let the people decide? It wasn't until the question kept being asked that the township attorney said that he'd have to do some research but didn't think you could under the Faulkner act.
Ok, let's say that's correct-a-mundo and you can't put it up as a ballot question. Couldn't they at least do a poll and get the residents position on whether they preferred a full-time or part-time mayor? They poll everything else here in Downtown Edison.
Reason why I say that is I counted 8 residents going to the microphone with half of them laying out valid arguments why we need a full-time mayor and the other half arguing the other way.
You know who argued the other way? Let's see, we had a Dem Freeholder, and I won't say it was Charlie "I Abstain" Tomaro - so I won't. There was a Dem Committee person, and a member of the Council's Finance Committee and not sure but the fourth, someone who looks like he may want to fill one of those empty council seats when everyone move up the chess board.
Now, there you go - a 4-4 tie and under these circumstances, a tie has to go to the residents! If I'd of known this was going to go on, I would of went to the meeting and it would of been 5-4 for the residents and a lot of fun discussing these issues with the council members.
Anyhoo, legal issue aside, these were some of the most ridiculous arguments I've ever heard on the merits of part-time/full-time mayor - especially from those making them on the council. Let's hope that they can come up with something better to argue their case to the residents for part-time at election time. They certainly left enough holes in their position.
Unfortunately, what you've gotten at that meeting is what we've always gotten here in Downtown Edison - the perils of one-party government coming alive and a process that closes out the residents and limits the opportunities to be mayor to those in the pecking order of the local Democratic Party. Does it really matter what reason they come up with to do what they did? If it wasn't the legal issue, it would of been something else. Do you really think they weren't going to let their people run for mayor? It's all about the control of the town by a select few at the expense of all of us.
But hey, that was fun to watch.
Not for nothing, but at that meeting Karabinchak also stated that he wanted the Council to look at moving the BoE elections to November at the next Council meeting. Hope someone is paying attention to that over there on Mythomania Lane.
PS - just a thought - Karabinchak should take a lesson from Lankey - don't say anything. Every time Karabinchak opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it and scores points for the other side.