Franklin Lakes February 4, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 3 Vote on council president tabled a second time by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Borough Council has again failed to reach agreement on a choice of a council member to take on the duties of council president for 2009. The matter was tabled a second time and will be considered at the governing body’s next work session on Feb. 3. The appointment of a council president was first tabled at the council’s Jan. 6 reorganization meeting when the council deadlocked in its vote and Borough Attorney Douglas Doyle advised Mayor Maura DeNicola that she could either vote to break the tie, or abstain from voting because it is a council appointment. DeNicola did not cast a vote, and the matter was then tabled. It was believed at the time that the previous council president, Paulette Ramsey, would continue to hold that position until a new appointment is agreed upon by the council. When DeNicola called for nominations for council president at the last public meeting of the governing body, however, Doyle explained that, after reflecting on the law regarding the appointment of a council president, he realized he had been mistaken when he advised at the reorganization meeting that it was a council appointment and the mayor did not have to cast a vote. He explained further that the mayor is, in fact, required to break the tie vote of the council because the mayor is considered a member of the council. Doyle referred to the borough code, which states that if the borough council at its annual meeting fails to elect a president, the mayor must appoint the president from the council members. In that case, confirmation by the council is not necessary. The attorney’s statement led to a general discussion about whether the tabling of the matter at the reorganization meeting was valid, and, if not, whether the mayor should now appoint the council president. But Doyle maintained that the matter had been tabled and he recommended a new nominating process. Councilman Michael Friscia, whose original nomination for the position deadlocked the council, argued in favor of DeNicola making the appointment, because he believed the original motion to table the matter was erroneous. “The law says if deadlocked the mayor appoints and so that is really where we’re at,” Friscia said. He also pointed out that Councilwoman Ramsey was not present, so the council could not repeat the nominating process in the same way as it had occurred at the reorganization meeting. Doyle responded that the mayor could make the appointment, or the council could table the nomination again until the full council is present. DeNicola emphasized that the council is essentially operating without a council president because the coun- cil president’s term ends at the next annual meeting of the council after his or her appointment. She posed two options to the council. One was to table the nomination until a full council is present for the vote and the second was to take a vote at that meeting. But Friscia added that a motion could also be made to have the mayor make the appointment because, “it’s the mayor’s appointment by statute,” he said. Ultimately, Councilman Steve Marcus moved that the nomination be tabled again until such time as the full council is present. Friscia, Marcus, and Councilwomen Leslie Greer and Nathalie Lota voted to table the nomination. Councilman Brian Trava voted against the tabling motion without explanation or comment. According to the borough code, the president of the council holds office for one year and until the next annual meeting of the council and he or she has the right to debate and vote on all questions before the council. If the mayor is absent from the borough for a period of three days or for any reason is unable to act, the president of the council performs all the duties of the mayor during his or her absence or inability. An informative program covering various topics regarding income taxes will be given at the Franklin Lakes Public Library on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. This is program is free of charge. Come prepared with questions, and listen to Tax information program offered the short program regarding federal and state income tax laws and requirements. No registration is necessary. The Franklin Lakes Library is located at 470 DeKorte Drive in Franklin Lakes. � ������ BROWNSTONE MILL Mayfair Antiques BUY • SELL Store: 201-444-7007 Fax: 973-694-0012 Brownstone Mill Antique Center 11 Paterson Avenue • Midland Park, NJ Located between Wyckoff Ave. & Goffle Rd. 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