Northfield City Council gets to work on 2013

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Northfield City Council President Lisa Brown Northfield City Council President Lisa Brown

NORTHFIELD—Wednesday evening, Jan. 2 it was time for City Council to get themselves ready for the New Year at the annual reorganization meeting. Democrat Frank Perri was sworn in for a second term representing the first ward as well as the lone new member on the dais; Republican Jim Travagline representing the second ward. Along with the swearing-ins, it was change that ruled the evening. Perri was sworn in by Senator Jim Whelan and Travagline by Nick Menas.

Members of council voted among themselves for one to lead the group for the year and in 2013 it will be Northfield New Republican Club member Lisa Brown serving as council president in her second year on the governing body. Brown was sworn in by her husband Arthur Brown. Brown replaces Tim Carew who served as president of City Council for the past three years.

The council also elected the president pro tempore, the individual who runs the meetings in the absence of the council president. Jim O’Neill, beginning his second year on council was tapped as the president pro tempore.

A function of the annual reorganization meeting is to award the professional contracts for the year. A new city engineer will take over the reins on city projects. David S. Scheidegg of Schaffer, Nassar, and Scheidegg Consulting Engineers of Mays Landing is the new engineer replacing Matt Doran of Doran Engineering.

The newly reorganized council also brought a new person on as the solicitor, but not without some discussion from other members of City Council. Kristopher Facenda of Absecon, a sole practitioner with an office in Linwood was awarded the $18,000 annual contract with two dissenting votes from Republican Councilmen Tom Polistina and Greg Dewees.

Citing the point scale that council members had worked on to ensure that candidates for city appointed jobs had the municipal experience to tackle tough jobs Polistina said he did not feel the new solicitor had enough experience at the municipal level working with a budget the size of Northfields. Brown said she was satisfied with Facenda’s experience level. Facenda has been a solicitor with the Weymouth Township Council from 2011-2012 and Port Republic from 2005-2012.

Lawrence Pepper was re-appointed at the Labor Relations Attorney at a stipend of $140 per hour. Joel Fleishman was re-appointed Bond Council. Kenneth Moore of Ford Scott Assoc of was re-appointed as the auditor with a stipend of $35,000 for the annual audit.
The Linwood/Northfield combined municipal court also has a new judge this year. John Rosenberger was appointed by Mayor Mazzeo with the consent of city council to a three-year term that runs through Dec. 31, 2015.

Mayor Vince Mazzeo delivered his annual state of the city report to the crowd in attendance. Mazzeo gave high praise for the job the city workers and emergency management team did through the June 30 derecho and Oct. 29 hurricane. He also tempered that with the reality of a record number of tax appeals that are looming. Mazzeo said the city would continue its shared services contract with Linwood for municipal court, sewer authority and the chief of police.

Mazzeo said, “In 2013 we will continue with shared services talks and to make sense there has to be a cost savings and we must maintain our services our residents depend on.”      

Read Mayor Mazzeo’s state of the city address in its entirety online only on the Mainland

The next scheduled Northfield City Council meeting begins with a 6 p.m. work session followed by a regular session on Tuesday, Jan. 22. All meetings are held in Northfield City Hall, 1600 Shore Road

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