Keith Ramos was elected to another term as mayor by the Frelinghuysen township committee and Debra Natyzak Osadca was sworn in for a first term as a member at the committee reorganization on January 3.
Osadca made her presence known quickly voting against Ramos’ nomination for mayor and peppering fellow committee members with questions on budgets, payments and other issues on the meeting’s consent agenda.
The consent agenda is a listing of matters considered to be routine by a governing body and are usually approved in a voice vote for the full list. Generally, a committee member can ask for an item to be removed from the consent agenda.
Osadca, however, objected to the inclusion of the committee meeting times in the consent agenda, which she said wished to discuss. She said she felt the matter was rushed through.
“You go so damn fast,” she said.
At issue was the 6 p.m. starting time for most regular and workshop meetings of the township committee, which Osadca said was too early for many people.
Ramos initially said the matter was closed as it was included in the consent agenda, which was approved by the committee before Osadca raised her objections.
“The question is, can we change the meeting time to 7 p.m.? We already took action on that,” Ramos said. “It was in the consent agenda.”
Township attorney Richard Beilin said the committee did have the ability to revisit the issue should the governing body choose to do so, which they did. Ramos said he preferred 6 p.m. because it’s more convenient.
“We’re not here late into the evening,” he said.
Osadca said she has gotten complaints that the meeting is too early for many people with work commitments.
Deputy Mayor Chris Stracco made a motion to remove the meeting time from the consent agenda so it would be voted on separately, although he said he would oppose that motion.
The 4-1 vote meant that the starting time would not be revisited, thereby keeping it at 6 p.m.
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.