Oldham Retains Mayor’s Chair With New-Look Commission

By Eric Englund | Jan 08, 2020

Harvey Cedars — The new year ushered in change in Harvey Cedars as two new members of the borough commission were sworn into office at last Friday’s reorganization meeting.

John Imperiale and Paul Rice took their seats along with Jonathan Oldham for four-year terms. Oldham, who has been in office since 1991, was again named mayor. He has held the gavel since 1991. Imperiale was named deputy mayor, a post held by Judith Gerkens, who had been in office since 1987 but lost in the November election.

Oldham will keep his chairmanship of public works. Imperiale will be in charge of public safety and public affairs while Rice chairs revenue and finance.

“It’s been a while since there has been change here,” said Oldham, referring to the fact that he, Gerkens and Michael Garofalo (who did not seek re-election) had served as commissioners for the past 20 years. “With two new people there is going to be some learning along the way, and they might come up with some new ideas. But I think we’ll be able to work together well because commissioners have done so in the past.”

Imperiale said he is most intrigued by the “public affairs” responsibility.

“We want to get the word out about what’s happening in Harvey Cedars and I hope all the departments will be transparent to help let the public know,” he said. “I also want to thank Judy (Gerkens) and Mike (Garofalo) for helping Paul (Rice) and I during this transition.”

“The commissioners got the chairmanships that they wanted,” said Rice. “I’m looking forward to doing what I can for the town and I’m confident that we’ll have a good working relationship.”

Borough Clerk Daina Dale said the borough has revised its meeting schedule. The commissioners will keep meeting on the first Friday of the month at 4:30 p.m., but the meetings held on the third Tuesday will switch to the third Monday at 4:30.

“But since the third Mondays are holidays in January and February, we’ll keep the Tuesday meetings for those months,” she said. “We’ll change over to Mondays beginning in March.”  —E.E.

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