Two New Commissioners Will Be Seated in Harvey Cedars

By Eric Englund | Dec 18, 2019

Harvey Cedars — The year of 2020 will usher in change in Harvey Cedars as two new members will join the borough commission at a reorganization on Friday, Jan. 3, 4:30 p.m.

John Imperiale and Paul Rice will take their seats along with current Mayor Jonathan Oldham for four-year terms. Deputy Mayor Judy Gerkens lost her re-election bid and Commissioner Michael Garofalo declined to run.

At the reorganization, the commissioners will decide on who will serve as mayor. Officials will also have to determine department chairs, which are revenue and finance, public works and law and public safety. Oldham, who has been in office since 1991, chairs public works.

Borough Clerk Daina Dale said the mayor and department chair terms are good for four years. “The commissioners could change that through a resolution, but that has happened very rarely,” she said.

Also on Jan. 3, the commissioners will have to vote on staff appointments, such as engineer, attorney, auditor and public defender. Oldham said that with two new commissioners, there is a possibility there could be changes down the road.

“I would say that as long as nothing is changing in their rates, that we’d keep the staff at least for this year,” he said. “That would be my recommendation since we have two new commissioners and our staff has had a lot of experience. Since these appointments are voted on every year, if the new commissioners want to make changes, we can look into that in 2021.”

Oldham said the new officials will be sitting in on a budget meeting with the current commissioners on Monday, Dec. 23. “Working on the budget is going to be a part of the learning process,” he said. “Commissioners have worked well together in the past, and I expect that will continue.”

As newcomers, Imperiale and Rice declined to discuss specifics.

“I’m just hoping we can work together well,” said Imperiale. “We are well served by our professional staff.”

“I’m glad I have this opportunity to help Harvey Cedars keep moving forward,” said Rice.  —E.E.




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