Caldwell Council Clashes on Hiring Policy Change (Poll)
Should council members be involved in all hiring decisions? The Republicans Tuesday said "no."
An attempt to authorize the Caldwell borough administrator to make certain hiring decisions failed at Tuesday night's council meeting.
The proposed amendment to personnel policy would have left council members out of hiring decisions below the level of department heads. With a 3-3 vote along party lines, the amended ordinance could not be introduced.
Council President Rich Hauser, who presided over the meeting in Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing’s absence, spoke in favor of the change.
Hauser, a Republican, said before the vote that it has been the “intent of several governing bodies” to move away from getting involved in all hiring decisions.
The governing body has hired “professionals” who should be capable of handling the day-to-day operations of the borough, he said.
Councilman Edward Durkin said he would vote against introducing the ordinance at his second council meeting since being sworn-in last month.
“That’s our primary responsibility, hiring and firing,” Durkin said.
The Democrat said he ran for council on the issues of open government and transparency. The ordinance, he said, “goes directly against that.”
Councilman Frank Rodgers, also a Democrat, said he would be in favor of a policy that would consider “instance by instance.” Rodgers said, as an example, he would not feel the need for the governing body to be involved in the hiring of a lifeguard.
Mayor Dassing was not able to attend the meeting due to illness.
How the Vote Went
Richard Hauser - Yes
Tom O’Donnell – Yes
John Coyle – Yes
John Kelley – No
Frank Rodgers – No
Edward Durkin – No
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