2011-11-30 / Front Page
Council censures Carr
Englishtown councilwoman says she has missed meetings because of a death threat
ENGLISHTOWN — The Englishtown Borough Council has passed a resolution censuring and reprimanding Councilwoman Jayne Carr.
The council took the action at a regular meeting held on Nov. 21 at Borough Hall.
According to the title of the resolution, Carr was censured “for conduct detrimental to the orderly conduct of borough governance and violating standards of decorum and debate of a public body.”
Voting yes on a motion to pass the resolution were council President Cindy Robilotti and council members Rudolph Rucker, Maryanne Krawiec and Greg Wojyn. None of them commented on the contents of the resolution.
Carr and Councilwoman Lori Cooke were absent from the meeting.
Resident Barbara Kuchinski asked the mayor and council members how the resolution regarding Carr came to be placed on the agenda.
She was told that the council members put forth the general content of what they wanted to say about Carr and the formal resolution was drawn up by the borough attorney.
Kuchinski asked the council members to table action on the resolution until such time that Carr could attend a meeting, but the council voted on a motion to pass the resolution that evening.
“I have to wonder why you want Jayne off the council,” Kuchinski said.
The resolution passed by the council states that elected officials “have an ethical duty to conduct themselves in a manner that will not impugn the integrity of the body nor the integrity of other elected officials.”
It goes on to state that “vigorous debate of public issues and policy decisions is a necessary part of the democratic process, but that process should not devolve into bitter acrimony and ad hominem attacks.”
The resolution states that Carr “has repeatedly violated these fundamental precepts and, by her actions has disrupted the orderly conduct of borough business and called into question the integrity of the elected governing body of the borough.”
The resolution states that on Sept. 28, during a public meeting of the council, Carr claimed she had conducted meetings of the Englishtown Development Committee about “six months ago” and “last year.” The resolution states that a review of borough records revealed that, contrary to Carr’s public assertions, the committee never met in 2010 or 2011.
The resolution states that four of the appointed members of the committee deny they were ever notified of a meeting of the committee or that they participated in such a meeting.
In another charge, the resolution states that on Sept. 28, Carr publicly accused Wojyn of engaging in “… continuous behavior and unwanted contact … bordering on harassment and possibly stalking …” of an Englishtown businessman. The businessman was subsequently quoted in an article published on an Internet news site stating that Wojyn had never harassed or stalked him, according to the resolution.
The resolution states that at the council meeting of Sept. 28, Carr publicly accused Wojyn of “erasing” official minutes of the borough related to the Englishtown Development Committee. The resolution states that according to the Borough Clerk’s Office, no minutes of any meetings of the Englishtown Development Committee exist in borough records since 2006. The clerk’s office states that no member of council has access to borough computers and could not access any files for any purpose whatsoever.
Finally, the resolution states that at the council meeting of Aug. 11, Carr alleged that the office of the borough clerk had failed to notify her of a scheduled special meeting of the council. It states that a review of the clerk’s records reveals that Carr received the same advance notice as every other member of the governing body and that public notice was posted and published in accordance with the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act.
The resolution states that every other member of council received the notice of the special meeting and that the claims of malfeasance or nonfeasance leveled against the office of the clerk were untrue, unfounded and improper.
During the Nov. 21 council meeting, Kuchinski and resident Kathy Bien spoke in support of Carr. They said she works in the best interest of taxpayers.
Kuchinski gave borough officials a statement that she said Carr had emailed to her that day. Kuchinski said Carr wanted the statement read into the meeting’s record.
Municipal officials said the document Kuchinski submitted would not be read into Council censures Carr