Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Little Falls Rift on Display at Reorganization

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Little Falls Rift on Display at Reorganization

Article excerpt

LITTLE FALLS -- A rift between the Township Council and Mayor Darlene Post was on full display Monday night as the council laid out its priorities for 2014 at the annual reorganization meeting.

In a 4-1 vote, the all-Republican council rejected Post's selection of a new municipal attorney and, in a symbolic rebuke, it removed her seat from the dais and even stripped the meeting agenda of her mayoral report.

Council members have accused Post, also a Republican, of usurping their authority, and they have cited an overspent legal work account.

Post asserted herself during the meeting, appearing confident at a table situated below the governing body and citing a statute that allowed her to give updates to the public. Afterward, she accused the council of political gamesmanship for not appointing John Inglesino, a former Morris County freeholder who was named by Governor Christie to two state boards, to be the new township lawyer.

Council members "should ask themselves, 'Why did you reject that?' " Post said. "Did you reject it just to politicize, or did you reject it for a good reason? And if you have a good reason for that, maybe you should pick up the phone and tell me that."

She said Inglesino would save Little Falls money and was "best suited" out of the four proposals the township received for the job.

"We are all the same political affiliation, and we should all be working together, not fighting," she said.

Lou Fontana, who on Monday was selected as the new council president and voted against the township attorney appointment, said he did not feel comfortable with Inglesino, but he did not elaborate. He attributed the divide between the mayor and council to a lack of accomplishments in recent months.

"Things haven't been moving forward, and we're trying to move forward," he said.

John Traier, the chairman of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization, who attended the Monday night meeting, said he was concerned about the rift, noting that council elections are coming up this year. …

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