Council Overrides Mayor's Veto
“The use of the veto to override the majority [vote] is very troublesome to me. . . I don’t believe any mayor should have that kind of authority.” --Councilman Nick Joanow
The council had its way at Monday night’s township council meeting when, by a vote of 5-2, they overrode Mayor McCarthy’s veto of the appointment of a Parking Authority treasurer.
The council has been at odds in recent months over whether to replace the current treasurer, Joe Catalano, with a new appointee, Al Chalet, who is a relative of Councilman Elias Chalet and the applicant preferred by some council members. At the February 27 meeting, McCarthy had vowed to use his veto powers to retain Catalano if necessary, prompting Councilman Chalet to threaten legal action. At that time, Township Attorney Brian Aloia diffused the situation by pointing out that five council votes can override a mayor's veto.
Still, the threat of the mayor’s veto has been present at subsequent council meetings.
“I’m against the idea of this mayor and any future mayor having the power of veto,” Councilman Nick Joanow commented ahead of the March 19 vote. “The use of the veto to override the majority [vote] is very troublesome to me.”
At Monday’s meeting, though McCarthy and Hamilton both objected to the vote being taken at council chambers rather than at a conference meeting, it was decided to move ahead anyway.
“I don’t think it should have been on the agenda tonight,” said McCarthy. “But I see the Chalet family here so we might as well get it over with.”
Before the council voted, however, McCarthy stated his views on the matter.
“This has nothing to do with Mr. [Al] Chalet, it has to do with process,” he noted to the small audience assembled at council chambers. “I thought, as the liason to the parking authority, it was incorrect to not have Mr. Catalano reappointed. The idea was to reappoint him and bring Mr. Chalet and anybody else that the majority wanted [on board also.] That’s what it was all about.”
The five councilors who voted in favor of overriding the veto were Elias Chalet, Nicholas Joanow, Carlos Bernard, Michal Venezia, and Peggy-O’Boyle-Dunigan. Bernard Hamilton and McCarthy voted in favor of the veto.
Afterward, the mayor said simply, “The veto has been overridden. Mr. Chalet will be sworn in at the next council meeting.”
Since 2010, the Mayor’s right to veto resolutions has been a point of contention within the council. In February 2010, a Superior court ruled that, because Bloomfield was designated as a special charter municipality by the state Legislature, the mayor retained the power to veto council resolutions. The council appealed that ruling but later dropped the appeal.
Last night, Joanow expressed satisfaction with the council's successful block of the mayor’s veto. "I don’t believe any mayor should have that kind of authority,” he said.
- Bloomfield Recreation Department Director Michael Scuerman announced the upcoming “Spring Spectacular.” On Sunday, March 25th from 2pm-4pm, the Bloomfield Bunny will arrive by helicopter at Pulaski Park. An egg hunt, music, and light refreshments will follow. (Rain date Saturday, March 31st at 2pm.)
- Belleville Avenue resident Steve Crooks reported to the council that his March 11 “FELIS FIFTY” fundraiser at Foley Field was a success.
“It was good to huff and puff for our beneficiaries, the Bloomfield Animal Shelter and the United Way,” said Crooks, a fitness enthusiast that holds the event annually. This year the Bloomfield Fire Department was the largest source of food donations, collecting 216 cans of food, which the Brookdale ShopRite matched. A total of 432 cans of food were donated to the Bloomfield United Way.
Crooks then read out a letter from Ida Pafundi, the Director of the United Way, informing him that the donations had helped families in need.
- Acknowledging the legacy of the late Congressman Donald Payne, Mayor McCarthy proclaimed the month of March in his honor. Payne, a great civil rights leader and humanitarian, was New Jersey’s first black congressman. He passed away on March 6, 2012.
- Greek Independence Day is March 25, 2012
- National Poison Prevention Week is March 18-24