Lacey Town Council Appoints New Mayor Peggy Sue Juliano, Approves 2024 Temporary Budget and Addresses Public Document Accessibility

The Lacey Town Council meeting on January 1st, 2024 was marked by the appointment of a new mayor, the approval of the township’s temporary budget for the year, and discussions regarding the transparency and accessibility of public documents. Peggy Sue Juliano was sworn in as the new mayor, while Peter Curatolo took the oath as deputy mayor. The council passed a resolution approving the temporary budget and addressed the need for timely posting of meeting minutes online, in response to public concerns over accessibility.

The meeting commenced with the administration of the oath of office to the newly elected committee woman Peggy Sue Juliano by Jack Chelli. Her subsequent nomination and swearing-in as mayor signified a continuation of female leadership in Lacey Township, drawing praise from former committee member Helen Dela Cruz and others who highlighted the importance of women in governance roles. Peter Curatolo was then sworn in as deputy mayor, also by Jack Chelli. The council moved forward with various municipal appointments across numerous departments and committees, which included finance and administration, zoning and land use, and public works, among others.

Legal appointments were also a focus, with the council authorizing the appointment of a Township attorney, conflict attorney, special legal counsel, attorney for tax appeals, and Township engineer. Contracts were awarded to City MD as the township physician and East Coast Engineering for tax maintenance. Moreover, the council approved contracts with Mid-State Abstract Company for title work and various appraisal companies, contributing to the township’s operational framework for the year ahead.

The council’s passage of a resolution to approve the temporary budget for 2024 was a critical financial decision, ensuring the township’s operations could continue smoothly as a more comprehensive annual budget is developed. In fiscal matters, the council also decided on the deposit of public funds in New Jersey banks and established the rate of interest for delinquent taxes or assessments. The amount of $738,546.

During the meeting, the council addressed the issue of public document accessibility, acknowledging the delay in posting meeting minutes on the township’s website and the necessity for improvement. The aim is to have minutes available online within 5 to 10 business days after approval. However, it was noted that the minutes for 2023 had yet to be approved. The status of the Environmental Committee and the Economic Development Commission was also discussed, with a debate emerging over the need to reappoint members to these currently dormant commissions.

Public comments were an opportunity for community engagement, where the peaceful transition of power and the distinguished service of a retiring member of the New Jersey State Senate were acknowledged. A resident’s inquiry about the online accessibility of meeting minutes prompted the council to consider implementing changes for better transparency.

Deputy Mayor Curatolo expressed gratitude for community support and the dedication of township employees, emphasizing the value they bring to Lacey Township. Councilmember Mark Dykoff spoke on the importance of adhering to the oath of office and maintaining a strong advocacy for the township’s interests.

The meeting concluded with additional remarks from various members, including thanks to key figures like Jack Chelli, Senator Corman Amato, and Commissioner Gary Quinn. The council also recognized the consistent dedication of town clerk Veronica, who had a record of attendance spanning 700 meetings. Light-hearted moments included a bet on Jack Chelli’s potential gubernatorial nomination and praise for Gary Quinn’s support during challenging times. Mayor Juliano expressed her gratitude for community support and shared her personal connection to her mayoral role, emphasizing her commitment to the responsibilities before her.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Timothy McDonald
City Council Officials:
Steven Kennis, Peter Curatolo, Mark Dykoff, Peggy Sue Juliano

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