This one is unreal, even by New Jersey standards: Adam Salberg, who became interim mayor of Rockaway Township on Monday, ordered all to township employees to stop talking to elected members of the Township Council without an appointment.
The Salberg memo could have statewide implications; he won’t be the only mayor who would want to bar council members from talking directly to municipal employees.
“I’m directing all staff/employees that no Council member shall be granted access to any staff space behind the inner lobby counters without previously scheduling an appointment. Staff shall not interact with any Council member unless the Council member has specifically scheduled an appointment with that staff member,” Salberg wrote in a memorandum to all township employees. “Individual staff members who are not department heads or supervisors should notify their department heads or supervisors of any appointments requested by Council members.”
Salberg was the choice of the local Republican Party to serve as interim mayor, and Judge Stuart Minkowitz ordered him seated on Monday after the council picked Paul Minenna, one of three names submitted to them by the GOP, to hold the post. Minkowitz ruled that the council didn’t provide enough public notice for the special meeting and that the deadline to pick a replacement for Michael Dachisen, who unexpectedly died in August at age 58, had then passed.
Some members of the council are appealing the decision. The Appellate Court has agreed to hear the case on an emergent basis and briefs are due at the end of next week.
Republicans have picked Councilman Michael Puzio to run in a November special election to fill the remaining fourteen months of Dachisen’s term. Puzio was an ally of the late mayor and is at odds with the current council majority. Since Puzio endorsed Mikie Sherrill for Congress against Republican Jay Webber, local Democrats chose to let him run unopposed.
Salberg’s term would come to an end — or Minenna, if the Appellate Court reinstates him — as soon as the general election results are certified.Salberg Memo 100318