Borough eyeing campaign cash

Nepotism also targeted by council.

By: Al Wicklund
   JAMESBURG — The Jamesburg Borough Council soon may have ordinances banning the hiring of relatives of elected officials and borough administrators and limiting contributions to local campaigns by those who do business or work in professional roles with the borough.
   Mayor Tony LaMantia set up a council committee at Wednesday’s council meeting to study the issues and have a recommendation ready for the consideration of the full council next month.
   The mayor named councilmen John Longo, Otto Kostbar and Chris Maloney, the only Republican on the council, to the committee.
   Wednesday’s council meeting had an introduction of a proposed ordinance on nepotism and a discussion of campaign contributions by contractors, professionals and borough employees on the agenda.
   Mayor LaMantia pulled the proposed nepotism ordinance from the agenda and established the subcommittee to study the hiring of relatives and the question of the appropriateness of various contributions for local campaigns.
   The proposed nepotism rules would bar from employment by the borough relatives of elected office holders, department heads, the municipal clerk, tax assessor, chief financial officer, tax collector, police chief and business administrator.
   Relatives were defined as a brother, sister, spouse, life partner, son, daughter, ward, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother, father, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, grandson and granddaughter.
   Mr. Maloney said the mayor acted correctly in delaying action and setting up the committee.
   "These issues may not be problems now, but historically they’ve been here. We have to look carefully at what could occur in the future," he said.
   He said at Wednesday’s meeting that municipal officials have been hopeful that the state Legislature would pass strong reform laws.
   "Unfortunately, the actions by some officials in Trenton seem to be designed to block reform rather than advance it. It’s been left to the municipalities to do what they can," he said.