City OKs officials, cost-savings initiative

Crystal Hartpence is the new Planning Board secretary and Kenneth Rogers the new construction official.

By: Linda Seida
   LAMBERTVILLE — Officials have authorized the hiring of a new secretary for the Planning Board and a new construction official and also passed a resolution in support of a countywide initiative to pursue cost-savings by sharing services.
   Members of the council and Mayor David Del Vecchio agreed Nov. 2 to fill the positions left empty by the resignations of Planning Board secretary Tekla Hallanan and construction official Allen Rowles.
   Slated to step into the positions are Crystal Hartpence as Planning Board secretary and Kenneth Rogers as the construction official. Ms. Hartpence works for the city as a control person for the Construction Department. Mr. Rogers is the city’s building inspector.
   No salaries or start dates were authorized. The council is slated to discuss and authorize the salaries during its meeting Nov. 20.
   Most recently, the city paid the part-time Planning Board secretary $6,527.29 a year, and the construction official $21,476.25 a year. Ms. Hallanan was hired as secretary for the Planning Board after former secretary Chris Colt resigned in September 2003.
   Although Mr. Rowles resigned as the construction official, he will retain his other positions as electrical subcode official and inspector. He has been Lambertville’s construction official since he replaced Bill White on April 1, 2004.
   Mr. Rowles has worked as electrical subcode official and inspector since Jan. 1, 2004.
   Also during the council meeting Nov. 2, officials passed a resolution in support of sharing services with Hunterdon County’s other 25 municipalities and the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce.
   Shared services can result in saving money, and "everyone’s in favor of that," Mayor Del Vecchio said.
   A similar effort to share services in Somerset County resulted in a savings of $13 million in 2005.
   The consortium intends to apply for a regional coordination grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, known as a Count Grant, for facilitating and coordinating services that can be shared.
   The West Amwell Township Committee also supported the sharing of services when officials there passed a similar resolution in September.