Appointment process in Manalapan bears reviewing for the future

“I would have gladly submitted to the interview process had the statute required such.”

I am responding to the article in the May 16 edition of the News Transcript regarding the appointment of a new official to fill a vacancy on the Township Committee of Manalapan (“Plan to Appoint New Official Hits a Snag in Manalapan”).

In the first paragraph it was stated that the prospective candidates refused to satisfy the requests from the governing body at the May 9 meeting.

As one of the potential candidates, I would like to go on record that I have not declared that I refused to be interviewed. My comment was that I had no comment at this time and that Municipal Chairman Steve McEnery would be releasing a statement.

I would like to applaud Mayor Andrew Lucas and the members of the Township Committee for making the governing body more transparent and working together in a bipartisanship manner under his leadership.

The open process to interview the professionals this year was a first and hopefully will continue to be a practice that will follow for many years.

While I do not feel that the interviews to fill the Township Committee vacancy are appropriate at this juncture, since they have never been required before, I would suggest that the process be reviewed and to have procedures set for the future. This is not the first time that the process has been questioned.

In fact, a few years ago when a Democrat vacancy occurred and Michelle Roth was appointed, the process was also questioned.

There wasn’t any interview process to fill that vacancy by the all-Democrat Township Commit-tee. The process should be apprehensible and specific so that the residents may be represented by a full five-member governing body expeditiously.

I would have gladly submitted to the interview process had the statute required such.

The state and township requirements were met by the Manalapan Republican municipal committee members and by the Manalapan Republican municipal chairman when the names were submitted on May 7.

Changing the requirements after the names have been submitted is like changing the rules of the game after the lineup has been presented.

Butch Budai