Budget constraints could mean fewer twp. employees in U.F.

BY JANE MEGGITT Correspondent

UPPER FREEHOLD — In light of the state-mandated 2 percent budget cap, the township remains on the fence about replacing municipal employees who recently retired or resigned.

The governing body accepted “with regret” the retirement and resignations of several employees at the Feb. 17 meeting.

Kathleen Freiberger, who serves as technical assistant to the township’s construction official and has worked for the municipality for 26 years, will retire as of May 1. Municipal Court Administrator Lynn Richard submitted a letter of resignation effective April 4. Equipment operator Michael Fortunato, who works for the Department of Public Works (DPW), submitted a letter of resignation effective March 3. The township also acknowledged the resignation of firefighter Jason Marrazzo at a previous meeting.

When asked about replacing the employees, Mayor Lorisue Horsnall Mount responded, “I don’t know if we have the answers. All options are on the table.”

Committeeman Stan Moslowski Jr. also noted that the acting principal DPW manager is on sick leave.

“I hope it doesn’t snow 2 feet, because we’ll have a lot of complaints due to lack of workers,” he said.

Horsnall said the township has finalized a list of people who could help with snowplowing. The governing body on Jan. 20 authorized hiring occasional, part-time, on-call snowplow drivers. Township Administrator Dianne Kelly said those individuals on the list would use township equipment to plow local roads.

Deputy Mayor Bob Faber reported that township Office of Emergency Management Director William Wentzien expressed concerns about the limited number of DPW employees and the lack of equipment for snowplowing.

“We used to have a number of farmers who used their own equipment [for snowplowing],” Faber said.