ATL. HIGHLANDS – Although Planning Board Chairman Richard Colangelo was named to that position at last week’s organization meeting of the Planning Board, he is no longer a member of the planning board with his appointment at last night’s meeting of the Mayor and Council as borough Code Enforcement Officer.

Mayor Loretta Gluckstein said during the meeting that Colangelo has already submitted his resignation from the planning board and she has another person she will appoint to the position. Colangelo’s position as code enforcement officer begins Jan. 17 and continues until Dec. 31 or until a successor is appointed and confirmed.

In the resolution approving Colangelo, his duties include protecting the health, safety and welfare of local citizens and visitors, as well as preserving the attractive appearance of the borough., with an obligation to enforce ordinances and ensuring all local, county and state codes and regulations are observed through fair and comprehensive enforcement of borough codes.

Colangelo’s appointment, one of seven resolutions on the list which would routinely pass unanimously, was separated to enable discussion on his appointment, with Councilman Jon Crowley saying he would prefer the borough look into shared services with other municipalities for the code enforcement position as a more cost effective measure.

Colangelo has served on the planning board since 2013, the last three as chairman.


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The appointment also came up for comments during the public portion of the zoom meeting, with Chris Keelan asking whether the appointment to the paid position was “political payback” and alleging that the chairman “looks like he crawled out from under a rock” at times. Keelan also got into a heated discussion with Councilman Steve Borrachia on the subject of Zoom and in person meetings, and told the councilman “you should learn to control your mouth.”

But Colangelo could not be recognized to speak during the public portion. When residents were highly critical of the planning board’s decision to hold its meeting in person rather than virtually in spite of the governing body decision to hold all meetings virtual, Colangelo asked to be recognized but was denied, inasmuch as he was then newly appointed to the paid position.

In other business, council unanimously passed two ordinances, after no one spoke during the public portions on each. They are the salary ordinance fixing the salary ranges for borough employees for the next year, and the 2022 COLA ordinance.

Kevin Young was named to a swing position at the Department of Public Works on the recommendation of the borough administrator, DPW Director and Department Superintendents at a base salary of $36,000 effective Jan. .18, and will serve a 90-day probation period as part of the borough’s Municipal Employee Association contract.

Michael Berth was named to a one year term on the Parking Committee, Angus Rennie to a five year term on the Shade Tree Commission, and four people were named fire marshals, each for two year terms Martin Hawley, fire marshal Martin Hawley, Jr. Deputy, James Merkel, Deputy and Stephanie Hawley, inspector.

Attorney Matthew Giacobbe was named to a contract ending Dec. 31, 2022 as Labor Counsel to represent the borough in contact/labor negotiations and other matters assigned by the administrator with the mayor’s concurrent, at the rate of $150 per hour.


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Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, www.venividiscripto.com in...