NEWARK — When appointments were assigned to village trustees for specific duties for the coming year, one trustee was nearly missing from the list.
“This is political reality,” Trustee John Zornow said of the appointment list that has assigned him only one duty — the Wayne County Cable Commission.
Zornow said the cable commission is in the middle of negotiations, so it was logical for him to be assigned to continue his role on the commission.
Mayor Peter Blandino said he makes up the appointment list every year in December, just in time for the Village Board’s organization meeting. The list designates board members to such positions as fire commissioner, Alex Eligh Community Center liaison, police liaison, cemetery liaison and library liaison, to name a few. Of the 20 appointments assigned to trustees, Zornow has only the cable commission. An average year usually has him on five assignments, he said. Last year he was assigned Newark Housing Authority Liaison, now a duty of Trustee Helen Blandino, the mayor’s wife; Planning and Zoning Board liaison, now assigned to Trustee Kurt Werts; and Records Management Committee and Loan Review Committee, now both assigned to Village Clerk Steve Murawski.
Among the appointments, Trustee Jonathan Taylor was assigned fire commissioner and police liaison, Trustee Helen Blandino was assigned ambulance and library liaison, and Werts was named deputy mayor.
Blandino said the list is approved by the board at the organizational meeting, which passed 4-0 during the Dec. 17 meeting. Zornow abstained from the vote.
“I was disappointed in the mayor's actions, but decided to take the high road and not make a big deal of it,” Zornow said of his decision to abstain.
Blandino said his decisions when making appointments this year were made in the best interests of the village.
“That’s the way I felt the appointments should be made for the village,” he said.
Zornow said he doesn’t intend to allow the perceived slight to stop him from doing his job as a village representative.
“I was elected by the people and intend to continue to communicate with residents and forward their opinions and requests to the board,” he said.
The full list of appointments is below:
Village of Newark – 2014 Appointments List (all for 1 year unless noted)
• Peter Blandino – Budget Officer
Budget Oversight Committee
Personnel Officer
DPW, Water and Waste-Water Operations
Information Technology Committee
Village Spokesperson
Audit Committee
• John Zornow - Wayne County Cable Commission
• Jonathan Taylor - Fire Commissioner
Police Liaison
Village Justice Liaison
Personnel Officer
Information Technology Committee
Audit Committee
• Helen Blandino- Ambulance Liaison
Canal Port and Parks Liaison
Information Technology Committee
Cemetery Liaison
Library Liaison
Newark Housing Authority Liaison
• Kurt Werts - Deputy Mayor
Economic Development Liaison
Alex Eligh Community Center Liaison
Loan Review Committee
Personnel Officer
Planning and Zoning Board Liaison
Audit Committee
• Steve Murawski - Budget Oversight Committee
Loan Review Committee
Revolving Loan Commissioner
Information Technology Committee
Tax Collector
Records Management Officer
Records Management Committee
Information Technology Committee
Minority and Women’s Business Equal Employment Opportunity Program officer
• Mark Peake - Code Enforcement Officer
Economic Development Facilitator
Loan Review Committee
• Dennis Tellier - Veterans Affairs Commissioner
• Arthur Williams - Village Attorney
Ethics Committee Chairperson
Fair Housing Officer
Loan Review Committee
• Michael Calarco - Village Prosecutor
• William Schusler - Acting Justice
• Ellie Palermo - Deputy Clerk-Treasurer
• Robin Bremer- Deputy Clerk for Code Enforcement
Records Management Committee
• Noreen Stafford - Deputy Clerk for Water and Sewer Operations
• Lynette Morrison - Deputy Clerk for Disbursements
• Sharon VerHeecke - Deputy Tax Collector
• Chris Davis - Historian
• Gary VerStraete - Newark Police Department Fire Investigator
• Pam Heald (Reliant FCU) – Loan Review Committee
• Jarrod Crawford (LNB) – Loan Review Committee
• Zoning and Planning Boards for 5 years
Jim McBride - Planning Board 5 years
Norm VanDemortel - Zoning Board 5 years
Planning Board/Zoning Board Alternates Jerry Wage
Planning Board Alternate Edward DeWolf, Jr.