Tag Archives: Romanik

Millville City Commission Meeting, 1 March 2022

Commissioner Romanik does a good job of promoting the Millville recreation events. He recapped past events and highlighted what’s coming up. Good job!

Commissioner Hewitt read a letter from Peter Wine thanking for the consideration of the Vineland Veterans Center.

Commissioner McQuade reported Streets & Roads: 189 potholes filled, 258 street sweeping tickets, 37 curbside violations, 34 tire collections, 385 electronic devices collected, and 400 tons of loose leaf collected.

Commissioner Sooy reported that engineering is checking up on contractors. Millville has entered the designing stage water waste plant. The rescue squad building is having asbestos removed prior to demolition.

An Ordinance amending the City of Millville Municipal Code, Chapter 2. Administration Adding Article XXIV. Veteran’s Advisory Board
Lots of discussion regarding the proposed veterans advisory board. Broomhall asks for an explanation as to what this board will do that is not being done now. Commissioner Hewitt wants this to be vetted properly and not run through too quickly.

Mayor Orndorf and Vice Mayor Sooy are taking the wrong tone on this issue. The argument the mayor made is that people need to know what services are available since one person she cited didn’t know of the regional office in Vineland. How would someone know about the advisory group if he is not familiar with the regional office? Horrible argument.

The ordinance passed.

Public Comment
Ms. Broomhall took it to Mayor Orndorf. She felt insulted by the comments the mayor made (the tone comment above).

Tim Carty took the Commission to task for its non-response to his questions. He followed Ms. Broomhall’s comments that the Commission is not valuing the public.

Don Carty took the Commission to task for passing the advisory board before studying it.

Commissioner Comments
Romanik stated support for Ukraine. Apparently, he raised the Ukrainian flag on the pole outside city hall. A quick check of US flag code states:

When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

United States Flag Code

Millville City Commission Meeting

This was the first real meeting of the Commission after its reorganization meeting two weeks ago where the new Commission was seated.

It began with recognizing John Wallop for his life saving CPR at Wawa. This is a wonderful story and the young man seems to be well-grounded.

Commissioner Romanick went through a number of public events the city is hosting. He kept saying to check the Facebook page for details. Grrr . . . The city should not rely upon Facebook for its messaging. Some of us are not there. But this did get me to start another account to follow Millville’s happenings.

COmmissioner Hewitt reported on the number of fire and rescue calls for December. Unbelievable numbers! 6,841 calls to EMS and 1,465 calls to the fire department. Millville has 27,000 residents. That’s a lot of calling.

Mayor Orndorf explained that former Commissioner Bill Davis has been hired as an executive assistant. Jobs get doled out those in the party’s favor. She also mentioned there are two openings on the Zoning Board.. These are alternate positions.

IT Management Services from SHI International of Somerset, NJ received a contract for 2022 for $79,217.40 for technology services. What will this company do for that kind of money? That seems costly for maintenance. Is there more to the contract than that?

The Commission voted to table paying an $8,000 bill from Marmero Law. This is an interesting decision. The bill stems from the last Commission. THe contract called for $15,000. Marmero billed another $10,000 in October and then sent this $8,000 bill at the end of the year. Apparently, according to the contract, they need to ask before they bill. They didn’t and this Commission isn’t going to pay the bill. The undertone is that these firms all do this. According to Commissioner Hewitt:

Bid low, bill high and be paid.

Commissioner Kirk Hewitt, 18 January 2022

At the last Commission meeting, this Commission hired the Testa law firm in Vineland to provide the labor legal advice for the same $15,000 Marmero had been contracted for. I sure hope the Commission informed Testa not to bill one penny more than the $15,000.

The Commission is poised to hire Brock Russell as an in-house lawyer and his paralegal Jeanette Pace as a temporary paralegal. I have no issues with this as I hear it other than I am surprised. Mr. Russell seems to be gining up his private practice for $168,000 annual salary that does not include health benefits. Ms. Pace is only going to earn $5,000 for this temporary work. That is assuredly less than she curently makes at Russell’s law firm. Something doesn’t seem right about this. I am probably not understanding some portion of it. Next year (or more likely when a new Commission is seated) Mr. Russell may not be re-upped. If his private practice is gone, so will be his income.

The public comment portion of the meeting brought Pastor Steve Harris to the lectern. Harris made a good point of the Commission needing to change the narrative in Millville. Generally speaking, I enjoyed what he had to say with one exception. Despite the outdated decor of the Commission chamber, that should not be addressed. The ugly yellow seats are perfectly functional. The Commission has plenty to do without beautifying its own house.

Cindi Cooke spoe and shared that through interviews, 90% of Millville’s homeless admit to some form of mental illness. I thought that was interesting.

Commissioner Romanick also wants to refurbish the Commission chamber. Arggh! He also indicated that Waltman Park has received a $40,000 grant to re-do the basketball courts. Sounds good, but my is that expensive!

Commissioner Hewitt lamented the lack of enthusiasm for 3rd Friday. That coincides with my understanding. There is no buzz at all regarding the event these days. That plays into Pastor Harris’s comments.

Mayor Orndorf ended with expressing a need to change the narrative, a boost for the city’s social media, and an overhaul of the phone system. She mentioned she is not able to contact someone within the city from her phone. That seems most problematic. How can that be?