>Bergen County Executive Kathleen A. Donovan Fires NBCUA Commissioners
County Executive Kathleen Donovan has notified seven (7) Commissioners of the Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority (NBCUA) that they have been dismissed. Ms. Donovan cited the similarity of the state statute used by Governor Christie when he dismissed commissioners of the Passaic Valley Sewage Commission (PVSC) and Bergen County Administrative Code N.J.S.A. 40:41A-37 (c) under Article 3.5 (c) in her notice of dismissal.
The fired, part-time commissioners have defied the County Executive’s order to cease taking stipends and full-time health benefits and ignored Ms. Donovan’s vetoes of Authority minutes which have been upheld by the New Jersey Division of Local Government Services (DLGS). The fired commissioners include Chairman William F. Dator, Vice Chairman Michael Kasparian, Commissioner Brian Chewcaskie, Commissioner Peter Dachnowicz, Commissioner Frank Kelaher, Commissioner Marion Plumley and Commissioner Jason T. Shafron. Newly appointed Commissioners Elizabeth Salazer and Kenneth Gabbert, have not taken stipends or received health benefits and were not included in the mass dismissal.
In letters to the Commissioners dated April 16, 2012 Ms. Donovan said, “I have previously given you an opportunity to rescind your stipend and benefits or resign and you have refused to do either. “Based upon your continued refusal to comply with my vetoes of your stipend and benefits, you are hereby dismissed immediately.”
Ms. Donovan concluded by admonishing the fired commissioners, “Your actions fail to honor your oath of office and are contrary to my administration’s efforts to promote sound fiscal policy which I have pledged to the taxpayers of the County of Bergen.”
Ms. Donovan said that she is forwarding the nomination of replacement commissioners to the Board of Freeholders and will be asking the Board to confirm the nominees immediately.