Councilman Dennis Kleiner Announces Resignation From Galloway Council
He announced Tuesday night he'll be resigning at the end of the month.
Tuesday night, June 12 may have been the final Galloway Council meeting for Councilman Dennis Kleiner.
That's when announced his resignation from Galloway Township Council.
"Everyone knows I've been looking for a home," Kleiner said. "I had three tries in Galloway Township and it didn't work out. I'm moving to a neighboring community. Unfortunately, that means I will have to resign from council."
Tuesday would be Kleiner's final meeting because settlement on his home in Galloway is scheduled for June 26, the same day as the next council meeting.
"We've made a lot of headway in Galloway. We're always moving forward," Kleiner said. "I gave it an effort to stay in Galloway, but I had no luck getting a seller to sell to me."
Kleiner didn't comment on any future political intentions.
"I told my wife I'm taking a break and she called me a liar," Kleiner joked.
He will remain an active member of the council until the end of June.
"We've had our ups and downs, but when we got on council together, we knew it would be tough," Mayor Don Purdy said. "You brought a lot of skills to council that a normal person would not have brought."
"Dennis, we'll miss you," Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola said. "We always had a good working relationship. You taught me a lot about labor laws, and you will be sorely missed."
Kleiner and Coppola worked together on the potential bike park coming to Atlantic County. They worked together to present the plan to Go Green Galloway before bringing it before council and taking it to the county.
Kleiner also did a lot of work on the new Senior Center on the White Horse Pike, which had its grand opening on Saturday, June 9.
"Councilman Kleiner was in charge of the team that did the renovations on that building," Purdy said.
"You've been a great asset and I hate to see you go," Councilman Tom Bassford said. "It's been a pleasure serving with you, Dennis."
Kleiner, elected in 2009 and originally from Egg Harbor Township, received praise from the public as well, with one resident calling him a "pillar of the community."
Kleiner also had some controversial moments during his time with council.
Kleiner was recently accused of threatening the reappointment to the Planning Board of former Township Clerk Lisa Tilton when Tilton filed a lawsuit against the Township last month. In that same lawsuit, former Manager Steve Bonanni was accused of sexual harassment.
She also claimed a political vendetta the two had against her led to her ouster from Galloway Township.
In December, Tilton filed a $3 million tort claim notice directed at Kleiner alleging invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, malice, breaching a contract, violating the state open meetings act, violation of due process, malicious prosecution, stalking and other charges.
Atlantic County Committee will now submit three names to take over the position in Kleiner's place. Council will then select one of the three nominees to serve in Kleiner's place until a special election can be held this fall.
Galloway Township Democratic Club President Kevin Krumaker stated the club would be selecting the best possible candidate for that election via the democratic process. The club's next meeting is Monday night, June 18.
Whoever wins that special election will have to run again next year, when Kleiner's term was originally set to expire. It's similar to what Tony Coppola did when he completed the term for a previous council member who was removed from council in 2010.
When Hartman was removed last year, Brian Tyrrell was nominated to fill the rest of Hartman's term the day after he was elected last November. No special election was needed following the appointment, however.