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Clerk, Judge Appointed at Tuesday's Council Meeting

Thalia C. Kay was named clerk after serving as Acting Deputy Clerk for one month. Howard Freed was appointed to three-year term as Municipal Judge.

A little more than one month after she was named acting deputy clerk, Thalia C. Kay was officially appointed Galloway Township clerk at the council meeting Tuesday night, April 24.

Kay, of Absecon, will earn $75,000 a year and will not receive benefits, township Manager Arch Liston said.

Kay, a certified municipal finance officer, registered municipal clerk and former mayor of Pemberton, was named acting deputy clerk on March 13, after Leticia Loeser served as part-time deputy clerk for Galloway for one month.

Loeser served in that spot when former clerk Kimberley Hodsdon resigned from her post in January to return to her previous job as director of human resources in Wildwood. Hodsdon served as clerk from Oct. 4 to Jan. 31. Prior to that, Lisa Tilton was township clerk for about 10 years.

The clerk’s office has had issues dealing with OPRA requests, as well as approving minutes for meetings, both in open session and closed session.

On Tuesday night, the content from every closed session at every council meeting from Dec. 13, 2011 to March 13 and the minutes from every public meeting over that same time span were approved. These dates included Dec. 13, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 14, Feb.28, March 6 and March 13. There were no closed session minutes to approve from Feb. 14.

“You’ve got a full clerk’s office now,” Mayor Don Purdy told Liston Tuesday night. “Let’s see if we can get back on track so I don’t have to hear about it at 4 and 5 o’clock in the morning.”

Before coming to Galloway in March, Kay served as chief financial officer (CFO) in Mount Laurel. She’s also served as CFO for Barnegat Light from 2006-09; the manager/clerk for Springfield Township in Burlington County from 2003-05; and as Pemberton mayor from 1991-2002, during which time she served as president of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, specifically from 1998-99.

In Pemberton, she also was on the Board of Education and was a member of the Rotary Club.

She’s held numerous positions with the New Jersey League of Municipalities, including vice president; was on the Pinelands Municipal Council; is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and American Bar Association; is a member of Phi Alpha Delta; and was on the New Jersey Supreme Court Judiciary Advisory Committee on ADA Compliance.

Professionally, she was a teacher at the secondary and college levels for over 10 years and is self-employed in accounting and business.

She graduated from Bangor High School in Bangor, ME., earned her bachelor’s degree in history and government and her master's in Canadian-American relations from the University of Miami at Orono, and attended the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE.

Also on Tuesday night, Municipal Judge was appointed to a three-year term as a judge. Freed was originally sworn in as judge in November of 2010, filling an unexpired term. That term is up, and Freed was appointed to his own three-year term Tuesday night.

He couldn’t be in attendance on Tuesday because he also serves as a judge in another municipality, which held court Tuesday night.

“He’s thrilled to have this appointment,” Township Solicitor Michael Blee said. “He enjoys his position.”

Freed will continue to make $47,000 a year for the next three years, as he has until this point in time. He also waived his pension payments.

“This is a great appointment,” Purdy said. “We appreciate having him on the bench.”

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