Galloway Township Council members present at its meeting on Tuesday night, Aug. 23, unanimously approved Kimberly Hodsdon to the position of township clerk, effective Oct. 4.
The vote was 6-0. Mayor Keith Hartman was absent at the meeting.
Current Township Clerk Lisa Tilton resigned her position, effective Oct. 3 during a special meeting of council on in which she reached an agreement with council following her suspension on June 10.
Hodsdon will make $64,429, the same salary as Tilton.
On Tuesday, council decided to move the discussion of the township clerk's position to executive session. Tilton approached the microphone during the public participation portion of the meeting to dispute the township's ability to discuss the matter in closed session.
"It is my position and I wasn't given a Rice notice," said Tilton, who stated she was making the statements on the advice of her attorney David Castellani. "If you go into closed session, it will be in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act."
"You resigned," Republican Councilman Tom Bassford said. "Are we supposed to wait until (Oct. 3) to get a new clerk? We want to fill the position now."
Afterward, Tilton felt the issue went unresolved.
"I maintain my position," Tilton said. "I'm going to let my attorney review it tomorrow."
Solicitor Michael Blee stated that the council would also discuss pending litigation stemming from a letter sent from Castellani to the solicitor and members of council on Aug. 16.
The terms of the settlement for Tilton's resignation included all complaints between the council and the clerk would be dropped.
Deputy Mayor Don Purdy didn't comment on the litigation following the meeting, but he was confident there was nothing legally wrong with the council going into closed session to discuss any issue.
"I take the advice of our solicitor strongly, and we have other legal counsel we were advised by," Purdy said. "They both had the same answer, and I feel confident moving forward."
Hodsdon lives in Egg Harbor Township, and currently serves as the Human Resources Director in Wildwood. She is also a Registered Muncipal Clerk.
"She has good leadership and she's a family person," Purdy said. "At the age of 21, she got a job with Spirit Airlines and she was there for 14 years, and that says a lot. Young people are always bouncing around."
In addition to her qualifications as a Certified Municipal Clerk and her certification in Human Resources, she is a certified Municipal Registrar and a New Jersey notary.
Hodsdon worked for Spirit Airlines from May of 1992-December of 2005. She then took the position of Municipal Clerk for Northfield in April of 2006, and she occupied that position until January of 2008.
Next, she was a Municipal Clerk and Human Resources Manager in Estell Manor from January of 2008 until March of 2011. Since then, she has been the Director of Human Resources in Wildwood.