Galloway Township Council tabled several resolutions, including the approval of a new invocation policy and the appointment of new volunteer fire department chiefs, at its meeting Tuesday night, Jan. 22.
At the Jan. 2 reorganization meeting, Tim McKenna was sworn in as the new fire chief. The township gave the individual departments a month to make their final appointments. On Tuesday night, Township Manager Arch Liston stated the departments would need one more week, and that appointments would be made at the Feb. 12 meeting.
At that time, council may also be closer to approving the township's new invocation policy. At the Jan. 2 meeting, a committee chaired by Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola introduced a new policy in which 35 pre-approved prayers would be read by council members on a rotating basis prior to the beginning of each council meeting. However, on Tuesday night, the resolution was tabled so that the language of the resolution could be further analyzed. According to Coppola, the township intends to make it clear that the policy is not a mandate, and that those not wishing to participate don’t feel compelled to. Previously, he stated new prayers can be added to the rotation, as long as they are approved by the township solicitor.
At the Jan. 2 meeting, council approved a resolution that would pay over to departing unionized township employees, but tabled a resolution that would pay out at least $60,000 to managerial employees after new Councilman Jim McElwee raised concerns over the amount. On Tuesday night, the council went into closed session to discuss payouts to former Township Manager Steve Bonanni and former Chief Financial Officer Jill Gougher. When council reconvened, Mayor Don Purdy stated Liston would take another look at the numbers, and a decision would be made at the next meeting.