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Township Clerk's Status Remains Unclear

The township clerk has been absent from work without explanation. Her absence comes as the township's chief financial officer is leaving.

There’s an air of mystery hanging over the Galloway Township municipal building.

Galloway Township Clerk Lisa Tilton didn’t report for work Wednesday or Thursday following her from Tuesday night’s township council meeting.

Tilton, who has been employed with the township since 2001, had never missed a meeting before this week.

Officials from the township have yet to discuss the reasons for her absence, but Deputy Mayor Don Purdy said on Thursday afternoon he expects to be able to discuss the situation in the near future, which he said may be sometime in the next week.

Deputy Clerk Carol Hackney has been serving as township clerk in Tilton’s absence. She is sharing the duties with Karen Bacon.

On Tuesday night, she was granted the power to “issue checks in the absence of the municipal clerk,” a power Purdy said he feels she should’ve had anyway.

Since Tuesday night, township officials have said this situation remains a “personnel issue,” and Tilton had “no comment” when contacted Tuesday night. 

Solicitor Michael Blee solidified this position on Thursday, when questioned as to whether disciplinary action had been taken by the township against Tilton. In refusing to provide any details about Tilton's employment status with the township, Blee cited the need to “protect the rights of the employee.”

The state's Open Public Records Act does not make an exemption for disciplinary records of public employees, meaning the township is not prohibited by law from releasing them. 

The mystery surrounding Tilton comes just one week after it was revealed that decided to take a similar job in Asbury Park after 24 years of working in a building around the corner from her home in Galloway.

She said she’s seeking “new challenges,” but the long trip and events of the last year, in which she had her salary cut, have left some questioning her true motivation.She had been serving as township manager and CFO before being replaced as manager by Roger Tees, who has since been replaced by Steve Bonanni.

She made the township aware of her intentions to leave with 45 days notice.

The search for a new CFO is underway, but at the moment the fate of the township clerk's position is completely unknown.

Jim McElwee June 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM
The residents of Galloway have a right to know why their Municipal Government is imploding! One person fired after 6 months on the job, and 2 others jumping ship after long time service. With all do respect to "private matters", we deserve an explanation and assurance that this council will stabilize the situation! According to other articles in the media this has already cost tax payers over $9,000 in lawer and investagator fees! Enough already!
buck June 17, 2011 at 04:22 PM
" The township clerk has been absent from work without explanation." I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS . IN EVERY PLACE I HAVE WORKED IT IS CALLED" NO CALL NO SHOW " AND IS GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL . OR ARE WE JUST NOT GETTING A EXPLANATION FROM COUNCIL ? LETS NOT RUSH JUDGEMENT , IT WILL ALL COME OUT IN TIME .
Terry June 17, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Wow...imploding! Changes take place in local government everyday. Now that you are a democrat candidate for council you are going to comment. What kind of dirt or should I say explanation are you looking for? Steve Bonanni agreed to take over the job as Manager and is and will continue to do I fine job. There are changes in personnel in all levels of government and business. Ms. Gougher is moving to a new position and that is that. Nothing sinister about it unless you want it to be. Enough is enough already. Let's not make false assumptions about what happened. Let's not make this a political football because the Republicans will surely want to play
Red June 26, 2011 at 02:43 AM
Mr. McElwee made an observation based on what he sees happening. I guess "Terry" thinks that people who are running for office shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion -- particularly if that person is running as a Democrat. "Changes take place in local government every day" -- well, not really -- it is rather unusual for a town to fire the township manager -- whom they supposedly thorougly vetted for the job -- only six months after they hired him. It's also unusual to state that business development is a key part of the position of twp. manager and then place the public works director in the job of twp. manager without him having any background in business development. It's also not an every day occurence to have the township clerk suspended from the job and a shroud of secrecy surrounding her as well as a council member who appears to also be part of the ongoing investigation into the situation. Yeah -- I'd agree -- the township government is imploding. Now a new CFO needs to be hired -- can we trust the people who hired and fired a twp. manager in a six month time span to do a better job of hiring a new CFO? I have my doubts about their ability on this issue too. The taxpayers of Galloway deserve better than what they are getting currently.
Rodger Smith June 26, 2011 at 04:41 AM
I agree with RED. Obviously, Terry has identified herself/himself as a Republican operative but has failed to provide her/his last name as Mr. McElwee has done. Mr.McElwee is is not hiding so why, Terry ------are you? If you are proud of your Republican party then fully identify yourself? Your comment at the end it typical of the bullying/intimidation tactics used by CChristie against those who tell it like it is.

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