💲 The funding ordinance will get a final vote

💲 If approved, $700K would fund 8 new EMTs

💲 The mayor's plan is opposed by police brass and community

TOMS RIVER — Two controversial ordinances that were not addressed during an aborted Township Council on Jan. 31 will get a final vote at an unusual time.

The Township Council will meet at the Municipal Building at 2 p.m. on Valentine's Day to vote on an ordinance to shift police department dollars toward hiring new EMTs and an ordinance to eliminate adoption fees at the township animal shelter.

A Jan. 31 evening meeting of the Township Council, which was held virtually on Zoom to accommodate the hundreds of people who wanted to attend to address the police funding ordinance, was abruptly ended after technical snafus and an anti-Semitic comment made by a member of the audience.

Screenshot of public notices about Toms Rover ordinance votes posted to the Asbury Park Press website
Screenshot of public notices about Toms Rover ordinance votes posted to the Asbury Park Press website (Canva)

Council President Craig Coleman and Municipal Clerk Mike Cruoglio did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information about the meeting scheduled for 2 p.m.

Republican Toms River Mayor Dan Rodrick told News 12 that the township would not use Zoom again for a council meeting.

The meeting, however, may be all for nothing.

Toms River Mayor Dan Rodrick, Police Chief Mitch Little, Toms River municipal building
Toms River Mayor Dan Rodrick (Toms River Township), Police Chief Mitch Little (Toms River police), Toms River municipal building (Kevin Williams)

Rodrick finds a new route

Rodrick told the Asbury Park Press that the ordinance to move $700,000 in funds currently being used for two retiring police captains is not necessary and he can make the change on his own.

The mayor said he has told Police Chief Mitch Little to create a new table of organization with one captain and one deputy chief. The department may have up to three captains per township code, Rodrick told the Press.  The retirements of two captains and a reduction in the number of captains do not require an ordinance.

A Feb. 3 letter obtained by the Press from Rodrick and township Business Administrator Jonathan Salonis to Little said that his provisional and acting promotions have been terminated.

Little was reminded in the letter that "any duties for employees out on leave or unfilled positions are to be filled by employees of the same, or higher rank that that held by the employee that retires or is on leave."

Any promotions must approved and signed off by the "appropriate authority."

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