Township council welcomes new mayor

By SHANNON CAULFIELD

The Medford Sun

Medford Township Council held its annual reorganization meeting on the first day of the New Year.

The township now has a newly appointed mayor and deputy mayor, per nominations from fellow council members.

Frank Czekay will serve as mayor for Medford Township and Chris Buoni will be deputy mayor.

“I’m absolutely excited to work with Chris [Buoni], we ran for office together in 2011,” said Czekay. “We’re looking forward to a good year. All the council members will be involved, the title of mayor is ceremonial more than anything.”

The power is evenly distributed between council members; the mayor’s duty is to set the agenda and conduct the council meeting.

“The manager runs the town, and the council sets the policy,” said Buoni. “Other than that, we’re all equal, 100 percent and always have been.”

Both men gave credit to former mayor James “Randy” Pace and his work with the township throughout 2012.

“The reason Medford Township has changed so dramatically was because of Pace. I think he deserves the gratitude for what we did as a council,” said Buoni. “Medford was headed toward a bad place, and he changed it.”

Multiple resolutions were passed as part of housekeeping, according to Czekay.

The first resolution of the year approved the temporary budget.

“Medford operates on a calendar year budget but the formal budget process is a statutory one, and typically not adopted until March or after. For municipalities to continue operating, they adopt a temporary budget, which provides for appropriations for the beginning of the year through the adoption of the budget,” said township manager Chris Schultz.

Other resolutions passed include the approval of meeting dates, adopting the cash management plan, appointing joint insurance fund commissioner, a claims coordinator and a safety coordinator.

Additionally, resolutions passed to appoint members for the planning and zoning boards.

According to Buoni, 15 people have applied for those positions. Each board contains five members, three permanent and two alternate members.

“I’m sure we’ll make the appointments in January,” said Buoni. “We got what we want in the range of applications.”

Furthermore, township planner, Taylor Design Group, was appointed at the meeting. The group had a major role in creating the sign ordinance, which passed in December.

“I found them to be very professional. We had a set budget [for the sign ordinance] and they stayed within it,” said Buoni. “We didn’t have to go through multiple revisions. I think the manager made a great recommendation to the council.”

The council is preparing for another year of change in Medford, according to Czekay.

“We have a number of things to discuss for the year. We need to prioritize what we’ll be doing. We made great strides in certain areas, and now we’ll move on to other areas that need our attention,” said Czekay.

Those areas include Main Street and the other commercial districts in the town and commercial studies for rehabilitation.

Czekay refuses to “lose focus” on the task at hand.

“The Main Street area defines our town. The other areas are just as important, we need to make sure these other areas are succeeding as well,” he said.

The next township council meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The meetings are held in the Public Safety Building, located at 91 Union St.

“I look forward to serving as deputy mayor with Frank. I want to encourage people to come out and hold us accountable,” said Buoni.