Munsey Park Mayor Frank DeMento appointed a new trustee Wednesday in the wake of Trustee Patrick Hance’s resignation last month.
Accountant Antonio D’Angelo was sworn in Wednesday night to replace Hance, who DeMento said resigned in a letter to the village, citing time constraints with new business endeavors.
Hance resigned in the middle of his two-year term and was originally elected in 2013.
D’Angelo, who was serving on the village’s Building Advisory Committee, lives on Abbey Road with his wife and three children and is a partner at Deloitte Tax in New York City.
After the meeting, DeMento and Village Clerk Tara Gibbons declined to comment further on the appointment or who has filed to run in the upcoming village elections on March 20. The seats of Trustee Jennifer Noone and Deputy Mayor John Lippman expire this year as well as Village Justice John Turano’s seat.
Noone gave an update at the meeting on the village’s planned road work for the year, which is slated for this spring on Hawthorne Place and Eakins Road.
Former Mayor Harry Nicolaides asked about the plan for other roads in the future, and Noone said the village was working systematically on the repairs, starting with roads in the worst condition.
Noone said the village graded the roads in 2016 with a color-coded map ranking the state from excellent to very poor.
According to the map, six village roads — Kensett Road, part of Hunt Lane, part of Abbey Road, Hawthorne Place, three sections Eakins Road and most of Burnham Place — were rated as poor and Innes Place, which has since been repaved last year, was rated the lowest at very poor.
The majority of the village was rated as fair, and a few segments were rated as good.
“One option was the option you selected when you were mayor which was to take out a bond to do it, and we’re still paying off that bond and, in fact, many of the roads that were repaired through that bond money now need to be repaired again,” Trustee Lawrence Ceriello said to Nicolaides. “I think what we’re trying to do is to pay the cost of repairs as we move along. We’re trying to be fiscally responsible, not raise taxes to do this big job such as Flower Hill did, and repair the roads that need repair.”
As DeMento began to motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel issues, former Trustee Deborah Miller asked a question she’s posed to the board before: will the trees the village is planting in the rights of way will be maintained by the village or by the homeowners.
“What I don’t hear you saying is that the village is responsible for the trees that are within a certain number of feet, which in my time and I believe forever before my time, the village was responsible for those trees,” Miller said. “The trees that you are planting right now are just wonderful, but are they going to be the village’s responsibility or are they going to be the homeowners’ responsibility? You give me the same answer every time I ask.”
“Because you ask the same question every month,” Ceriello said.
“Sooner or later, we want an answer,” Nicolaides responded.
Ceriello said while the village owns the rights-of-way along the roadways but residents are responsible for maintaining the land, including mowing the grass and adding landscaping.
“I appreciate the history, Deborah, but times have changed, and people are worried about taxes,” Ceriello said. “I’m not going to recommend to the board that we take a policy of maintaining trees without knowing what the actual cost of doing so is.”