Defeo’s contract approved on second try

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Township Council approved the contract of environmental compliance officer Wayne DeFeo at its Feb. 6 meeting, after voting it down at the Jan. 23 meeting. The resolution passed with a vote of 4-1, with Councilman Joe Krakoviak being the only opposing vote. Krakoviak, Councilwoman Michelle Casalino and council President Susan McCartney had opposed the contract at the Jan. 23 meeting, and both Casalino and McCartney met with DeFeo and the town administration to amend the contract before the Feb. 6 meeting.

“I felt we were reactive and not proactive enough,” Casalino said at the meeting. “We were looking to have the township be a little more proactive because our public works personnel is up there more on a daily basis.”

Casalino was referring to complaints of the odors from the township’s recycling center from residents who live nearby, and her desire to reduce those complaints by preventing the odors before they become too severe. In the new contract, the communication between the public works, health and police departments will be improved.

“They’re also going to have a more proactive approach,” Casalino said about police Chief James Abbott and the staff under him that works at the recycling center. “Smell something, see something, report it directly to him and he’ll get it directly to Mr. DeFeo. This way they can address it a lot quicker.”

McCartney said that she wants problems stemming from the recycling center addressed as they arise.

“The directive did come out of this meeting when we said we want things done in real time and not after the fact, to make sure that they are constantly in compliance,” she said at the meeting.

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