LONGPORT – The Board of Commissioner held its annual reorganization meeting Friday, Jan 3. Atlantic County Surrogate James Curcio attended the meeting to wish the borough well in the new year.
In addition to making annual appointments, the board welcomed Michael Affinato, a founding partner of Affinato Marut, LLC of Cherry Hill, as its new solicitor, replacing Pacifico “Pat” Agnellini, who served the board for many years.
Agnellini, who is temporarily stepping back his commitments, was appointed tax appeal attorney, a service he performed in past years, at a cost of $25,000 this year.
Planning Board Chairman Tom McAllister said Affinato was a good choice to replace Agnellini.
“You made a super choice,” he said.
Affinato served as the Planning Board solicitor for many years. He has extensive experience in the field of workers compensation and represents municipalities through his work on insurance claims. He is a 1984 graduate of Holy Spirit High School, a 1988 graduate of Rutgers University and obtained a law degree from Widener University Law School in 1990.
He was appointed for one year at a cost of $25,000 for the year.
McAllister also complimented Affinato’s wife Donna, whom the board honored with a proclamation naming Jan. 3, 2020 as Donna Affinato Day in Longport.
Donna Affinato was recognized for her service and dedication to the younger residents of the borough as a member of the Longport Board of Education, a position she held since 2012.
“Donna did a dynamite job with this Ocean City situation. Without her work and other members of the board, we would still be back where we were five years ago. The kids in this community are really getting a dynamite education in Ocean City,” McAllister said.
The board tabled a resolution appointing Richard Carter to a one-year term as borough engineer, at a cost not to exceed $17,500. Carter, who announced he would retire at the end of 2019, asked to stay on for another year to see through the development of a new well and well house at the Public Works yard. No explanation was given for tabling the resolution.
Other appointments included membership in the Atlantic County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund at a cost not to exceed $5,900.
The board appointed Michael Garcia of Ford-Scott & Associates of Ocean City as auditor at a cost not to exceed $31,500, and Fleishman Daniels Law Offices, LLC as bond counsel at a split rate of $165 per hour for attorney representation and $85 per hour for paralegal work, not to exceed $10,000.
The board also appointed Phoenix Advisors, LLC to a one-year term as financial disclosure agent at a cost of $1,050. The company will review all financial disclosure reports for outstanding before they are submitted to the appropriate state agency.
The board amended two resolutions for the court that would have appointed Carl Tripician, Esq. as prosecutor and James P. Swift as public defender for one year.
Mayor Nicholas Russo said the appointments would be “interim appointments” as the borough will be consolidating its court with Margate City this year.
Tripician and Swift will serve temporarily until the borough completes negotiations on the shared services agreement with Margate.
The commission renewed its contract with the Atlantic County Utilities Authority for trash and recycling services at a cost not to exceed $94,300.
The board also set the 2020 “municipal services fee” at $40,000 for services provided to the Longport Free Public Library, including payroll and accounting services, use of certain borough facilities and equipment, and storage space on the third floor of Longport Borough Hall.