Skibitsky to Announce New Deputy in August
Mayor needs to fill Ciarrocca's spots as acting mayor and finance chairman.
Skibitsky needs to appoint a new acting mayor due to the resignation of former Councilman Mark Ciarrocca to become a state judge. Ciarrocca had been holding the acting mayor's position for several years. Councilwoman Joann Neylan, the town's alternate acting mayor, will serve as the acting acting mayor until Skibitsky makes an appointment.
Under the town charter, the acting mayor holds all of the mayor's powers in Skibitsky's absence. This includes presiding over Town Council meeting, being able to sign ordinances, handling ceremonial functions, setting meeting agendas, performing weddings and civil unions and overseeing municipal operations.
Skibitsky's travel schedule for his full time post in the pharmaceutical industry has made Ciarrocca a frequent presiding officer of the Town Council over the past few years. Ciarrocca was also considered a potential successor to Skibitsky should the mayor not seek a third term in 2013. Ciarrocca is prohibited from running for mayor as a sitting judge.
Neylan has presided twice over the Council in the absence of both Skibitsky and Ciarrocca. In 2009, she presided over a routine meeting, along with being briefed on a limping and potentially humpbacked raccoon which seized control of part of the town hall parking lot. In 2010, Neylan's mayoralty included presiding over a routine agenda review session, conferring with Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins over the evening's invocation and overseeing an emergency situation involving a town hall clock that was running slow. Neylan also used her second stint as mayor to call for more rain in light of no rain for a long period last summer.
Neylan has also performed various ceremonial functions on behalf of Skibitsky as alternate acting mayor. This has included presiding over the 2010 Easter Egg Hunt in Mindowaskin Park, welcoming the Crown Princess of Serbia to Westfield and conducting a press conference with the Cranford mayor regarding changes to the Rialto Theater.
If Skibitsky appoints Neylan to the acting mayor's post, he will also have to name someone to fill the alternate acting mayor's job.
Skibitsky will also need to appoint a new chairman of the finance policy committee to succeed Ciarrocca. The powerful post involves presiding over the committee which writes the town budget, along with overseeing such policy areas as human resources, insurance and administrative affairs. Councilman Sam Della Fera, the committee's vice chairman, is serving as acting chairman until Skibitsky makes an appointment. The mayor said he will make the appointment in August as well.
Filling Ciarrocca's large role on the Council will also require the mayor to name new members to both the finance committee - in addition to a chairman - and a successor to Ciarrocca on the public safety, transportation and parking committee. Ciarrocca will also need to be replaced as the Council's liaison to the Downtown Westfield Corporation board of directors and the Board of Education. Ciarrocca, a longtime Council liaison to the Recreation Commission, swapped slots with Councilman Frank Arena in January to take over the DWC liaison slot.
Ciarrocca's third ward Council seat was filled Tuesday evening by Councilman Mark LoGrippo, who will serve out the remaining six months of the term. Skibitsky has not announced LoGrippo's committee assignments.