The Township Committee agreed to introduce an ordinance for a referendum to establish a charter study commission that could recommend a change in Cranford's form of government. A charter study advisory group was established in 2008, after a similar referendum was passed the year before.
Commissioner Kevin Campbell, who voted against the ordinance said it was coming at the wrong time. "Why we're doing it now in November, almost into December, when we've been crushed by Irene, humbled by Sandy," he said, "While we're fighting Birchwood, while we're going through finding interim administrator, and hopefully a full-time administrator, is beside me." Campbell said finding stability in the town was paramount to any change in government at this time.
However, the rest of the township leaders thought that bringing stability was precisely the idea of searching out other alternatives allowed by the Faulkner Act, the state municipal law that allows a choice of four forms of government. "You could get into off-year elections, so that you don't have elections every year," said Deputy Mayor Andis Kalnins, who served on the previous charter study group. "You have [elections] every two years and hopefully some actual work can get done. There's a lot of reasons why this would add stability and with that I will vote 'Yes'."
Commissioner Lisa Adubato stressed that her support for the formation of a charter study commission has to do with seeing township issues get resolved. "I'm coming to the end of my first year on this board, and I realize that despite very good intentions, what ends up happening is that issues just get recycled over and over again," she said.
"It's not a commission to change [Cranford's government" said Adubato, "It's a commission to study it and make a recommendation."
There will be a final reading and public hearing on the referendum to allow the establishment of a charter study commission at the township meeting on Dec 17.