Friday, May 18, 2012
Former Freeholder takes over for recently-resigned Tom Borden.
Former Morris County Freeholder Margaret Nordstrom is now the Highlands Council’s deputy director, after the body appointed her to the position on Thursday in Chester. Nordstrom, who was forced to vacate her seat on the Freeholder board after an appellate court ruled her election in November was invalid, said she didn’t consider working on the Highlands Council initially. “I wasn’t thinking about (working on the Highlands Council) at the time,” Nordstrom said. “I always thought it would be something I might like to do, but I didn’t consider it until the Borden resignation.” The resignation of deputy director Tom Borden came in protest, shortly after the firing of director Eileen Swan earlier this year. In April, former Morris County …
Monday, April 30, 2012
Margaret Nordstrom said to be under consideration for number two spot
They ought to rename the New Jersey Highlands Council the Morris County Freeholder Re-Employment Bureau. The latest rumor is that former freeholder Margaret Nordstrom of Long Valley is in line to become deputy director of the Highlands Council. That spot is open because Tom Borden resigned as a matter of conscience last month when the council ousted Eileen Swan as director in a political move. No one is confirming the rumor yet. Nordstrom did tell The Observer Tribune last month that she is looking for a job within, or with the help of, the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, who lives in Morris. Earlier this year, the state appellate court tossed Nordstrom off the freeholder board, reversing a superior court judge’s earlier order, …
Monday, April 23, 2012
By the way, there's a nice pension boost in it for Feyl, too.
The appointment of Gene Feyl as executive director of the New Jersey Highlands Council last Thursday accomplished several goals—most of them political, but with a nice personal perk for Feyl. It took Feyl out of contention for another term as a Morris County freeholder, allowing him to land safely—and cozily, with a $116,000 salary almost five times larger than he gets now—without having to worry about a messy primary fight with the conservative team opposing the incumbent Republicans in June. And talk about cozy! Were Feyl to lose a Republican primary fight in June and leave office at the end of the year, he would retire with a maximum annual pension of about $13,300, according to the Retirement Estimate calculation tool on the state …
Friday, April 20, 2012
Christie-backed appointment was expected, but still made in close vote
Friday, April 20, 2012
As broadly expected, Morris County Freeholder Gene Feyl has been hired as Highland Council's executive director, meaning he'll need to leave his position on the county governing body and drop out of the race for re-election. That means the crowded primary race for the freeholder board will become ever-so-slightly roomier—though there's still a long list of candidates for the three open seats. Feyl had filed a petition to run in the Republican primary, though he made clear that if put on the Highlands Council, he knew he'd have to drop out. Other Republicans seeking the seats: incumbent and Freeholder Director William Chegwidden of Wharton; Florham Park Councilman Charles Germershausen; Morristown Councilwoman Alison Deeb; Parsippany …
Monday, March 19, 2012
Don't expect the new director to do any better at getting compensation for land owners.
You’re my hero. Now you’re fired. Does that make any sense? That’s what Highlands Council member Michael Francis of Hopatcong effectively said to the council’s director, Eileen Swan, last Thursday night. Bizarre as that was, at least some of those members who voted to fire Swan were honest in saying they had no problem with Swan’s work and that the move was, indeed, a political takeover by Gov. Chris Christie of the body that is supposed to be independent. This is the New Jersey definition of independent. Many parts of the meeting were surreal. Kurt Alstede, who for years sat at the end of the council table as its chief—often only—naysayer, sat off-center as vice chairman and watched as Bergen County Surrogate Michael Dressler took up his …
Monday, March 12, 2012
On Thursday, the New Jersey Highlands Council is slated to remove its executive director, at the behest of Gov. Christie.
An appeals panel last week reined in the governor’s power over the Council on Affordable Housing, saying New Jersey’s chief executive does not have broad control over independent authorities. Chris Christie may not have the right to reorganize an independent agency, but his influence is nevertheless as strong as ever over bodies like the New Jersey Highlands Council, where the governor is about to (indirectly) unseat the executive director. Eileen Swan has headed the council’s staff for almost five years, the longest term of its three directors. A former council member and member of the task force that originally recommended creating a preservation area in the North Jersey Highlands, Swan has worked diligently to enforce the state law …