WEST WILDWOOD – Commissioners added a late resolution not listed on the agenda distributed before the Nov. 4 meeting, which extended Police Chief Jacquelyn Ferentz’s contract, in a move taxpayers said demonstrated the departing administration’s continuing lack of transparency.
Commissioners would not offer the contract’s details, including how many years it is for and what the terms are. Mayor Christopher Fox said during the meeting that usually the contract comes up every four or five years, and he is unsure if the new version includes a raise.
“I don’t recall the increase if there was in fact,” Fox said. “(Commissioner) Amy (Korobellis), do you remember, because I do not know?”
Korobellis left the Zoom meeting, which lasted over 50 minutes, less than 12 minutes in.
“I don’t have it in front of me,” Commissioner Scott Golden said to explain the lack of information on the contract.
When pressed for terms during public comment, Fox and Golden offered little insight.
“I abstained,” Fox said of the vote to approve the contract, which was passed by a 2-0 vote from Golden and Korobellis. “The last thing I want to do is talk about the contracts. My knowledge of any contract, if it’s due to expire, you certainly wouldn’t want it to go to the expiration date. That just isn’t fair.”
“I don’t understand what the rush is,” said Helen Rao, a taxpayer, wondering if Ferentz’s employment could be month-to-month so that newly elected commissioners would get to weigh in.
“If you want details of the contract, you can OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request it or whatever you want to do,” Golden said.
Details of Ferentz’s new deal were not immediately made available to the Herald after an OPRA request.