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Sobkowicz Requires Written Approval for Spending

Washington Township's mayor said she wants to avoid going over budget and rebuild the surplus.

Sobkowicz Requires Written Approval for Spending

Washington Township Mayor Janet Sobkowicz is requiring all requests for purchases to have her written approval, as of 12:01 a.m. June 12.

Sobkowicz said she was concerned about spending that was running higher this year than last year. She also said the township needs to be ready in case there are more storms like Hurricane Irene and the snowstorm last October which had expensive clean-ups.

"I want to watch it more carefully," Sobkowicz said about spending. "I thought it was best to start now."

At the council meeting Monday, Sobkowicz said she would not authorize township engineer Paul Azzolina to do an in-depth study of roads that need to be repaved. Councilman Fred Goetz expressed frustration about the mayor blocking the council's decisions.

The general engineering budget, from which Azzolina is paid, has already been used several times this year for his work on , Sobkowicz said.

Azzolina, who attended Monday's meeting, said he was already familiar with some of the areas that need to be repaved and suggested a particularly bad portion of Sussex Road be made a priority.

Council members were also frustrated by Sobkowicz at their previous meeting, when they voted in favor of pursuing a contract with Bergen County for shared dispatching, but .

"If the governing body wants to go with it, you should go with it," Council Vice President Joseph D'Urso said at that meeting.

Sobkowicz told Patch Tuesday she still would not agree to use the county's dispatching service.

"It's not on the table," Sobkowicz said

By reviewing purchases before they are made, Sobkowicz said she hopes to strengthen the township's surplus. The anticipated surplus for 2012 was down $200,000 from 2011.

"If you don't have any money in the surplus, you can't build it up," Sobkowicz said.

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