The West Windsor Township Council has re-affirmed its vote in April to terminate former animal control officer Bettina Roed.
On July 11, the council unanimously voted to re-affirm its previous 3-2 vote to terminate Roed as a result of the township’s new shared services agreement with East Windsor for animal control matters.
Council members George Borek and Diane Ciccone voted against the move in April, but the vote on July 11 was to reaffirm the vote, in which Councilman Charles Morgan voted via phone, was legitimate.
The Township Council was originally going to take another vote on the matter in May, in response to a lawsuit filed by Roed, but it postponed the matter to deal with both its own budget and the defeated school budget.
In a letter to the council in April, Roed’s attorney alleged that the 3-2 vote the council took on the agreement with East Windsor violated the Open Public Meetings Act and is invalid. Among the reasons he lists for the violation is that Morgan has said that he had difficulty hearing the proceedings because he attended the meeting via telephone.
Morgan clarified that he was concerned about what he was hearing from the public after the vote, specifically with regard to the claims Roed’s supporters were making about Plainsboro’s reasons for dropping out of the agreement, Morgan said. Her supporters were alleging that Plainsboro objected to the high cost of veterinary services. He said after he investigated the matter further, he found the statements by Roed’s supporters to be "wrong." After doing that research, Morgan said he determined there was no basis for changing his vote.
When Plainsboro pulled out of the agreement, the lost revenue from Plainsboro created a problem for West Windsor. Police Chief Joseph Pica said at the time that he called neighboring municipalities to try to enter a shared services agreement with them, but none were interested. East Windsor became the best fit, Business Administrator Robert Hary previously said.
Officials estimated that West Windsor would save about $40,000 in the first year of the agreement with East Windsor.