By Dan Moffett
Manalapan completed a sweeping overhaul of its Town Commission on March 28 with the swearing in of three new officials and the reassignment of two others.
None of the changes required input from voters in the March election, because none of the candidates for four open seats was opposed.
Gone are Mayor David Cheifetz, Mayor Pro Tem Chauncey Johnstone and Commissioner Basil Diamond. All declined to run for another term.
Keith Waters, who joined the commission in June after serving on the town’s Architectural and Zoning commissions, replaces Cheifetz as mayor.
“I’m honored to be here,” Waters said. “I appreciate all the work that the former commission has done, and we stand on the shoulders of the work that was done before us. I look forward to moving the town in the continuing proper direction it has been placed.”
Jack Doyle replaces Johnstone in the Seat 3 ocean position and Hank Siemon takes over for Diamond in Seat 5. Doyle and Siemon are veterans of the Architectural Commission.
Commissioner Simone Bonutti accepted Waters’ nomination to move into the mayor pro tem seat, and Peter Isaac was the commission’s unanimous choice to continue as vice mayor.
Waters nominated a political newcomer, Monica Oberting, to fill his vacant Seat 7, and commissioners unanimously approved. Oberting, a New York appellate lawyer who also adjudicated motor vehicle violations for the state, moved onto Point Manalapan two years ago. Oberting graduated from Tulane University and Albany Law School.
In other business:
• Town Manager Linda Stumpf said the commission may get some clarity this month on the prospects for negotiating a new water deal with Hypoluxo. Stumpf said she will participate in a Town Council workshop in Hypoluxo, on April 19 beginning at 5 p.m., to answer officials’ questions about Manalapan’s proposal for a long-term contract to provide water service to 550 Hypoluxo customers.
Representatives of Boynton Beach utilities also will be pitching the city’s competing proposal at the workshop.
• Commissioners gave their approval to two measures that give the Town Commission the last word on architectural and landscape reviews for commercial site plans. The changes mean that applicants go first to the Architectural Commission for review and then to the Town Commission for final approval or rejection. Waters said the changes will streamline the process and prevent bureaucratic delays.
By Dan Moffett