Orange trustees add 6 pages to December minutes

By D. Anthony Botkin -

Orange Township’s Dec. 4, 2017 trustee meeting minutes gained an additional six pages of detailed notes Monday at the request of Trustee Lisa Knapp.

In the Dec. 4 meeting, Knapp came under fire from several residents accusing her of blocking them from her personal Facebook account.

Knapp told the board that she had asked Mary Ann (Ross, an administrative assistant), to listen to the meeting’s audio recording for “a little bit more of the detail,” she said. “I kind of wish I asked her to listen to more of it.”

Knapp consulted with township attorney Michael McCarthy to make sure it was within the board’s power to add the notes.

“I talked to Mike about this earlier,” she said. “He said that I could modify the minutes.”

“I indicated that the minutes of the board should accurately reflect the events that occurred at the meeting,” McCarthy said. “If there is a later review that leads to the recognition of a shortcoming of the board as a whole, they can indicate that the following correction should be recognized through additions, deletions or whatever.”

Knapp handed the notes to the other trustees for their review and then made a motion to amend the minutes of the Dec. 4 meeting.

Trustee Ryan Rivers seconded her motion.

Rivers and Knapp voted in favor of the addition of the notes while Trustee Debbie Taranto said, “No, because I haven’t read them yet.”

Rivers confirmed that he hadn’t seen the additional notes until the meeting Monday night.

The Gazette asked Knapp why she thought the notes needed to be attached to the Dec. 4 minutes.

“Left out of the minutes entirely was the fact that I stated that comments were deleted from the township Facebook and specifically asked Amanda (Sheterom, human resources and communications manager) why they were deleted,” she said in her text message to The Gazette. “She confirmed that they were deleted because they violated the township Facebook page policy of being off topic, overly political, etc. And that she had worked with the prosecutor’s office to determine that. It was very important to include that in the minutes.

“Also left out of the discussion was the entire part where I mentioned that (former trustee Rob) Quigley and Taranto have me and many others blocked from their page and he continued to deny it falsely,” Knapp said. “Why would those discussion items not be included in the official record?”

Knapp provided a copy of her email to Ross requesting her to listen to the recording of the meeting and write the notes to The Gazette.

“This request is no different than the numerous requests Trustee Quigley has made of you recently to listen to the meeting recordings and prepare additional text for him which he then presented at a trustee meeting to be incorporated into the minutes,” she said.

The Gazette received a comment from former Trustee Rob Quigley regarding his request to have Ross go back through meeting audio recordings.

“I asked Mary Ann once to do this for a meeting,” Quigley said in an email. “When I asked the one time it was just to type it all up and not for specific moments.”

By D. Anthony Botkin

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.