WEST WILDWOOD - A recall election for Mayor Herbert Frederick's seat on Borough Commission has been set for Jan. 26.
In a notice issued Friday, Borough Clerk Dorothy Tomlin said that she found the recall petition contained the valid signatures it needed to trigger a recall election.
Tomlin, citing state recall election laws, said Frederick had five business days, until Dec. 1, to decide whether he would resign his post. If he does not, the recall election will take place Jan. 26.
"Oh no, I'm not resigning. I was elected to office," Frederick said Monday.
Frederick, 59, was sworn to office June 4, 2008, after receiving the most votes in that year's May 20 election.
The other top vote-getters were Commissioner Gerard McNamara with 160 votes and Commissioner Scott Golden with 152 votes.
Frederick said he won the 2008 election and had no intention of stepping down.
He also challenged Tomlin's motivation behind approving the recall petition and setting a date for the election, which he said he had not heard about until a Press reporter called. A recall petition also has been submitted for Golden's recall, but Tomlin has not made a decision on whether that petition is valid.
"I'm just concerned the clerk is politically tied with Mr. Golden," Frederick said. "I believe she is doing this for personal reasons."
Frederick said the petition for Golden's recall was submitted before the one for his recall.
Tomlin denied that was acting improperly.
"I'm still reviewing that," she said of the signatures collected for Golden's recall. She added she expected to make a decision on that petition "hopefully soon."
She said would not comment on Frederick's charges, but she said, "I'm just doing my job as clerk."
Tomlin was removed from her duties as clerk by Frederick on Aug. 7 because of his concerns about the way Tomlin was running the clerk's office, but following a court hearing, a Superior Court judge returned Tomlin to her clerk's duties Nov. 2.
Borough Solicitor Paul Baldini said Monday that he wrote a letter to Tomlin expressing reservations about the recall petition for the mayor and its validity.
"I don't think it was appropriate" to set a date for the recall, Baldini said.
Baldini added that "it would be inappropriate to have one and not the other," explaining that if both Frederick and Golden are subject to recall, the election should be held on the same date, if possible.
Tomlin estimated Monday that the cost of the recall election for Frederick would be as much as $14,000.
Frederick said Tomlin did not properly advertise the recall as she is required to, and he challenged the voter registration of one of the recall committee's members.
"The procedural legal requirements weren't met," Frederick said.
Golden said he was waiting to hear from Tomlin regarding the petition to recall him, and he said he believed Tomlin was doing her duty as clerk.
"Mrs. Tomlin's just doing her job," Golden said. "The mayor is just looking to blame her for something."
As of Nov. 17, the borough had 467 registered voters.
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