At the Council Meeting on Wednesday, a resolution was unanimously passed deeming Councilwoman Jayne Carr's seat vacant; Carr was absent.
Englishtown Borough Attorney Joseph Youssouf said that "the New Jersey Municipal Vacancy Law specifically states that the office of a member governing body of a municipality shall be deemed vacant whenever a member of the governing body fails to attend and participate in any meetings of the governing body for a period of eight consecutive weeks without being excused from attendance by a majority of the members of the governing body at the conclusion of such period."
Youssouf said that this law provides that the governing body may refuse to excuse only with respect to those failures to attend and participate which are not due to legitimate illness.
Carr has been absent from Englishtown Council meetings since December 2011, Youssouf said, so Carr's seat must be deemed vacant according to New Jersey law. The council was enforcing the state law by approving this resolution.
Carr has not been at Englishtown Council meetings because she said she did not want to endanger the lives of the public and other council members since.
A plain white envelope addressed to Jayne Carr was sent to her home with a return address of 15 Main St., the address of the Englishtown Municipal Building. Inside of the envelope was piece of paper with a photograph Carr's house with a gun superimposed onto the perimeter of the house and gun pointing at Carr's front door, according to Carr. Typed text beneath the picture were the words, "Jayne, when are you coming home?"
"The evidence was taken and secured by the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office where two homicide detectives were assigned to this case as a priority. The Federal Postal Service joined the force as well as the State Crime Lab when the charges were raised to terrorism," Carr said.
While Carr's intentions for not participating as a part of the governing body in a public forum were to protect her and her colleagues, she said that council were aware of the reason for her absences.
The Englishtown municipal clerk contacted Carr yesterday afternoon to inform her about the resolution the council had passed and to ask her to turn in her keys to Borough Hall, according to Carr.
"What really puzzles me is that the Council would actually vote under this circumstance that my absence was to be seen as unexcused and then use that as their tool to remove me," Carr said. "I'm very sad that my many years of contribution, spirit and community service have been doused, but I am very happy to be alive."