Avalon hires officials

Among the personnel changes approved Tuesday by Avalon Council was the hiring of Lorraine Makatura as borough manager, and Brian O’Malley as assistant manager. Makatura had been employed as assistant and acting borough manager. Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen

You may need a scorecard to identify Avalon officials for a while, as a number of key appointments - and one resignation - were approved during Tuesday's regular Avalon Council meeting.

Perhaps the least surprising was the hiring of Lorraine Makatura as the borough manager, a position for which she was being groomed for years as the assistant to the former manager, Harry Dilmore, who resigned last summer. Makatura has been serving as the acting manager since that time. Council president Josh Klicker said that she “has been key to the success of changes” in Avalon administration over the last several months, and is “vital to our vision going forward.”

Makatura will be joined in the administrative offices by Brian O'Malley, former chief of staff for state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl. He was hired Tuesday as assistant borough manager.

Both appointments are effective April 1.

Avalon also has been looking for someone to head its public works department. As of April 9, that person will be David Haslett, who is the current mayor. Haslett will resign as mayor effective April 8.

Avalon will advertise for someone interested in filling Haslett's term as mayor until the end of the year, at which time a new mayor, elected in November, will take over. Solicitor Megan Ott said that council has 30 days to appoint someone to the position, with the borough's vacancy board given an additional 15 days to act if an appointment is not made by council.

The resignation of Haslett will place Klicker in the mayor's office until a replacement is appointed. Council's vice president generally would take over Klicker's council president duties, but Klicker announced that shortly before the meeting, he received a letter from Ralph Cortese, the vice president, stating that he was resigning his seat on council. Council will wait until next month's meeting to take action on accepting the Cortese resignation.