Inside Ocean County Government

Little Egg Harbor

Walkout by Little Egg Harbor Committeewoman Stevens Forces Meeting Cancellation

Lisa Stevens

Little Egg Harbor Committeewoman Lisa Stevens (D) caused a regularly scheduled meeting of the township committee to be canceled for lack of a quorum Thursday night after she walked out over her disagreements with running mate Dave Schlick, according to Gene Kobryn, the mayor of Little Egg Harbor. Sources with firsthand knowledge of the incident said Stevens left the meeting because she was furious that Schlick, who she no longer gets along with, was going to run the meeting at the behest of Kobryn.

Lisa Stevens

Lisa Stevens

The Meeting That Wasn’t

Are Little Egg Harbor’s officials among those walking out of meetings in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory earlier this week?

Not quite, but at least one of the small southern Ocean County municipality’s elected officials chose to shirk their responsibilities because of a personal difference with one of their colleagues on the dais, OCP has learned. 

The proximate cause of Stevens’ walkout was the sole fact that her running mate, Dave Schlick was being given the opportunity to preside over the township committee meeting by Kobryn, over objections from township attorney Robin LaBue.

Mayor Kobryn

Mayor Kobryn

Dave Schlick

Dave Schlick

In a phone interview with Ocean County Politics, Mayor Gene Kobryn described Committeewoman Stevens as being “visibly upset” at his decision to allow Deputy Mayor Dave Schlick to run Thursday night’s meeting.

“Lisa came in and said ‘what’s he [Schlick] doing there,’ then she picked up her folder and walked out,” Kobryn said Thursday night.

“She could not stand him running the meeting, he added. “Don’t ask me why.”

Kobryn said that Thursday’s incident was the latest in a long line of disagreements between the two former running mates, both Democrats who were elected in a 2015 upset victory.

The mayor said that Stevens also resigned her position in the Great Bay Democratic Club after they endorsed Kobryn’s candidacy earlier this year.

Republicans John Kehm and Ray Gormley were also nowhere to be found Monday night, so after Ms. Stevens left the building, the meeting had to be cancelled, as the only remaining committee members were Kobryn and Schlick, leaving the governing body without a three-member quorum necessary to act on official business.

Mayor Kobryn, for his part, lost to Republican Barbara “Bobbi Jo” Crea on Tuesday, and he said that his defeat at the polls was a factor that motivated him to give Schlick a chance to run the meeting.

We asked Committeewoman Stevens to explain why she chose to walk out, but she did not immediately return a request for comment.

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