Barnes has 21 years of human relations experience in municipal government, both at the County and City levels. Her weakness, and one she readily admitted, is that she has no experience negotiating with unions.
"I expect you might get some," observed Lamont McClure, advising her to "buy a heavy coat."
Though she had already answered McClure, Mat Benol asked her the same question about unions, to which she provided the same answer.
Glenn Geissinger stated he was "greatly concerned" whether Barnes would be up to the challenge of a 2,200-person workforce, most of whom are represented by 11 different unions. She responded that she would provide a "fresh set of eyes" and "neutrality."
"I want to take the time I spent in school and give it back to the community where I work," she argued.
Though he's normally the contrarian, McClure told Geissinger that Barnes is the most qualified person to date that Brown has nominated to his cabinet, with the possible exception of Sheriff David Dalrymple, a former Major in the New Jersey State Police. He described Barnes as someone who is moving up in her career. He added that, unlike some of Brown's other cabinet choices, "this one has actual experience in governing."
The reason Werner voted No, he later explained, is the short notice of the nomination provided to Council. "Council needs to be appraised of things sooner," he observed, noting that nominations come in at the last minute.
In a signal that Republicans on Council are beginning to distance themselves from the Executive, Republicans Hayden Phillips and Glenn Geissinger agreed with Werner. "I'm going to vote No to any nomination that comes to County Council that does not go to the Personnel Committee.," he vowed.
After some discussion, Werner stated he would draft an ordinance.