Eastwood, Freund and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Eastwood, S.j.a.d.
On May 23, 1947, the appellant, James Chirichella, was appointed "Secretary to the Director" of Public Affairs of the City of Hoboken, by the then director of that department, Fred M. DeSapio, which appointment was approved by resolution of the board of commissioners on on the same date. On June 3, 1947, the board of commissioners adopted an ordinance creating the position of secretary to the director of the department of public affairs and on the following day, June 4, 1947, Director DeSapio notified Chirichella by letter of his appointment as such secretary.
At the time of appellant's appointment the city was operating under the commission form of government pursuant to R.S. 40:72-4 et seq. The powers of the commission were distributed among five departments, among which was the department of public affairs.
In November, 1952, the voters at the General Election adopted Plan "D" of the act known as the "Faulkner Act," P.L. 1950, c. 210 (R.S. 40:69 A -1 et seq.) to become effective July 1, 1953. At an election held on May 12, 1953, pursuant to the Faulkner Act, the voters elected a mayor and nine councilmen.
On July 1, 1953, at the organizational meeting under the new form of government, several ordinances were introduced and adopted by the mayor and council setting up six departments of government in the place of the five departments theretofore existing under the former commission form of government. The department of public affairs was not recreated. Its former functions were allocated and distributed to and among the several newly created departments.
The appellant continued as such secretary until July 2, 1953, when he was verbally advised by the director of the department of law that his services were no longer required. Upon protesting the manner and form of such dismissal, he received a letter from the director dated July 2, 1953, informing him that his services as secretary ended at noon on July 1, 1953.
On August 3, 1953, the city counsel adopted an ordinance repealing the ordinance of June 4, 1947 (which had created the position of secretary to the director of the department of public affairs), and also abolishing the positions of secretary to the following departments: public safety, revenue and finance, public works and parks and public property. At the same meeting, the council also adopted an amendment to the ordinance of December 29, 1950, abolishing the positions of secretary to the departments of public affairs, revenue and finance, public safety, public works and parks and public property.
The appellant contends that (1) the Civil Service and Faulkner Act and statutes control issues relating to appellant's appointment, position, discharge and continuance thereof; and (2), that his discharge was invalid in that the position of an employee with civil service status may not be abolished by a director of a department or mayor of a municipality without ordinance of the governing body of the municipality so authorizing.
No issue is raised by this appeal respecting appellant's appointment in 1947 as secretary to the department of public affairs, nor to his continuance thereof until July 1, 1953, when Plan "D" of the Faulkner Act became effective.
This appeal poses only one question, viz.: Was Chirichella's position lawfully terminated either by the adoption of the Faulkner Act or by the ordinances hereinbefore mentioned abolishing that position and creating new departments, which did not include a department of public affairs, or both?
To determine the issue, we think it is only necessary to pass upon the legislative action taken by the council at the time of and subsequent to the organization meeting under the provisions of the Faulkner Act.
The city contends that on July 1, 1953, when council organized under the Faulkner Act, all ordinances and resolutions inconsistent with the Faulkner Act, were superseded, relying upon the ...