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  • Writer's pictureChristine McGrath

December 4th Meeting Summary

Last night we had a meeting of the Township Council. Here are the highlights.

We had a split vote on the ordinance amending our water rates, with Councilwoman Holland and I voting against extending the "temporary water surcharge" to December 31, 2024. As I have stated previously, I object to breaking the water rate into two fees and naming one of them "temporary". I would have prefered to consolidate our water rate back to one charge of $6.92, but the Council Majority was not willing to do that.

We introduced two ordinances. One to regulate private salt storage - the second to codify the voter approved increase to the tax levy for the open space trust fund. Both will be on second reading and a vote at our next meeting on December 18th.

As part of the Managers Report, we had a brief report out on the steps we would need to take if we wanted to change the Verona Town Council elections from May to November. This was in response to a dramatic increase in the cost to hold the May election - the last one cost Verona $45K. According to our attorney, moving the election can be one with a simple ordinance. It does not change our form of government nor changes anything about our non-partisian election - it would simply move the election date to November. As part of the transition to a November election, our attorney explained that all current Council members' terms would be extended 6 months. We will discuss this further in a future meeting.

We approved several resolutions. We accepted $581 grant as part of the National Opioid Settlement and a $7,000 grant for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program. We accepted a $23,000 grant related to fire department equiptment. We closed out the pool splash pad contract with a change order of $81K. We authorized a contract with Lawsoft to provide accident reports electronically. We had some routine finance resolutions to pass, and we authorized submitting for additional grants on fire fighting equiptment.

We then went into a somewhat lenghty executive session on contract matters and litigation.

Our next meeting on December 18th is very important and I encourage all residents to attend in person or on zoom. The Administration will review detailed plans for the new public safety complex on Pompton for police, fire, and rescue squad. I really want to hear feedback from the public on these plans. We have a great opportunity to finally give our first responders an updated and modern facitity - but it will come with significant cost. The Council needs to hear from residents as this project proceeds.

Note that I raised an objection to having this important presentation so close to the holidays - as I know residents are very busy during this time of year and have a lot of evening committments. The Mayor was unwilling to move this presentation to our first meeting in January when, in my opinion, it would have been more convenient for the public to attend. If you cannot attend the meeting on December 18th, it will be recorded and available for viewing later.

If you have any comments on any matter - please reach out to the entire Council by sending us a message here:

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