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  • Writer's pictureChristine McGrath

June 17th Meeting Summary

On Monday night, we had a short meeting. Here are the highlights.

We introduced an ordinance to add a stop sign at Claremont Avenue and Cumberland Avenue. We are also proposing to expand "no parking" on Park Avenue at Sunset and Part Avenue at Porcello Lane and Montrose at Hill Street. In addition, no parking between 7 am and 9 am will be expanded at Bloomfield and Derwent. Any comments on this ordinance should be sent to the entire Council by emailing us here:

We passed several resolutions. The Council agreed to file an application for a Green Acres diversion for the Fairview Avenue well facility treatment project. We applied for a NJ DOT grant to make roadway improvements for Afterglow Way, Dodd Terrace, and Summit Road. We took action on two of our road projects. We closed out the contract (and processed a final change order of -$49K) for the Lynwood Road project. In addition, we processed change orders for the Derwent Avenue project (+$840K).

For the police department we took a few actions. We entered into an arrangement with Axon Enterprise for equipment and computer storage for body cameras and other mobile storage. This agreement is for 60 months valued at $975K. We also authorized the purchase of $120K of automatic license plate readers, offset by a grant of $57K that was secured by Congresswoman Sherrill for our benefit and for the benefit of other West Essex communities. I want to thank Congresswoman Sherrill for including us in this federal funding even though we are no longer in her district. Finally we took action to contract with Nielsen Ford of Morristown to purchase two vehicles for $92K.

We hired Boswell Engineering for an "inflow and infiltration" study, which will involve smoke testing. This study is going to assess issues with our sewer system, of which we believe we have a few, so that we can develop a strategic plan to make fixes and reduce the amount of stormwater that is entering into our sewer system. The Township will be putting out a lot of information on what this project is over the next few months.

We renewed our contract with Millennium Strategies for grant consultation services and with O'Neil Plumbing for plumbing services. We renewed all of our plenary licenses.

We had a short, but possibly final, conversation on whether or not we should allow a voter referendum to ask voters whether or not we should move the election from May to November (1 hr 15 min into the meeting). Mayor Tamburro and Councilman Roman both stated on the record they are not in favor of conducting a referendum in November to ask voters this question. To get this question on the ballot, we need an ordinance with support of a super majority, which is 4 out of 5 votes.

I am disappointed in their position and some of the comments made throughout the last few meetings. It is my opinion that having our non partisan elections in May is a luxury that we can no longer afford. The Township is under a lot of cost pressures. We have a long list of necessary infrastructure fixes that we need to make across the township, and next week residents will see an expansive plan to fix our first responder buildings. A non binding referendum question this November is good opportunity to get public feedback on moving the election for a chance to save well over $75K in our budget.

The Council does not need to conduct a referendum to move the election from May to November. However, I do believe that the public should weigh in on this change because it is significant. If you are passionate on this issue, I encourage you to keep writing to the Council and having 1:1 conversations with members of the governing body. We still have time to introduce an ordinance at our first meeting in July to conduct a referendum in November. In addition, citizens could organize their own referendum petition to force the change, as Teaneck did in 2021. Citizens referendums are a feature of our government, and this is the path forward taken by residents to force their town councils to change.

We concluded our meeting with a short discussion on making some administration changes to the structure of our advisory committees.

Any feedback to the Councils should be sent to all of us here:

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