Last night we had a Council Meeting. Here are the updates.
This was our first Council meeting after receiving the resignation of our Township Manager, Matt Cavallo. Matt has dramatically advanced the town forward during his tenure, and we are certainly going to miss his management for many reasons. He was technically very strong, had deep financial skills, was creative, and most importantly was very open to discussing and developing new ideas. We are going to miss his leadership, and we all wish him luck in his new position.
Matt will be leaving us in February, and the Council will be putting out a job posting this week to start looking for his replacement. I encourage residents to reach out to me and other members of the Council if you have feedback on what skill sets and traits are important for the Council to consider as part of the hiring process. We will be moving quickly to find Matt's replacement.
Last night we passed a few resolutions. One was the Council's commitment to a strong anti-idling policy, which was a resolution recommended by the Verona Environmental Commission. I encourage everyone to please, turn off your cars when waiting to pick someone up or when you are running errands. Idling does contribute to air pollution and has been linked to asthma.
We also passed a resolution to lease two new police vehicles. These are capital leases, which help us buy down the cars instead of having to bond for them. By leasing with Enterprise we also get access to a large fleet of cars, and given how hard it is to secure a car right now, this is advantageous as compared to purchasing on our own. The outfitting of these cars is also partially paid for through this lease.
Finally, we also passed a resolution to not include outstanding sewer charges from 2020 in the tax sale. Due to the pandemic, this will be waived until the public health emergency is over. Right now we have $13K of water and sewer charges that are outstanding.
In new business, we spent extensive time discussing a proposed 5G ordinance, which will help protect the township when the cell carriers eventually come around to install 5G in Verona. As was stated before, Verona and any town cannot prevent 5G from being installed. This is not like cell towers that are widely spaced apart - 5G will require the installation of equipment throughout the township. This ordinance that we are considering will require a permitting process with fees, and will detail our preference for location and design. If this is something that interests you, I encourage you to watch our conversation (around 50 min into the meeting) and reach out to us with questions.
In new business Councilwoman Holland gave an update on work that Rutgers graduate students are doing to map flooding in Verona for free, and also some updates on her meetings with DEP Commissions at the League of Municipalities conference. Her update was around 1 hr 20 min into the meeting if you want to watch.
Finally, it was mentioned in the meeting that we need to take a serious look at Everett Field and potential safety issues there. Along with the Pool and Community Center Playground, we have a lot of outstanding Recreation projects that I hope to get out of the planning stages soon.
Those are the highlights. As always, please feel free to reach out with comments by using the contact form here: https://www.veronanj.org/council