WAYNE, NJ – Many of Wayne’s town government were out of town for the sparsely-attended town council meeting on Wednesday night.  Mayor Vergano, Councilwoman Aileen Rivera, Councilwoman Jill Sasso, Councilman Joseph Schweighardt and Councilman Al Sadowski were not in attendance, leaving five councilmen to form the quorum needed for the meeting to go on.

A Donation to the Wayne First Aid Squad

The first item on the agenda was the presentation of a large donation to the Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad. Council President Franco Mazzei introduced representatives of Columbia Bank: Executive Director of the Columbia Bank Foundation, Julie Holland and Barbara Schoeder, the Financial Service Officer and Branch Manager of Columbia Bank in Wayne (who is also a member of the Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad). The two women came to the podium with a giant check that they presented to Wayne First-Aid Commissioner Bob Coe.

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“It’s a privilege for us to be here tonight to recognize the Wayne First-Aid Squad and the excellent work they do for the Wayne community,” said Holland before she posed with Mazzei and Coe with the check that represented a $43,094 donation to be used for medical equipment for the first-aid squad.

“The first-aid squad has been very lucky,” said Coe when he came to the podium. “There are a lot of businesses in town who support us, but Columbia Bank has supported us through the years, and they have been very generous on more than one occasion in helping us meet our goals.”

“Without the support of Columbia Bank, it would be very difficult for us to survive, so we thank them very much and appreciate it,” said Coe.

Councilmen Comments

Following the presentation were comments from the councilmen in attendance. Mazzei began by congratulating the Wayne Valley High School Football Team on their state championship. “It doesn’t matter what part of town you live in, this football game really brought the town together,” said Mazzei. “We are so very very proud of all of our students and all of our teams, but that particular night, the Wayne Valley Football team rose to the occasion and I congratulate them.”

Mazzei spoke of an event with Boy Scout Troop 104 the night before where Detective Captain Dan Daly of the Wayne Township Police Department spoke about crisis management as part of the merit badge requirement. “I was so impressed with Detective Captain Dan Daly. It was another example of our police department just being a part of the fabric of our community, and how important they are to our youth and the scouts.”

Councilman David Varano also congratulated the Wayne Valley High School Football team. “What an amazing job,” said Varano with a big smile on his face. “Three road wins to get there and then to come from behind from a seventeen-point deficit.  You just couldn’t have scripted it any better,” he said.

“I also want to offer condolences to Councilman Jasterzbski and his family at the loss of his father this week,” said Varano.

Councilman Richard Jasterzbski’s father had been sick for some months and finally succumbed to his illness, passing away this week.

Councilman Jonathan Ettman, who hadn’t been at the last council meeting, took the time to offer his condolences to both Jasterzbski as well as to Ken Tahan’s family.  Tahan ran for the Wayne Ward Four Council seat and lost earlier this month. He then passed away two days later after suffering a stroke. 

Councilman Jasterzbski thanked Columbia Bank for their donation and congratulated the Wayne Valley Football team, but then went on to say: “As a father of a cheerleader, I know that cheerleaders very rarely get the recognition that they deserve. Because they are at every game; wind, cold, rain, snow they are there and their parents are there, up in the stands. So, I want to congratulate the Wayne Valley Cheerleaders too, because they were a part of the win.”

“On December 15th the Wayne Valley Project Graduation will be hosting the Wayne Valley Holiday Craft show from 10:00am – 5:00pm,” added Jasterzbski. “There will be over a hundred crafters there and its only $3.00 to get in.”

Ettman then mentioned the Wayne Christmas Tree Lighting event set for December 5th and the Menorah Lighting event set for 7:00pm on December 23rd.

Reports from the First Aid and Fire Commissioners

Robert Coe, the Wayne First Aid Commissioner shared statistics for October:

  • 230 Emergency Responses
  • 22 Accidents
  • 4 Accident Assists
  • 1 Pronouncement
  • 15 Stand-bys
  • 57 refusals
  • 39 Calls that were canceled
  • 2 Calls involved a Rescue Truck
  • 7 Calls involved an Ambulance
  • Year-to-date Calls: 3,913
  • 201,270 Calls the Squad has been on since it’s inception
  • 1 Partridge in a Pear Tree

Bob Minarick, Fire Commissioner shared statistics for the month of November:

  • 115 Calls for service
  • One House Fire in the Packanack Lake Section
  • 1,412 Calls for service for the year “Which was down from last year, quite a bit. Which we are happy about,” said Minarick.

Minarick talked about the “non-glamorous’ work that the fire departments had to go through as they went through days of mandated testing of all their equipment from their ladder trucks to their breathing apparatus.

“When it snows, PLEASE dig out your hydrants, so it is easier for our firefighters to find them,” said Minarick. “This could save time and may save lives or structures,” he added.

Voting on Adoption or Amendment of Ordinances and Voting on Proposed Ordinances

  • All Ordinances and Proposed Ordinances were passed unanimously without discussion
  • Administrative Consent Agenda and Administrative Ordinances were passed unanimously without discussion.

Public Comments

Stewart Resmer discussed a Wayne Resident, Richard Raymond Cain, US Marines, who went missing in action during the Vietnam War and Resmer’s search through the US Government’s records to see if he could be found. 

Barbara (Last name was not clear on the recording) wanted to bring a concern to the Town Council about a “major development” coming before the board of adjustment. The Grace United Presbyterian Church located on Preakness Avenue has five acres of land and is looking to sell to a developer who wants to create five building lots. Her concern is that the subsequent development of the land will be bad for the environment, may cause more water run-off issues and drive deer, birds and a red fox from their existing habitats. Barbara’s suggestion is to apply for grants from various government agencies to buy the land from the church and keep it as open space.

El Sayed (last name was not clear on the recording) came up next to discuss the same subject as the woman before him.