VERNON TOWNSHIP, NJ - Councilman Patrick Rizutto filled in for the role of council president at the Monday, December 10 Vernon Township Council meeting for Brian Lynch, who was absent due to an illness.
Rizutto made it clear to the first person of the night who approached the stand during public participation, “I appreciate you coming to the meeting, but this is a council meeting, the questions are not for the mayor.”
Rizutto’s comment was in regard to when that member of the public had asked about the MUA.
“If you are talking about the MUA, address them, not us,” said Rizutto.
“Do you care to restate some of the comments made about the MUA continuum? My fees have doubled,” said the citizen pertaining to an issue which was mentioned at the last meeting.
The citizen then asked, “How come the board of education and fire department don’t pay into the sewer taxes?”
Rizutto replied with, “They are township facilities.”
“You are full of disdain,” the citizen stated to Rizutto. “This is your time to speak, to get the information out and this just leaves us all with a bad taste."
Rizutto said, “Thank you. Are there any other comments from the public?”
In that moment, a female citizen rose from her seat, and The Alternative Press overheard her mumbling under her breath, “Why should we ask? Nobody listens to us.”
This is not the first time questions regarding the MUA had been mentioned to the council.
One citizen had asked, “Your township manager must know something? No?”
Members of the council had made it very clear that they do not attend the MUA meetings, and all questions should be addressed to the MUA. However, citizens frequently explain to the council that the MUA tells residents they must speak to members of the council.
Another citizen, Robert Oliver, addressed the council and stated, “I’ve been told quite honestly that you are a bunch of crooks. I would ask you that in the future if you treat them [the public] appropriately.”
In other business:
Several citizens were concerned with the lack of holiday décor throughout the town. Gary Martinsen, owner of the Nordic House addressed the council.
“Holiday season is approaching,” said Martinsen, "don’t see anything holiday-wise, like banners. We could possibly get some donations from the senior citizens, churches, and schools."
Another citizen stated, “It seems like we are the only town in New Jersey who does not decorate. It would certainly enhance the spirit of the Christmas season.”
In the mayor's report, Vernon Township Mayor Vic Marotta read from his report a letter from Craig Williams, chair member of the Environmental Committee.
Williams had resigned from his position on the environmental commission stated that it was too much for him at the moment.
Over the past couple of months, Williams and other members of the environmental commission said they had worked tirelessly to address the council of a situation pertaining to possible contaminated water left by Tennessee Pipe Line.
Since environmental commission member Beverly Budz quarreled with Lynch at a past council meeting, The Alternative Press has not seen any of the members attend any of the recent township meetings. Click here for that article.
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