January 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Livingston Town Council held its first town meeting of the new year last night, awarding citations to the Junior Lancers who won their division’s Super Bowl. The Council also, as usual, faced some stinging questions from concerned residents--this time about the accelerated tax program that was put into place last year.
The Junior Lancers won the championship against Nutley, 28 to 7. They actually lost to Nutley during the season, 32 to 12, but when push came to shove, they beat them in the finals. Like the Junior Lancers, the Youth Cheerleaders were also awarded citations.
Mayor Michael Rieber congratulated the team and coaches saying, “I think it’s important to recognize that sports are all about teamwork and bonding and experience, and it doesn’t really matter win or lose … but I think winning is better right?” The Junior Lancers and Youth Cheerleaders responded with an overwhelming, “Yes!”
Resident Margie Rieger was concerned about the accelerated tax program that was put into effect in last year’s budget meeting. “I thought the accelerated tax program was just for 2013 'one time only,'” she said, “is this then continuing for 2014?”
Town Manager Michele Meade answered, “No. The change has been made, unless the Council wants to change it, that’s the way we (are going to) do it.”
Rieger challenged the Council to check the records, since she specifically remembered Meade saying a 'one time' collection of two years' delinquent taxes in one year, which according to a previous article in The Alternative Press, is what was stated by Meade in her presentation.
Resident Mark Fusari also spoke about the tax accelerated program and said he was hearing complaints of 'levies on water bills' from neighbors, and said that now for him “it seems very complicating for our residents now who are late with … tax …and water bills,” and asked the Council to look into the issue.
Residents Bob Hunter and Nick Politano had issues with the volume of the Town Council meetings, with Hunter stating that in “all the meetings, we can’t hear you,” and Politano commenting “the audio system in here is terrible.” Councilwoman Deborah Shapiro explained that there have been battery problems with the microphones but that they have been fixed.
The Council passed nine resolutions during this meeting including updated program fees for Senior, Youth and Leisure Services, another increasing of the reserve for snow removal, and one resolution authorizing a settlement agreement with Jennifer Gaydos.
About the latter resolution, Mayor Rieber explained that “there was a threat of litigation against Livingston and the police department regarding some complaints, and under federal and state discrimination laws the township really can’t get into any specifics about it because those complaints are subject to some personal matters and pending disciplinary matters.”