Council Honors Mobile Meals of Westfield and More at Meeting

Mayor Andy Skibitsky presents a proclamation to Nancy Otchy, president of the board of trustees of Mobile Meals of Westfield. Others from Mobile Meals stand behind them, as well as Diedre Gelinne, executive director of the Westfield United Fund (far left). Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ — At Tuesday’s town council meeting, Mayor Andy Skibitsky read a proclamation commending  Mobile Meals of Westfield and congratulating the organization for serving more than one million meals to homebound residents of Westfield, Cranford, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Clark, Garwood and Mountainside since 1968. He thanked the volunteers, staff and trustees for their service.

“If it wasn’t for our volunteers, we would never have lasted this long,” said Nancy Otchy, president of Mobile Meals of Westfield’s board of trustees. She also thanked the Westfield United Fund for its support. Donations help the organization keep its clients’ fees minimal.

During public comments, two residents questioned why police continually come to Windsor Park, and why they routinely tell residents playing basketball there in the evenings to leave.

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“I keep being harassed every Sunday,” said Kevin Monroe.

Another resident said one man was calling police again and again to complain about people in the park.

“The police would not come down unless there’s valid complaints,” said Town Administrator Jim Gildea.

“One of the issues is every park has hours of operation,” said Gildea. Town parks close at 8 p.m., but he said residents could get permits to play later than that for the next two Sundays. He suggested sitting down with the mayor and the chief of police to discuss the matter.

The same residents also asked the council to put speed bumps on Windsor Ave., noting that residents have been asking for these for years. Councilman Mark LoGrippo said the idea is on the public safety committee’s agenda to be reviewed.

Later in the meeting, the council approved demolition of nine single-family dwellings where new homes will be built. It also passed a resolution to award contract for various road improvements for 2014. Portions of several streets will be repaved in upcoming months and Tamaques Park is set to get a new parking lot by its basketball court, the council learned during a conference meeting earlier that evening.

The council also passed a resolution authorizing purchase of a fire department vehicle, a resolution supporting the 2014 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Statewide Labor Day Crackdown and a resolution to award contract for the purchase of a dispatch computer system.

Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan and Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins were absent from the meeting.

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