Government

Differences Over Communications Officer Waiver Again Delay Berkeley Heights Police Education Amendments

June 11, 2014 at 6:00 AM

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—Apparent differences among members of the Berkeley Heights Township governing body about whether current members of the township’s police communications department should be exempt from a bachelor’s degree requirement to become police officers have once again delayed passage of an ordinance to change police education requirements.

The township council in April decided not to introduce an ordinance containing bachelor’s degree requirements until they clarified amended education requirements further.

Then, on Tuesday evening, an ordinance originally on the agenda would have required candidates for police officer to have earned a “bachelor’s or higher degree awarded by a bachelor’s degree-granting college or university.”

Sign Up for E-News

That ordinance also would have allowed qualified veterans “as defined by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs” who have not earned a bachelor’s or higher degree to substitute two years of full-time active military service and an associate’s degree awarded by a degree-granting college or university to satisfy the education requirement and the education requirement could be waived for veterans with four years of full-time, active military service.

The above provisions were identical both in the ordinance originally on the agenda and in another version of the ordinance presented as an addendum to Tuesday’s meeting agenda.

However, the version of the ordinance originally on the agenda included a provision that “any communication officer employed in the police division hired prior to July 1, 2014 who has not earned a bachelor’s or higher degree as set forth above, can substitute a combination of two years employment with the division and an associate’s degree awarded by a degree-granting college or university to satisfy the education requirement.”

The  above provision was not included in the addendum version of the ordinance.

Mayor Joseph Bruno said at Tuesday’s meeting that members of the governing body apparently have differing views on the communications officer waiver and, due to these differences, the council did not act on Tuesday on any ordinance changing police education requirements.

He urged council members to make their feelings on the matter made known to Township Administrator Linda Cavanaugh so an ordinance can be introduced for action at the June 24 council session.

Police Chief Michael Mathis also said he would be happy to speak with council members about the matter.

Additionally, Mathis noted, in both versions of the ordinance all appointments to the police division would be made by executive order of the mayor.

Bruno agreed with the chief that the ordinance should also provide for police appointments to be made upon the recommendation of the police chief.

On another matter, council vice president Craig Pastore mentioned that the township had been notified of a Pillgrim Pipeline Holdings pipeline that would carry North Dakota crude oil from a train terminal at the port of Albany, NY through an area around Runnells Hospital to Linden and return gasoline, diesel, heating oil and other petroleum products to upstate New York.

Pastore said township residents “needed to pay attention” to the pipeline, and asked Bruno if he had been invited to a mayors’ meeting on the line.

Bruno replied that he understood the proposed pipeline would come “through the heart of the township” in the area of Locust Avenue and the mayors’ meeting was expected to take place next Wednesday.

Replying to a question from Councilman Thomas Pirone, the mayor said there already is a natural gas pipeline running through the township, but the proposed line would be moving product through Berkeley Heights.

On another matter, Cavanaugh noted that two public hearings would be held on the proposed sale of Runnells Hospital to a private hospital firm—one on June 17 in the freeholders meeting room in the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth and the second on July 1 in the township council chambers.

The county is expected to get $26 million from the hospital sale, and it has estimated the county and Berkeley Heights each could get about $500,000 per year in taxes once the hospital goes back on the tax rolls.

However, due to the loss by the county of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements due to the sale, the county still is not sure of the exact impact of the sale on its annual budget.

On another topic, residents of Sussex Road and other streets surrounding Governor Livingston High School have expressed concerns about student parking in the area.

Mathis said Tuesday that Sgt. Robert Deitch would give a presentation at the June 24 council session on the high school parking situation.

On another traffic matter, the chief agreed with Virginia Calabrese, owner of LaBelle Bridals, that the speed on Springfield Avenue in the center of the township business district needed to be reduced from the current 35-mile-per-hour limit.

Calabrese, who said pedestrians trying to use crosswalks to navigate the street could be in harm’s way, said the speed should go down to 25 miles per hour.

The chief also said people tended to drive carelessly in the area.

Council President Jeanne Kingsley reported that the township clock was at the factory and she expected it to be installed in the business center in time for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in July.

On another matter, Councilman Kevin Hall congratulated Councilman Robert Woodruff on winning the Republican nomination for mayor, Kingsley on her nomination for another term on council and Marc Faecher on his nomination to council.

Hall also thanked Bruno, who was defeated by Woodruff, for his four years of “dedicated service” as mayor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Registration Begins Next Week for Indoor Riding Lessons at Lord Stirling Stable in Basking Ridge

December 3, 2016

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Winter weather doesn't have to mean the end of horseback riding for equestrians in Basking Ridge and nearby. The Somerset County Park Commission has announced that registration will begin next Saturday, Dec. 10, for a 10-week session of Winter Horseback Riding Classes at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

Lessons are ...

Holiday Specials for Personal Training

Stay active this winter and get in shape for the spring!  Whether you are looking for a meaningful gift or a way to get healthy, the Summit Area YMCA has a variety of options that will be sure to help you and your family reach your goals this winter season! Take advantage of our holiday personal training specials available at both the Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCA to get healthy and ...

Cures Bill Passes, Securing Lance Victories

 Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today hailed passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in the U.S. House.  Lance, the chair of the Congressional Rare Disease Caucus and a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Committee, praised the landmark bill which has been two years in the making:

“This legislation is for anyone who has lost a loved one from cancer,  had a ...

Annual Christmas Community Celebration: 'Night of Songs and Carols' is Dec. 8

"Tis the Season," with these words we continue to celebrate all that we are thankful for and share the joy and spirit of Christmas.  A tradition that has taken its place in the "not to be missed" events in Berkeley Heights is the Christmas Community Concert hosted by Westminster Presbyterian Church. 

This year's event is on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 ...

BH Town Council, Where's the Zero?

November 23, 2016

To the editor: 

In a recent Mayor’s Roundtable, the town council mentioned that Berkeley Heights uses zero-based budgeting. The Nov 17, 2016 stream of the Mayor's Roundtable explained the budgeting process and made it clear that Berkeley Heights is not using ZBB by any definition of the term.  

Our council used to have five or six budget review meetings to publicly go ...

Unwanted guests leave a bad taste

Dear Editor,

Last Friday night, six friends gathered at a local Italian restaurant to catch up about the week's surprise events and enjoy each other's company.   Our dinner was interrupted by a surprise serving of bigotry and intolerance.

A different couple, strangers who had just ended their dinner, approached our table and interjected their opposing views on the ...

Union County Community Pulls Together for Pollinators

November 20, 2016

A multi-age civic partnership is transforming a roadside parcel of County parkland into a lush, natural habitat for the endangered Monarch butterfly and many other valuable pollinators including butterflies, bees and birds.

“This new meadow will serve as a valuable teaching tool for the thousands of children and adults who visit Trailside every year,” said Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey Invites Volunteers to Help Assemble Christmas Care Packages for US Troops Overseas

November 19, 2016

MANVILLE, NJ  - Volunteers are invited to help Operation Shoebox New Jersey assemble Christmas care packages for shipment to US troops overseas on Saturday, Nov.19th at  the Manville VFW, 600 Washington Ave., from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

This is the 12th consecutive year the VFW has hosted the holiday packing; hundreds of volunteers turn out each year to help pack in excess of 1,000 care ...

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...

The Mayor's Roundtable November Edition

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Mayor's Round Table is a monthly show hosted by Dr. Donald DeFabio, who sits with Mayor Robert Woodruff to talk about current issues that affect the township as well as answer questions submitted by citizens. 

Included in this episode are discussions regarding the next step to creating a Peppertown Park committee; Board of Education ...

Shannon's six week transformation story

Shannon just finished her 6 Week Transformation, here were her results: 

Dropped 2 Pant sizes
Energy Level went from a 2 to a 9
Confidence level from a 5 to a 9

She was very happy and satisfied with these results, but the best result was taking her focus off the scale! For years Shannon only measured her success for her health by weight loss.

When we sat down in the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_96fe69a843c33a88747d_dab3f69e0779f6f216b2_merry_fitness

Sat, December 3, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Merry Fitness – A Program To Get You Through The ...

Health & Wellness

Sat, December 3, 9:00 AM

Union County College, Cranford

Intermediate QuickBooks

Education

Carousel_image_9e7e06f78cf5c1590429_7fd9016ee74896f9bf11_santabreakfast

Sat, December 3, 9:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Breakfast with Santa

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, December 3, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon:  Nature Infused Yoga Fall Series

Green Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_2552aafda58a8d0a9678_20150507_095036

Sat, December 3, 10:00 AM

Berkeley Heights

Diamond Hill Montessori School Open House, ...

Education

Carousel_image_2552aafda58a8d0a9678_20150507_095036

Sat, December 3, 10:00 AM

Berkeley Heights

Diamond Hill Montessori School Open House, ...

Education

Which is Best: Lump Sum or Pension Annuity?

Is a lump sum offer from an employer a better choice than a pension annuity for life? The former provides an immediate up-front amount (say $300,000), but the pension annuity gives you a stream of payments for life (example: $1,350 per month). A number of employers dangle a lump sum offer to employees in part to remove future liabilities from their balance sheets. It’s tempting for ...

Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Local Students Lend a Hand at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Gov. Livingston seniors Hannah Probst and Gillian Mitreuter walk in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade for the second yea.. Last year they were a part of the 'All star' baseball clown group and this year they were a part of the first ever Girl Scout float group.

"It was such an honor walking with the Girl Scout's inaugural float as we were both Girl Scouts ...