Maplewood Township Committee Debates Alcohol in Libraries


MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Tuesday, April 16, the Maplewood Township Committee met to deal with several ongoing issues in local zoning and recreation.  In addition, several local residents were in attendance to hear a series of proclamations read, including a statement instituting the 2013 Autism Awareness Month.

The evening’s proceedings began with an appointment to the Rent Leveling Board. Brenda Ross, an employee in the South Orange-Maplewood School District, was unanimously approved for her new duties.

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From there, four major proclamations were presented.  The first of these was a proclamation on behalf of Mayor DeLuca designating April as Autism Awareness Month.  According to the proclamation, “when an individual with autism receives treatment early in his or her life, it is often possible for that individual to see significant improvement.” Maplewood residents were urged to participate in the activities that will be held to raise local autism awareness.

Next, Committee member Marlon Brownlee read a proclamation 100th Anniversary of the Maplewood Memorial library.  The statement honored the library and its librarians for serving “generations and generations of Maplewoodians of all ages.” As one local librarian explained in a few follow-up comments, “what we’re all celebrating right now is our past, our present, and most importantly our future.”

Following proclamations for this year’s Arbor Day and the ACES (“All Children Exercise Simultaneously”) initiative, the committee moved on to consider a few key ordnances and discussion items.  The one ordnance on final passage involved the elimination of “lottery parking in Parking Area #12,” and was passed unanimously. 

Yet the next measure—the introduction of an ordnance making the Maplewood Memorial Library “a township property upon which alcoholic beverages may be served”—spurred significant debate.  According to Brownlee, following this policy “seems like an incongruent situation” in such a family-friendly environment.  But Committee member Gerard Ryan noted that alcohol would only be served at special events.  “If it turns out that if we have a problem,” said Ryan, “we can simply decline to follow this policy.” The discussion of this issue will be resumed at the May 7 meeting.

For more information on upcoming Township Committee sessions and events, please visit the Maplewood Township web site.

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