Communications Committee to Discuss Be Heard Survey Results on Dec. 11

Credits: Barbara Rybolt

BERKEKLEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- Members of the public are invited to a special, open meeting of the Communications Committee to learn the results of a town-wide survey at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, in Town Hall, 29 Park Ave., in the back room, unless there is a big crowd, in which case the meeting will be in the courtroom.

During the Tuesday, Dec. 5, meeting, Councilman Peter Bavoso said all the survey data has been received, information compiled and, “We are looking forward to seeing people.”

Residents are encouraged to come, he said. The survey was undertaken because of an “outcry from the community for better communications,” so the committee decided it was necessary “to get a sense of what the community wanted” and how they wanted to receive the information, – text, email, or something else, said Bavoso.  The idea was to collect information before developing a strategy on how to better communicate with residents.

Sign Up for E-News

Now that the data is in and has been analyzed, “We are encouraging people to come out and have conversation about this … Hopefully we will have some good dialog and formulate some strategies on communication,” he said.

The raw data from the survey was actually released on Sunday, Dec. 4, on Facebook, by Edmund Tom Maciejewski, who received the raw data after filing an OPRA request in the fall. He included a link to the raw data on his post.

Council Vice President Jeanne Kingsley told residents the “Be Heard” initiative was launched in June with a survey at the Street Fair.  It was an entirely “manual” survey and, by July, the committee “decided to contract with Survey Monkey and put it online.”  The public was told via the Township Website, and other sources that the new survey was available. 

Among the data collected was contact information for those who took part in the survey. After the OPRA request came in for the raw data, the committee decided to take down the survey, revised it again, so that no personal information would be included, and put it back up. On Nov. 1 the survey was closed, Kingsley said.

During November, people on the committee worked to analyze the data, “raw data gives you nothing,” and a December public meeting was scheduled and announced, she said. “It has always been the intent of the committee to share the information with the public,” she said. Despite the efforts to not release the names and other information of the respondents, the committee was required to release the data to Maciejewski, she said, “Legally, we had no choice.”

Bavoso called this a “Damned if you do, damned it you don’t” situation, in which if the committee had come up with plans on how to better communicate with residents, members would have been told, ‘”You didn’t ask … Do a survey,’” he said.  

“I don’t understand. What’s the point,” of asking for the raw data, he said. “What are you concerned with?  What is your point,” he asked, adding we’re “all in agreement things can be better.”  He apologized to everyone whose contact information was included in the initial survey and had to be released.

The next task is for the Communications Committee to “proceed to decide the best tactics” on how to communicate with residents, Bavoso concluded.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green


Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website,


The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...