Government

Press Releases

Yes to Transparency; No to Restricting Access to Government

The Berkeley Heights Democratic Party is opposed to the Township Council’s apparent intent to approve new rules that would effectively deny residents the right to attend meetings of 4 official township committees: Communications, Downtown Beautification, Memorial Park Renewal, and Peppertown Park. These committees would be permitted to hold meetings without notifying or inviting members of the public, and without releasing any statements, minutes, or either audio or visual recordings of their actions and discussions. These rules are expected to be formally approved by the Council at their next meeting on Tuesday ,February 7th.

“Berkeley Heights residents have the right to participate and be heard in town government, including the committees the Council creates to give them advice and make proposals,” stated the Berkeley Heights Democratic Committee in a formal statement. “To deny residents that right by blocking them from even knowing about their actions, even if it is legal, sharply reduces transparency in local government. We share the outrage expressed by most residents who have heard of these restrictions, as well as their opposition to them.”

Because they recognize the importance of encouraging volunteerism to help improve our town without fear of harassment or intimidation, the Berkeley Heights Democratic Party is proposing amendments to the proposed rules that would balance transparency with protecting the rights of volunteers. Under its plan, the Council would establish clear guidelines for how the committees ought to be run: they would remain open to the public, schedule publicly announced meetings in advance and releasing full, comprehensive minutes of each meeting. This would mean the committees would be following the same standard of transparency set by the Open Public Meetings Act. To protect volunteers’ privacy, residents would not be allowed to record their meetings, either in visual or audio, without the consent of all individuals in attendance.

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“These committees are officially part of the process of local government, being part of the official Township Code, with Council members serving as representatives to the committees,” the Democratic Committee noted in their statement. “Closing these meetings to the public would mean that only a select few, appointed by the Mayor, have a voice in taking actions and offering advice that the Mayor and Council has almost always accepted. We view this as unacceptable. There is no need to choose between supporting our volunteers and supporting our right to be informed and involved: our plan means we can do both.”

As strong believers in both transparency and public involvement in local government, the Berkeley Heights Democratic Party calls on the Mayor and Township Council to adopt their plan, thereby keeping the governing body’s campaign promise of greater transparency and inclusion for all residents. They also call on all residents who share their outrage to publicly express their opposition at the Tuesday, February 7th Council meeting, 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 29 Park Avenue.

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Berkeley Heights

Mike Zuko at Salem Roadhouse Cafe

February 19, 2018

Raised on a diet of The Beatles, Buddy Holly and The Doors, Michael Zuko was exposed first hand to the thrilling music of the legendary 70s NYC club scene. Zuko and the band show a skilled singer-songwriter who is backed by solid musical talent, bringing original, fresh and intelligent lyrics to the stage. A true entertainer, Mike engages the audience fully and leaves them wanting more. Mike and ...

German Language School of Morris County Raises $1,000 for Market Street Mission

February, the month of all things red and romantic with red, hearts, roses, and chocolates, is also a time to show our love of friends and community. Students from the German Language School of Morris County (www.njlearnsgerman.org and www.glsmc.org), took that lesson to heart and raised $1,000 for The Market Street Mission (www.marketstreet.org), a Morristown haven for the needy for more than ...

Kick Off for the Relay for Life of Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, New Providence & Summit 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - There will be a Kick Off for Relay for Life on Thursday, March 1st. It will be held at the Gov. Livingston High School Cafeteria at 7pm.  The theme of Kick Off is Back TO GL - we envision a future that is cancer free. Everything you need to know about Relay for Life will be presented in an interactive setting. Relay ...

Home for Good Dog Rescue's Annual "Taste of Italy" Dinner & Tricky Tray

For the ninth consecutive year, Home for Good Dog Rescue's "Taste of Italy" Spaghetti & Meatballs Dinner and Tricky Tray returns to the Long Hill Community Center in Stirling, NJ. More than 300 guests will gather on Saturday, March 3, for a family-friendly Italian-themed dinner featuring a wealth of prize baskets, including but not limited to gift certificates, pet products and ...

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

February 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.

Mr.

No One Is More Qualified and Capable to be Our Next Democratic Committee Chair Than Colleen Mahr

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a pillar of consistency in Union County for the last 20 years, having devoted her life to public service. There is no one more qualified and capable to lead us as our next Union County Democratic Committee Chair.

Colleen has mentored, coached and supported countless candidates running for office in Union County, all across our 21 ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Mon, February 19, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

The Underground Railroad Documentary

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...