BLOOMFIELD, NJ – National Gun Violence Awareness Day and National Public Works Week designations were declared by the Township of Bloomfield during the Council’s Regular Meeting on Monday, May 20 at the Municipal Building.
Present at the meeting were Mayor Michael Venezia, First-Ward Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, Second-Ward Councilman Nicholas Joanow, Third-Ward Councilwoman Sarah Cruz, and Councilwoman-At-Large Nina Davis. Not present were Councilman-At-Large Ted Gamble and Councilman-At-Large Richard Rockwell.
Friday, June 7 marks the fifth National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which was a movement in support of gun violence prevention started in 2015 when Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who performed at former President Barack Obama's second inaugural parade in 2013, was shot and killed in Chicago a week later.
Her friends wanted to honor her legacy during her birth month of June by wearing orange, which is what hunters wear to protect themselves in the woods.
“Every day, 100 Americans are killed by gun violence and on average there are nearly 13,000 gun homicides each year,” Councilwoman Cruz said while reading the Proclamation. “Anyone can join this campaign by pledging to wear orange on June 7 to help raise awareness about gun violence and help keep firearms out of the wrong hands.”
Lorraine Lombardi, representing Moms Take Action, spoke and addressed the Council regarding the Proclamation.
“I am very happy to be here for the third year to represent Bloomfield and Moms Take Action of Essex County,” said Lombardi. “I want to thank the Mayor and Council for issuing this Proclamation again. We all wear orange to show our support for Hadiya and her family.“
The council also declared the period of May 19 to 25 as National Public Works Week.
“The Department of Public Works and Parks plays an integral part in the daily running of the Township of Bloomfield, as their mission is to provide essential services to The Township’s residents in a prompt, courteous, safe and cost-effective manner,” said Councilwoman Mundell while reading the Proclamation. “The Department assists the government in enhancing the quality of life for both residents and visitors alike, and through their dedicated employees, strives to maintain and operate public infrastructure in a manner that respects the environment in addition to preserving its assets for future generations.”
The 2019 National Public Works theme is focusing on ‘It Starts Here.’ This theme represents the many facets of modern civilization that grow out the efforts put forth by the public works professionals across North America.
“I salute and applaud the efforts of the Township of Bloomfield’s Department of Public Works and Parks for their commitment and dedication to this community,” stated Mayor Venezia.
Also present at the meeting were Township Administrator Matthew Watkins, Township Attorney Michael Parlavecchio, Township Engineer Paul Lasek and Municipal Clerk Louise Palagano.
During written communications to the Council, Clerk Palagano read a notice stating that the annual Township fireworks display will take place on Thursday, July 4 at 8:45 pm.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Susan Mullins raised concerns about Section 11, Consent Resolution 8 regarding the new water meters about to be installed in local homes and the possible effects of radiation being emitted from units.
Administrator Watkins responded by stating that research shows the new water meter are safe, and even safer than cellphones.
Ollyn Lettman, Executive Director of Bloomfield Center Alliance, spoke about the busy season upon the township with the block party set for June 1, Cruise Nights starting June 5, Dinner Under the Stars series starting next month and continuing through August, and a new Restaurant Walking Tour.
All first and second reading items on the agenda, as well as resolutions and consent resolutions, were unanimously passed.
The next Township Council Conference Meeting is Monday, June 17 at 7:00 pm in the conference room of the Law Enforcement Building. The next Township Council Regular Meeting is Monday, June 24 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.