BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Adoption of the 2019 township budget, declaration of Pride Month, and honors for St. Thomas Girls Basketball highlighted the Township of Bloomfield’s Regular Council Meeting on Monday, June 24 at the Civic Center on Broad Street.
 
Present at the meeting were Mayor Michael Venezia, First-Ward Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, Second-Ward Councilman Nicholas Joanow, Third-Ward Councilwoman Sarah Cruz, Councilwoman-At-Large Nina Davis, and Councilman-At-Large Richard Rockwell.  Not present was Councilman-At-Large Ted Gamble.
 
An introduction of a resolution to amend the 2019 township budget was unanimously adopted, as was the adoption of the amended budget of $86,171,572.65.
 
 
The budget was approved on April 8, and a hearing on the amended budget was held on May 20.
 
“The budget represents one of the smallest tax increases ever in Bloomfield, with a small increase of about $10.00 per household on the average house,” said Mayor Venezia.

 
The council proclaimed June as LGBT Pride Month, as the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a historic turning point for LGBT rights that occurred on June 28, 1969, in New York City when LGBT citizens rose up and resisted police harassment that arose out of discriminatory criminal laws that have since been declared unconstitutional.
 
“In the 50 years since, civil rights for LGBT people have grown substantially, and LGBT pride celebrations have taken place around the country every June,” said Councilman Rockwell.  “In communities throughout the country, barriers that limit the potential of LGBT Americans have been torn down, but too many continue to encounter discrimination and unfair treatment especially for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.”
 
“We stand in solidarity to show our support for the strengthening equal rights laws, to show that there is strength in diversity and to proclaim, ‘it gets better’,” Rockwell added.

 
The Bloomfield Pride LGBTQ+ Community was established to celebrate, educate and advocate on behalf of LGBT residents.
 
Members from the Bloomfield Pride Community were on hand to accept the proclamation.
 
Bloomfield Pride then presented Councilwoman Davis with an award in recognition of her dedication and support of the group.
 
The St. Thomas 3rd and 4th Grade Girls Basketball Team was honored with a Proclamation for
outstanding achievements during the 2019 season.
 
“Under the leadership of Head Coach John Garrison and Assistant Coaches Paul Drexler, Lester Cummings and Anthony Cianci, the team concluded its season with a record of 16-5-1,” said Councilman Joanow.  “Some of the season highlights include being named Essex County CYO League Champions, President’s Day Weekend Tournament Champions and finished the season winning their last 12 games.”
 
The members of this team include Kaylee Garrison, Emily Drexler, KC Cannon, Lyric Cummings, Alyssa Delgado, Janelle Epitime, Julia Rivera, Kennedy Vicioso and Alana Wright.
 
George Drossinos was sworn in as a member of the recycling board.
 
All proposed ordinances on first and second readings, and all consent resolutions were moved.
 
Also present at the meeting were Township Administrator Matthew Watkins, Township Attorney Michael Parlavecchio, Township Engineer Paul Lasek and Municipal Clerk Louise Palagano.
 
Upcoming meetings include a Township Council Conference Meeting on Monday, July 8 at 7:00 pm in the Law Enforcement Building.
 
The next Township Council Regular Meeting is Monday, July 22 at 7:00 pm, and it takes place at Bloomfield Civic Center on Broad Street.