BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township has finally passed an ordinance to provide for a town historian and advisory committee that will help to preserve the town’s legacy of nearly three full centuries.
The town council voted, 4-1, in favor of the measure at its Sept. 21 meeting.
Council vice president Filipe Pedroso, who has spearheaded the push for the ordinance, said it was the fourth time the council had pored over it, including the measure’s initial introduction. The ordinance had been re-introduced at the previous council meeting on Sept. 10 following some changes in its wording.
Pedroso briefly recounted the history of Bridgewater, which stretches back 271 years since the municipality was originally chartered. He spoke about how entities such as museums have preserved history, and how one wouldn’t be able to look back upon history without them.
“History is for future generations,” said Pedroso, “doing the little things, saving important documents.”
After wishing the township still possessed its original charter from the late 1700s, he said the historian and the committee would now have the task of accepting donations “and protecting history.”
He reiterated what he had said at past meetings, that both the historian and the committee would be volunteers, and would not be spending taxpayer dollars to acquire historical items. If they needed to spend any money, they would have to come before the council to receive approval “to allocate spending,” he said.
No members of the public provided input during the public hearing.
Pedroso concluded by saying the ordinance fulfills an important task, and that it is better late than never, before motioning for its final approval.
Councilman Allen Kurdyla said he respects Pedroso’s feelings and opinions on the matter, and that he believed the ordinance would be passed. He also said he still had concerns about it, which had previously included where obtained items would be stored, and then again cast the lone dissenting vote.
“Congratulations, Filipe,” said council president Howard Norgalis after all the votes were in. “It’s been a long struggle.”