Chatham Township Residents and Mayor "Dialogue"; Petitioners Unhappy with Wording of Proclamation

Kellie Doucette asked for more open dialogue about diversity Credits: TAP Chatham
Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter's March 9 proclamation was not popular with residents speaking at Thursday night's Chatham Township Committee meeting Credits: TAP Chatham
Chatham resident Jane Devlin told Mayor Ritter she did not feel a proclamation was an appropriate substitute for a resolution Credits: TAP Chatham
Committee member Mike Kelly was encouraged by the dialogue at the meeting Credits: TAP Chatham
Resident Donna Leyens advocated for a discussion on the root of the problem Credits: TAP Chatham
Resident Jessica Romeo listed all the dates she contacted the committee members by email and made her disappointment in the proclamation known Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - The public portion of the Chatham Township Committee meeting was dominated Thursday night by residents chastising Mayor Curt Ritter for making a proclamation in lieu of a "Welcoming" resolution at the March 9 committee meeting.

Ritter pointed out in his remarks Thursday that he had been "proactive" and acceded to the petitioner's request he received for a proclamation:  "Please sign this petition to invite the Chatham Township Council to issue a statement proclaiming that our town is welcoming and accepting of all people regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sexuality, national origin, gender, disability, marital or veteran status or any other legally protected status. Chatham Township rejects hate and intolerance of any kind."

The full text of the petition can be found by CLICKING HERE 

Sign Up for E-News

Chatham resident Kellie Doucette identified herself as an Indian-American who was asked on a plane ride why she lives in a place like Chatham, which is "20 years behind the times." She was one of the residents who had been seeking a "Welcoming" resolution, similar to the ones passed recently by Madison and Chatham Borough.

Ritter had offered a proclamation titled "Take Pride in Chatham Township Day" at the March 9 meeting in response to request for a welcoming petition.

Residents took issue with the proclamation, which they did not feel was worded as strongly as the one requested in a petition that contained 215 signatures. After being chastised by one speaker after another, Ritter made an emotional response in which he "apologized for being proactive." He also apologized to those who felt he was not responsive to their requests, and said that he took personally what was said about him on social media.

Resident Jane Devlin explained why she didn't think a proclamation was appropriate in place of a welcoming resolution.

Jessica Romeo said residents felt "shut down" at the March 9 meeting because of the proclamation and were seeking an interactive discussion. She stated that the proclamation did not go far enough in denouncing intolerance. 

Chatham resident Donna Leyens said it would be better to "dialogue" about the the root of the problem instead of digging in heels on the issue.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 25 – Sunday, July 1, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend


By Galina Natenzon

All three of the library’s summer reading programs open this week!  The theme of this year’s summer reading is Libraries Rock!  The children’s program kicks off with a magic show by Matt Cadabra on Monday.  Over ...

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend


By Galina Natenzon

This week we are wrapping up our first session of ESL classes.  Stay tuned, we are planning a fall session to start in September.  New students are welcome to enroll!  This is the last week of calm and quiet at the library before our summer reading ...

Angie's Owners Want to Thank Their Chatham Customers

June 14, 2018

To the Editor:

We want to thank our customers and the entire community for their support and devotion to our business. Our last day of business will be July 31.

rWe will miss all the friends that we have developed over the past 26 years. Wishing everyone much success and happiness in the future.


Louiza and Jimmy Poulimenos

P.S. "Until we meet ...


AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Chatham Students Drury, McMahon, Moran, Pallitto Graduate from Scranton University

June 24, 2018

SCRANTON, PA - Students earning undergraduate degrees from Scranton University include the following Chatham residents.

Adam C. Drury earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in strategic communication; Kara L. McMahon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science; Meghan A. Moran earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human resources studies, and Christina M. Pallitto earned a Bachelor ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...