CHATHAM, NJ - The Borough of Chatham Council held its final meeting of 2019, bidding farewell and thanks to outgoing members, Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris, Council President James Collander and council member Victoria Fife with resolutions at a Special Meeting held Thursday night.
The final meeting of the year also brought more opposition from residents about proposed plans for a 230-unit building at Post Office Plaza during public commentary.
Chatham residents, perhaps, giving a preview of what might be in store in the new year for incoming mayor Thad Kobylarz and soon-to-be council members Irene Treloar and Karen Koronkiewicz, and a yet-to-be-named appointed replacement for Kobylarz, who is moving up from council member to mayor.
Since the initial design plans for Post Office Plaza's "Chatham Mews" were revealed at the Nov. 15 meeting of the borough council, there has been ongoing public comments in opposition to the design plan, which has been compared to a "fortress". Resident Michael Dean recently likened the proposed building, which will reach as high as five stories, to a prison in upstate New York.
On the agenda were six-month extensions for the designated redevelopers of River Road - an affiliate of BNE Real Estate Group and Post Office Plaza, an affiliate of the Kushner Real Estate Group.
Residents urged that the Post Office Plaza designation not be renewed. Both designations for six-month extensions passed.
Harris has been an elected official in Chatham Borough for 16 years, the last eight as the mayor. Collander was elected to the council five times, serving 15 years and Fife completed three terms in her nine years on the council. All three received "Word Graphic" gifts, highlighting their time on the council. Chatham Township resident Tom Salvas designed the word graphics.
Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris makes farewell remarks at his final meeting as mayor
Council President James Collander makes farewell remarks at his final meeting of the Borough of Chatham Council
In other business, the council authorized attorney James Lott to begin the legal process of acquiring the Stanley Congregational Church property and building, which are being donated by the closing parish. The borough would also receive $350,000 from Stanley for maintenance or renovations.