CLARK, NJ – The Clark Town Council meeting held on June 19 brought with it some reminders about summer celebrations and underage drinking, words of gratitude, announcements about local events and more.   

Mayor Sal Bonaccorso opened the meeting by recognizing  the Clark Fire Department, the Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad and the Clark Police for their valiant efforts on June 16 after a tragic one car accident on the Garden State Parkway.   Bonaccorso praised the teams for being first on the scene and in the river in an attempt to rescue the passengers trapped in the vehicle.  The mayor recognized Clark emergency personnel for their speedy professional response any time there is a tragic event.   Bonaccorso ended by offering his condolences to the families of the victims.

Bonaccorso then congratulated graduates from Pre-K to college for a job well done and asked residents to be mindful of the decisions they make during the celebrations when it comes to alcohol.  “I’m going to ask our citizens, please curb the underage drinking parties, there is a law, the police can come onto your property, it is not private property,  if they believe underage children are consuming alcohol they can and will show up and you can and will be charged,” said Bonaccorso.

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Police Chief Pedro Matos also shared some reminders about hosting underage drinkers.   “If there is a resident who is hosting an underage party you will be held accountable for that.   Anyone who would do that is taking on a huge amount of responsibility considering that if they (the underage drinkers) get behind the wheel of a car you will be held accountable,” said Matos. 

“We want a safe graduation season folks please, that’s all I ask for I don’t want to have to show up at any funeral home to pay my respects that would be a tragic day to have to go through that again.  We’ve done it before and I do not want to have to do it again,” urged Bonaccorso.   

During the business of the meeting, the Council adopted and approved an ordinance and several resolutions.  The first is an ordinance to amend and supplement an ordinance adopted last month regarding multiple-family residents.  According to Business Administrator John Laezza, in a phone interview, the minimum percent for affordable housing units in a development was reduced from 20 to 16 percent in this revision.

The council also voted to approve a resolution urging the NJ State Legislature to extend the two percent cap on police and fire arbitration contract awards.   In addition Mayor Bonaccorso sent  up to the council a resolution to be sent to NJ State Legislators urging them to take action and pass common sense affordable housing rules that do not overburden the infrastructure of municipalities throughout the state.  According to Bonaccorso this resolution will be shared with all municipalities in the county and the state in hopes that they will rally and pass similar resolutions and send them to the legislators too.

In comments from various members of the council and administration,   numerous upcoming events were highlighted including:

  • Clark Public Library – Summer Reading Program for Adults and Kids
  • The Battle of Short Hills Reenactment – June 24-25 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark
  • William Waterson Memorial – July 4, 10 a.m. in front of Clark Police Department
  • July 4 Fireworks – at ALJ High School at 9 p.m.
  • National Night Out  hosted by Clark Emergency Responders - August 1 , 6-9 p.m. at ALJ High School