CLARK, NJ – The Clark Council introduced a proposed ordinance at their August meeting that would raise $85,000 for various township departments, including the Clark Police Department.  The public hearing of the proposed ordinance is scheduled for September 18.

 “This is an ordinance to buy some much needed upgrades to our e-ticket system for our police department,” said Business Administrator John Laezza.  This upgrade will make both the police department’s ticketing system more effective as well as the way the township’s courts handle ticket processing, according to Laezza.

“One of my missions when I took over has always been to bring the department up technologically into the 21st century,” shared Clark Police Chief Pedro Matos.  “Currently, we are handwriting tickets which takes about 6 to 8 minutes for an average officer… that’s 6 to 8 minutes that the officer doesn’t have his eyes on the vehicle which is always a safety concern.”

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Matos added that when the handwritten tickets come back to the court, it needs to be added manually into the system.  With the new e-ticket system, the information will feed directly to the courts.  “When I looked at the labor costs of doing all that compared to purchasing the system, this is going to be a much more efficient and safe way to operate.”

Laezza also said that new rifles are to be purchased for the CPD with this ordinance.  These 8 new MR style rifles will be held by officers specifically trained to use the weapons, according to Matos.  He added that every officer will have familiarization with the new weapons.

“I don’t anticipate ever having to use these weapons,” said Matos.  “With the proliferation of these style of weapons… an officer might have to encounter someone who has a similar weapon.  Having an officer with a handgun facing someone with this style weapon, the odds are not in our favor.”

Along with the upgrades for the CPD, the township’s webpage system will receive an update with the funds from the proposed ordinance.  The funds will also help Curry Field undergo some needed improvements, according to Laezza.

“Councilman O’Connor I know you’ve been a thrust along with Councilwoman Albanese on the Curry Field improvements.  And I know you guys have worked hard,” said Mayor Sal Bonaccorso.  “Congratulations on your diligence.”

An ordinance to amend Chapter 347 of the township code entitled Vehicles and Traffic was adopted at the August meeting.  The amendment adds a stop on Prospect Street at its intersection with Liberty Street.

The changes also affect the ability for left turns into and out of the Clark Commons shopping area as follows:

  • From the Clark Commons lot exits 275 ft. west of Walnut Ave. and 1450 ft. west of Walnut Ave. onto Raritan Road.
  • From the Clark Commons lot exit 625 ft. south of Raritan Rd. onto Walnut Ave.
  • From Raritan Rd. into the Clark Commons parking lot entrances 275 ft. west of Walnut Ave. and 1450 ft. west of Walnut Ave. onto Raritan Road.

Three ordinances were presented for introduction and referral to the Planning Board regarding affordable housing.  According to Laezza, these are some changes in wording to satisfy the courts.  Mayor Bonaccorso reminded the public that the decisions made around affordable housing were made to protect the township from builders’ remedy.

Bonaccorso shared that Union County will begin paving Walnut Ave from Cranford into Clark (Raritan Road to Valley Road) on or about September 8.  He also said the county will begin paving Central Avenue from Westfield into Clark (from bridge at Terminal Ave down to Garden State Parkway Circle) on the evening of September 20.