SOMERSET, NJ - Tuesday's 7 pm council meeting at the municipal building is packed with items that could have an impact on public safety and community programs.

The governing body will consider changing the position of chief of police to a director of public safetyaccording to the agenda.

Related article: Council to consider big change in police department Tuesday

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The $256,058 Community Development Block Grant Action Plan will be voted on by the council for approval.  

During the council meeting, a vote on adding a Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce member as a member of the Hamilton Street Advisory board will be taken and adopted if approved. 

Approval of the township's 2019-2020 hunting program, and a resolution supporting a moratorium on fossil fuel projects in New Jersey are also agenda items. 

The council will also enter an executive session to discuss pending litigation against the township.  

TAP here for full agenda. 

Continue reading below to find out how you can TAPinto your local government. 

Get To Know The Community Calendar

The first step to getting involved in your local government is pretty simple – know when the meetings are scheduled.

The Municipal Calendar of Events, available on the Franklin Township Website, gives community members the chance to view and submit local events of interest. This calendar documents everything from Environmental Commission Meetings to the Board of Fire Prevention Meetings, and you can search for specific categories or departments using search tabs above the calendar. And if that wasn’t easy enough, everything on the calendar is color coded.

Regular Council Meetings are held twice a month, usually on Tuesday or Thursday evenings around 7:00pm. A full Franklin Township Council Calendar is available on the Township website, beneath the Government tab (Government -> Township Council -> Upcoming Meetings). And if you want to be caught up on recent happenings, the agenda and minutes of all previous council meetings are also available on the Township website.

These meetings are typically held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building at 475 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873, unless specified otherwise.

Be an Active Participant in Council Meetings

You don’t need to be the mayor or councilperson to make a local impact – you just have to raise your hand. Council Members invite the ideas, opinions, and concerns of the community, and have a process designed for exactly that. Here’s what it looks like:

When Mayor Phil Kramer opens the public discussion of the meeting, simply raise your hand. You will be called on by a Council Member.

Walk up to the podium at the front of the room and clearly state both your name and your address.

Speak your mind. Comments, which should be addressed to the council, can be in regards to any matter or concern. The only rule is that comments will be limited to five minutes in regular meetings, and two minutes at special meetings.

Even if you don’t have a question or comment for the Council Members, you can still be an active participant by being an informed audience member. Check out this Guide prepared by the Township Clerk, which works to outline some of the more technical vocabulary used within meetings. It also may answer some of your basic questions surrounding the roles of Council Members and Council Meeting procedures.

Stay in The Loop, Even When You Can’t Attend

Can’t make it to a meeting? No worries. You can still get in on the action through Franklin Township’s many broadcasting resources.

Currently, the Department of Information Technology films all Township Council Meetings, Township Planning Board meetings, and Township Zoning Board of Adjustment meetings. Additionally, recordings of The Library Board and Sewerage Authority Meetings are aired on FFTV when made available.

These meetings are broadcasted and re-broadcasted on the Franklin Township’s public access TV Channel (FFTV) based on a rotating schedule. The specific channel will vary across providers – for example, for Comcast users, it’s Channel 29, and for Verizon users, it’s Channel 33.

If you do not have cable, or if you’d just prefer to watch from your computer or mobile device, the Township also offers free access to a Live Stream of each filmed meeting.  And if you’re super tech savvy, all meetings are also uploaded to the Township’s Youtube Channel, typically made available within a week of its scheduled date.

For more resources available that will keep you connected with local Franklin Township governance, check out this infographicpdf from the Department of Information Technology.  With the breadth of resources provided to Franklin Township community members, there is no excuse to be disengaged.

The time for civic engagement is now. 

Have a news tip, or feedback? Email or call our tip line 908-279-0303 ext. 257.

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