LIVINGSTON, NJ - Officer Sean Whelan of the Livingston Police Department, on behalf of local Police Benevolent Association (PBA) #263, on Tuesday presented checks totaling $10,000 in recognition of Autism Awareness Month recognized annually in April.  

"Our police officers are very civic minded, it is part of their core," said Livingston Mayor Edward Meinhardt during Tuesday’s township council meeting.

Whelan noted that after speaking with Joe Romano, owner of Cross Fit Gym, and resident Betty Portugal, a decision was made to present two checks in the amount of $5,000 each to Spectrum Works and Spectrum 360, two Livingston-based organizations whose missiona are implement innovative services, to support and to provide opportunities for adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. Whelan stated that although there are multiple initiatives to raise awareness and to help find a cure, little funding goes directly to young adults with autism to support their daily needs. Members of the PBA intend for this donation to support those on the spectrum directly and immediately.

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An annual golf outing sponsored by the PBA was held on April 30. The outing has grown each year.  

Livingston police officer Joseph Bosco joined members of the township council to announce the department’s commitment to the national initiative of “Click it or Ticket.”  The goal is to stress the importance of using a seatbelt and law enforcement’s initiative to crack down on non-usage and that seatbelts are the most effective device available to protect occupants of motor vehicles. In 2015, the last year statistics are available, 14,000 lives were lost by non-usage of seatbelts.

The Livingston Police Department had applied successfully for a federal grant and received $5,500 to enforce the “click it or ticket” initiative. The funds will cover 100 hours of manpower to offset the costs involved. Bosco said, "This is simple, buckle up,” and suggested that residents check to learn more about child restraint laws.

Susan Ridley, program supervisor of Community Services, assisted in the presentation of the community Presidential Awards. To be considered for an award, the recipients must fulfill a minimum of 100 hours annually up to 4,000 hours of volunteering during their lifetimes. 

The first resident known throughout Livingston for her long standing passion and love for the town was Grace Russo. Her family beamed with pride as she received her award acknowledging her many years of service to the residents of Livingston.  

Stacey Rubinstein was acknowledged for more than 500 hours of volunteering in the “Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors” organization. 

“I do not do anything alone, there are board members and many volunteers who are very much involved, I accept this on behalf of many,” she said.

The teen awards were presented to Jesse Allard and Griffen Mudosky for volunteering 250 hours each to the community, including activities such as shadowing special needs children in sporting events.

The first Livingston Teen Youth Forum was held to discuss issues affecting youth, including health, welfare and safety. The Teen Likes Program emphasizes excellence in community service that helps define Livingston as a community.

"Livingston is known for its volunteerism and that the recipients of the evening’s awards spanned generation to generation," Meinhardt said. "The students recognized tonight will be the next leaders of Livingston or leaders of wherever you choose to put down your roots.”

On the agenda, a resolution was approved unanimously authorizing the appointment of Parette Somjen Architects, LLC. Resolution R-118-112 was also unanimously approved as a Special Emergency Appropriation Resolution Tax Board Ordered Property Evaluation in the amended amount of $775,000.  

After a brief report to the public and members of the council by Robert Chilton, from Gabel Associates, it was determined that the rates offered by PSE&G and JCPL were not favorable enough at this time to begin the energy aggregation initiative.  

There still is an open window of 120 days for new bids to be accepted and the consensus was to take the “luxury of time and wait to see if in perhaps 60 to 90 days we get better pricing in the future.”