LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Town Council met at Town Hall on June 3 to discuss a number of issues, as well as to commemorate achievers in the Livingston Youth Community Service Program (LYCS).

The council conference meeting had several interests. First on the agenda was the Livingston Shuttle and whether or not to keep it going. Councilwoman Deborah Shapiro was adamant that changes were needed in order to keep the chuttle running without costing the taxpayer, whereas Councilman Michael Silverman was adamant about extending the service for at least another year. Although the shuttle has been costing the town money, Beth Lippman, executive director of the Business Improvement District, reminded the council that the shuttle “is like a business and needs time” to take off. The council voted to extend the shuttle service until the end of the year and go from there.

Planning for July 4 was discussed next, in particular the holding of a beer garden by the gazebo in the Oval. Police liaison officer for the Fourth of July, Captain Marschuetz assured the council that “other towns have had no problems with the event.”  Although the town has an ordinance against such activity, Mayor Fernandez does “not see a beer garden as a crowd drawer,” and so it seems there will be an exception to the rule this upcoming Fourth of July.

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A removal of more than 461 trees is still being planned and was discussed during the conference. It was decided that the final decision will be postponed until more information on pricing can be ascertained.

There were also morethan 50 children with their parents in attendance to congratulate and appreciate the services and graduation of the youths in LYCS. LYCS teaches leadership, healthy choices, community engagement, anti-bullying, and much more to grades 1-12 in the Livingston School system. The town council gave out citations to dozens of LYCS members for “excellence in community services.”

One major program LYCS focused on was called “Healthy Bones,” in which LYCS students learned about the importance of keeping bone health strong to prevent osteoporosis. Dr. Sally Fullman was honored with a plaque for leading the program who was “just so proud to be among so many accomplished young people.”

After recess, upcoming events were discussed for Essex County, including a “Muckfest” to help raise funds against multiple sclerosis, the Essex County Summer Music Festival, and a fireworks show on July 2 in Brookdale Park.  Brochures with more information can be found in the Livingston Town Hall lobby.

Several items were voted on and passed, including an appropriation for park improvements, a new smoking ordinance (50 feet away from entranceways), and several contracts from lawn care to legal services.

Resident Robert Hunter expressed concern over local car break-ins in the area, “they took my babka cakes,” he commented.  According to Hunter, four people were arrested in Roseland for suspicion of such activity earlier in the day.

Livingston Residents Nick Politano and Bernard Serral expressed concern over potholes, dead trees, and other irregularities in the town, and suggested that police take a more active role in reporting such activity.

Ronald Risch expressed concern over the results of the recent investigation of a training exercise that took place on April 19. Mayor Fernandez assured him the results would be released soon. Risch also discussed how Livingston, in the past year, has had “a morale problem” concerning the town workers. He expressed dissatisfaction with how the DPW had to unionize to “protect themselves from being fired,” how the library workers have not been given a raise in three years, and the means in which police have been suspended.  The mayor assured Risch he had spoken to many town workers, and “some people are happy, others aren’t.”