LIVINGSTON, NJ — Rather than issuing a ticket when he saw a home with an overgrown lawn, Livingston’s Property Maintenance/Zoning Inspector Carl Pluchino contacted someone he knew would jump at the opportunity to help a neighbor in need.
The members of Boy Scouts Troop 12 were honored on Monday for their volunteer efforts in cutting 12 bags worth of grass, bringing tree limbs to the street, planting flowers and helping to landscape for a Livingston resident who was unable to do so herself. As he issued citations to each teen in recognition of his service, Mayor Al Anthony said all of them are “helping to promote the betterment of the quality of life in our community.”
“Over the years when you do this type of work, you run into properties and realize that sometimes there’s a problem; and there was a problem here,” said Pluchino. “After speaking to the owner of the house, I realized that doing my job as far as writing tickets and stuff wasn’t the answer; the answer was that this particular person needed help.”
Through Monica Zapata, a technical assistant with the Livingston Building Department, Pluchino learned about Troop 12 and recruited these “fine young gentleman” for assistance.
“It’s such an honor to stand with you,” he said to the Scouts on Monday. “It just gives faith to the fact that we have great youth here and this town is very lucky."
According to the Troop leaders, the grass was two-to-three feet high when they got to the home and that it took several grass trimmers to get it low enough to mow. They said that more than 50 hours were put into this project and that the homeowner was in tears with gratitude once they were finished.
Troop 12 consists of Scouts Riley Thompson, Gabe Covin, Advaith Pillai, Lelun Li and Max Sayre, whose leaders include Rich Waxman, Marshall Sayre, Shane Sayre, Alex Covin and Jake Schilling.
When called upon, Troop 12 is there to give back to the community in various ways, such as assisting with snow removal for more than two-dozen Livingston seniors during the winter months and more.
The mayor was full of praise on Monday for Livingston’s youth, as this presentation came shortly after the council honored a group of Livingston students for creating a Monarch Butterfly Garden just outside Town Hall and also honored third grader Matthew Smith for his appearance on "MasterChef Junior."
“Tonight’s been just a remarkable example of our youth in town and what a great future this country, this town, this world has,” he said.
Click on the headlines below to read about more recent accomplishments from Livingston’s younger residents: