MADISON, NJ At the Borough Council meeting on June 24, Mayor Robert Conley honored the Madison High School Girls Lacrosse team for its winning season. The team won the State Group 2 championship and was the Freedom Conference champions. The Mayor also recognized June as Pride Month in Madison and representatives of the LGBTQ community at Madison High School were presented with a proclamation. The Mayor explained that rainbow flags will be flown on Waverly Place and that Madison has made great progress in awareness and education of gay rights but that it has a “long way to go.” He was proud to have performed the first gay marriages in the Borough.

Lisa Ellis of the Borough Parking Task Force introduced ordinances 27-2019 and 31-2019 amending the Borough Code involving parking lots and parking time limits. These lots have new proposed hours: Kings Road, Prospect Street, Maple Avenue, Train Station, Green Avenue, Waverly Green, Cook Avenue. Elmer Street Civic Center, Madison Public Library and Madison Housing Authority Lots, and the rear of Hartley Dodge Memorial. The following locations have been proposed for merchant/employee parking: Kings Road, both sides from Maple Avenue to Prospect Street, Kings Road, 15 most westerly spaces on North side of street between Green Village Road and Madison Avenue,  Maple Avenue, both sides from Kings road to the Hartley Dodge Memorial Driveway, Green Avenue on the West Side of the street from Kings Road to Wilmer Street, Chapel Street, on the North side of the street from Greenwood Avenue to Central Avenue, and Cook Avenue, the North side from Central Avenue to Community Place. Parking at all locations is permitted from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Monday through Friday. One new street handicap parking spot has been added at the corner of Lincoln and Waverly. Ordinance 31-2019 proposes changing one hour parking areas to 90 minute parking areas and designates the following as 15 minute parking spaces: South side of Main Street, single space-west end adjacent to loading zone, South side of Main Street, single space-east end adjacent to loading zone, and East side of Central Avenue, single space-South end corner of Main Street.

The Council unanimously (Debra Coen absent) passed Ordinance 22-2019, authorizing $18,797 from the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund as matching funds to establish a dog park at Memorial Park. As discussed at prior Council meetings, the dog park will displace the Boy Scout’s annual camping event at Memorial Park. Representatives of Madison Boy Scouts spoke in favor of promptly setting up an alternative location at Summerhill Park as the new camping site. Paul Allocco of the Borough’s Parks Advisory Committee stated that the committee had met with pack leaders and parents and assured them that the transition to Summerhill Park will be accomplished to accommodate the scouts, the only members of the community who are being displaced by the dog park.

Resident Ricardo Oliveira addressed the Council with complaints of alleged racism and harassment by the community to his family, including him, his wife, and three school-age children. He alleged that his children, at the Central Avenue School, the Junior School, and the High School have experienced racist comments and treatment. He stated that he was speaking to document this treatment. He reported harassment by the family’s landlord and said child protective services were called to the home on a false report of a beating of a child by his wife. In addition, he alleged that his vehicle’s tires were slashed. Mayor Conley responded that the Council will reach out to the schools and the police chief to discuss these allegations.