Madison Council Approves Memorial Pavers For Veterans

Madison Young Playwrights honored. Credits: Liz Keill
 Mayor Conley commends National Merit Scholar Monica A. Young Credits: Liz Keill
 Tree City USA banner shared  during recognition of shade tree volunteers. Credits: Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ – James Park will be the site of memorial pavers for military veterans, replacing the blacktop leading up to the Eagle Monument.

Former Mayor Jack Dunne came before the council at the meeting Monday night to ask for approval for the project. The council unanimously agreed. The cost of each sponsorship is $75 per name.  “It’s a way of honoring the men and women who gave so much to preserve our nation,” Dunne said. He noted he had established a Veterans Registration Book from 2002 to 2008 at Borough Hall.

The theme of the project is “Walk with a Veteran. Our footsteps were heard around the world. We are a few of the all who served our nation with honor, pride and dignity. Please walk with us.”

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Dunne said each plaque would be allowed three lines, with 15 characters per line: the name of the veteran and branch of service. Applications are available at the Borough Clerk’s office and will be distributed on Memorial Day.  James Park is located at the west end of Madison, at Main Street and Park Avenue.

The World War I Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1926. A bronze American eagle is on an octagonal pedestal.  In the late 20th century, 14 cherry trees were planted with plaques on each tree naming the original 14 veterans who lost their lives during World War I.

In another matter relating to veterans, Council member Carmela Vitale introduced a resolution urging Congress to change federal law regarding veterans’ organization’s eligibility for Community Development Block Grant funding. She said HUD would not consider such organizations as the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion as being eligible. Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco has requested the change. The resolution notes the many services provided by   these organizations, including help during emergencies such as Super storm Sandy, contributions to veterans for military service, financial assistance, homeless outreach and support services.   The council adopted the resolution.

Councilman Ben Wolkowitz provided an update on the Strategic Planning Committees. The Budget Committee, he said, was not intended to be part of this year’s budget, but did help inform he process. They are working on guidelines to be applied in the future and have adopted changes based on information from the other committees.

The Utilities Committee is developing recommendations regarding pricing. Some of their proposed allocations differ from department head recommendations, Wolkowitz said. Outside consultants may be considered as well.

The Capital Committee has provided the most comprehensive accounting to date of the borough’s assets. This will allow thoughtful predictions regarding allocations. “We’re optimistic that this is an excellent way to calculate how much capital is needed,” he said.

The Operations Committee survey resulted in recommendations from residents, with plans to redo the website. He anticipates a mockup of the proposed website before the end of the year.

Mayor Robert Conley read a proclamation regarding Skin Cancer Awareness Month, May, 2015. Honored at the meeting were National Merit Scholar Monica A. Young and Madison Young Playwrights, whose work is performed for local and statewide audiences. National Police Week, May 10 through May 16, will include a candle light vigil at the national monument in Washington D.C. The Shade Tree Management Board and Friends of Madison Shade Trees were recognized for their horticultural efforts.

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