SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Borough Council unanimously voted against a proposed ordinance that would have abolished Spotswood's current Emergency Medical Services Department and outsource it to a private service.
The ordinance was first introduced at a Jan. 6 council meeting. It generated much debate and controversy among Spotswood and Helmetta residents who would have also been affected by the decision. On Jan. 20, the council held a public forum where residents voiced their concern and displeasure at the idea of privatizing the town's emergency medical services.
Initially, the Borough Council, including President Curtis Stollen, were in favor of the move, receiving private bids from Robert Wood and MONOC, due to the cost increases brought on by the federal government's Affordable Care Act. However, Spotswood Mayor Nicholas Poliseno disagreed, stating that the decision should be left to a public referendum on the November ballot.
Yesterday's vote by the Borough Council did not include Councilwoman Margaret Drozd. Drozd did not attend the February 17 meeting because she was on vacation. As mayor, Poliseno did not have a vote on the ordinance.
The proposed ordinance sparked an online petition by former Helmetta council member Yvette Bruno. It also led to the creation of a Facebook page titled Save Spotswood EMS. Currently, the page has 278 likes. Many residents from Spotswood and Helmetta as well as other area communities came to recent Borough Council meetings to speak in support of the borough's EMS. Several inquired as to why the question was not put to the voters.
Even though the ordinace was voted down at yesterday's proceedings, residents may still get to have their say on the EMS issue since Stollen stated that the Borough Council plans to adress it on the ballot in November.