Montclair Township Council Explores Supermarket Shuttle, Police Hiring, Park Cameras

Credits: Marissa Kluger
Credits: Marissa Kluger
MONTCLAIR, NJ - Two residents and several township personnel addressed the Montclair Council in the second-floor conference room on Tuesday. 
Issues presented to the council included the parking study, affordable housing, local hiring in the police department, installing cameras in parks and town pools, a web redesign, Property Pilot, Edgemont senior center, and options for providing transportation from Pathmark to another supermarket in light of its closure
Director of Health and Human Services Sue Portuese presented five transportation options. 
Portese said the first option would be to open the senior bus to all residents. A second option included using Essex County bus transport on Wednesdays or Fridays, by appointment only made two to 14 days in advance. The third, she said, would pick up a group of seniors or disabled residents from Pathmark to grocery shop at the Shoprite in Brookdale. 

Councilor Sean Spiller implored an option that included all residents, suggesting the health department observe peak times and days before offering the transportation. 
Portese added the township could use senior activities buses after 4 p.m. and on Saturdays, hire their drivers, and pay liability insurance. The final option would make use of the Montclair commuter shuttle bus during the day.
Resident Sandy Sorkin wanted to know why dog licenses cost $12 to 15 while licenses for cats were $6 to $9. 
He also inquired after the Upper Montclair parking lot in respect to the parking study, mentioning he had difficulties getting change from the pay stations. 
Sorkin implored the Council to include instructions on the machines, indicating the stations were not equipped to provide change. He added the town needed to communicate that cars did not need to display receipts on dashboards. 
“I watched some out-of-towners put in $3 and wait to get a receipt,” he said. 
Mayor Robert Jackson clarified the parking program is “more like a pilot not a study.” 
Later on in the evening, Parking Utility Project Administrator Tina Iordamlis said the pay stations would not offer change, however residents could stop in the parking utility office during business hours to recoup the money from the office’s “petty cash.”  
“The parking pilot would last for one year,” she added. 
The Council also asked Iordamlis about deck maintenance, new pay stations and contracting a valet service for the town at the Fullerton parking deck. 
She cited experience shadowing the parking authority in Hoboken, and how a town valet service “could work really well.”
Resident William Scott quoted the Valley and Bloom project developer who said they met the affordable housing needs by providing ten percent, or 25 units. He also read Jackson’s statement from an article where he said 25 units was a lot.
Scott implored the Council to “stop misrepresenting the inclusionary zoning ordinance.”
Jackson responded, “I’m simply saying that 25 affordable units is more than usual.”
Scott then reminded the council that 52 families were unable to move to Montclair with only ten percent set aside. He mentioned Princeton and Lyndhurst as townships meeting the twenty percent. 
The Council then heard from Police Chief David Sabagh in regards to the department’s ideal staffing levels of 109, with current employment at 106. He said increased overtime at the patrol level has plagued the department in the last couple of years. 
When asked by Jackson about hiring locally, Sabagh said a three tier system of exams, used years ago, for local, county, and state candidates could be a way to bring in officers residing in Montclair. The chief also sought to add three three-wheeled segways, costing $13,500 each, to the existing one used by the department. 
Director of Information Technology Tony Fan, along with the police chief and Pat Brechka, Director of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, explained the process for obtaining cameras for the town’s parks and pools including Edgemont, Nishuane, Essex, Canterbury, and Mountainside. 
Fan said there were no costs associated with the cameras for parks and pools just yet. 
The Council asked about cameras in the crescent deck. Fan added equipping it would cost $10,000 for three cameras, $25-28,000 for fiber optics, and take six to eight weeks to complete. 
All Resolutions placed before the Council were approved. 
Councilor Renee Baskerville voted against an amended resolution adjusting the term of George Librizzi’s appointment to the position of tax assessor. 
A resolution regarding the Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee adding two to three “public forums” a month in the evenings, pending the committee’s approval, triggered discussion among council members. 
The Council will hold its next meeting in council chambers on Oct. 16, 7 p.m., at 205 Claremont Avenue. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Original Pancake House of West Caldwell Evacuated in Possible Pepper Spray Incident

May 20, 2018

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The Original Pancake House in West Caldwell was evacuated early Saturday afternoon due to a possible pepper spray incident that caused ambulances from the West Essex, Verona and Bloomfield First Aid Squads to assist at the scene.

Bianca Pietro, a West Orange mother of two, said she was seated inside the glass atrium on the south side of the building that faces ...

The Meadowlands' Jeff Gural To Talk Sports Betting On May 18 Broadcast

May 18, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Meadowlands chairman Jeff Gural will talk about what lies ahead for Garden State bettors Friday night, May 18 as the Big M prepares to take action on professional and college sports in the coming weeks.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with New Jersey and ruled that sports betting is now legal across the country.

Gural will be interviewed by ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Mon, May 21, 7:30 PM

Luna Stage, West Orange

6th Annual New Moon Play Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, May 22, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

How to Live Longer and Stay Healthy

Health & Wellness

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 16, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

Montclair Police Blotter: Montclair Business Burglarized, Arrests and More

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was released by the Montclair Police Department on May 15, 2018:


05-11-2018 (Orange Road) Mr. Tyrone Davis, 44yoa from Newark, was arrested and charged with DWI.
05-14-2018 (Grove Street) Ms. Sabrina McSwain, 21yoa from Bloomfield, was arrested on an open
warrant out of Glen Ridge ($250)


05-09-2018 (Union Street) ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

'The Sting' with Harry Connick Jr. Slithers and Shakes at Paper Mill

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and Chicago.  Scott Joplin’s music is intertwined with the show, especially “The ...

Book Discussion at MPL: Not That I Could Tell

May 21, 2018

Join us for a discussion of Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser.

The discussion will take place in the main library’s conference room.  Please feel free to bring a dish or snack for everyone to enjoy!

Registration required:

Starts: 06/07/2018 at 6:30pm

Ends: 06/07/2018 at 7:30pm

Address: 50 S Fullerton Ave.

Venue: Montclair ...