Government

Mayor Urges Residents to Come Forward when Issues Arise in New Providence

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NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – “We can’t fix a problem, if we don’t know about it,” Mayor Al Morgan said at the Monday, July 11 council meeting as he urged residents to contact borough officials when issues arise by going to the borough website and use CONTACT US button.

Morgan referred to complaints expressed at the June 27 council meeting with regard to the ongoing Lantern Hill construction project. Morgan did not attend the June 27 meeting but visited Lantern Hill as soon as the issues were brought to his attention. They “went well above and beyond” in responding to all the questions that the borough had, Morgan complemented the Lantern Hill staff.

Patricia Swan, Executive Director of the Lantern Hill campus, had also met with some Candlewood Drive residents to hear their concerns. Another meeting is scheduled for July 12 with Morgan attending. Swan explained that many aspects of the construction that caused the discontent among the campus neighbors are state mandated. Once the construction is completed the hillside will be replanted, she said.

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“If we had known about the problems earlier we could have prevented a lot of ill feelings” among the Candlewood Drive neighbors, Morgan said. He urged residents to send an email to borough officials if they have a concern or want to report a problem. Councilman Armand Galluccio asked that residents use the email to report issues, but not contact the council members at their places of employment.

Council President Michael Gennaro also referred to the June 27 meeting and accusations of wrong doing by a resident. He asked Borough Administrator Doug Marvin to explain some of the ordinances that Gene Gregory had referred to.

Marvin said that the borough tree ordinances deal with permit requirements. The borough engineer issues the permit. “He tries to keep as many trees as possible” on a construction site. However, many borough lots have multiple trees and some of them have to be removed if the homeowner were to do any addition or construction to his or her home.

Sometimes difficulties arise when heavy equipment is brought to the construction site; however, this is usually discussed during the permit hearing process. He noted that the borough interprets ordinances differently than Gregory appeared to do.

Marvin also explained that there are no restrictions as set forth in borough ordinances concerning when a construction can take place. However, the noise ordinance sets limits to decibel levels at certain times, such as early morning, late evening or weekends. The Board of Health is the entity that deals with noise issues.

Referring to accusations of wrong doing Gennaro asked Marvin if any borough employee had not been diligent in his or her duties.

Marvin explained that “we are very careful in making sure we are doing things in accordance with our ordinances”. No borough employee was involved in any neglect or wrong doing as accused, Marvin stated.

We want to hear anyone who wants to speak. But we don’t want to hear personal name calling or accusations. The council cannot accept tape recordings that have been recorded without the knowledge of such by all parties. That would “cross the line,” Gennaro concluded.

Morgan askes that residents should submit concerns through the burough website by using the "CONTACT US" button or go directly to the borough's online service request to log their concerns, request for information, or request a service. Morgan pointed out the reasons behind this electronic submission, "Number 1, the borough is properly informed and we have an accurate record of the concern or request to reference; Number 2, the concern is swiftly and properly addressed by the correct person or department and so that information dispensed is complete and accurate."

Morgan further explained that each service request will be assigned a tracking number the submitter can check back on the website at any time to view the current status of the request.  Requests entered after hours will be received by Borough staff by 8:30 a.m. the next business day. It is not necessary to register to submit a service request, however, if you do register then you will be able to track all the service requests submitted under your registration ID. Submitting an email address with your service request will result in confirmation that the request has been received and will allow you to receive status updates for your request.

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