NUTLEY, NJ - Mayor/Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces appointments to two new committees during the Nutley BOC meeting on Thursday, June 4. Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco was marked absent excused.
While the Board is meeting in person in the Commission Chambers, the public may only participate via Zoom where they are able to view the meeting and speak during public comment in real time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remainder of the 2020-year public meetings have been moved to Zoom until further notice.
Tucci read a joint statement by the Board regarding the death of Minneapolis resident, George Floyd, which is located on the township website nutleynj.org/news/post/9289/.
The mayor held a moment of silence for Floyd and his family and friends as well as all those who died from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Overtime Payroll for weeks of May 15 is $26,040.16 and May 29 is $19,842.88. The state government will reimburse these funds as part of the CARES Act.
The Mayor said the township is waiting on guidance from Governor Phil Murphy’s office before making any plans for the Fourth of July regarding fireworks and other celebrations. Essex County’s Executive Director Joseph DiVincenzo already canceled plans for fireworks and all of the summer concerts this year. Tucci also said he wants to see how to make Camp Nutley happen this year. Around 200 children attend the day camp.
Tucci said the Rev. David LeDuc of Vincent United Methodist Church requested the township put up a temporary memorial site for the residents who died due to COVID-19.
Tucci announced the formation of two committees, one of his first tasks as mayor, the Business Collaboration Committee and the School Collaboration Committee. He and Township Attorney Alan Genitempo preside over both committees.
The Business Collaboration Committee is composed of five local business and community leaders — Commissioners Thomas J. Evans and John V. Kelly II; Jim Greuter, owner of Jim Dandy’s; Nella Cicchino, owner of Mamma Vittoria; and Christopher DiMaggio owner of the Franklin Steakhouse.
Appointed to the School Collaboration Committee are Commissioners Alphonse Petracco and Joseph P. Scarpelli, former John H. Walker Middle School principal John Calicchio, Board of Education President Charlie Kuchinski and local architect Joe Haines.
Tucci also announced that the state’s Department of Health selected Essex and Mercer counties for a contact tracking pilot program. The program will be under the direction of the Public Affairs Department and Commissioner John V. Kelly. The program begins on June 15 and the township will go live with contact tracing on June 29.
Rory Moore of Nutley questioned items on the June 4 bill list. Moore inquired about the $425 charge for the NJ State League of Municipalities. Mayor/Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci said it is the township’s dues. He also asked about the $215 charge for the Essex County Bar Association.
According to Moore, last year the township paid almost $3,000 to the League of Municipalities and sent 27 people to the conference held in Atlantic City with one or two overnight stays. Moore claims the township receives no benefits from the league. In addition, he said in May the township paid $5,200 to the Essex County Sheriff’s Academy and Moore said no one knows what the charges were. Moore also mentioned the police chief went to an international police chief seminar costing the township $600.
Moore asked if the residents could participate in budget reductions. “When is it going to stop, when are we going to say enough is enough, we do not have to participate in these social groups,” said Moore.
Mayor Tucci responded that residents could ask questions about expenditures at any time. He clarified that the NJ State League of Municipalities provides recertification classes for employees who need recertification and licenses, and lobby and advice regarding legislation. “I think you’ll find that any question that is asked of me or any other commissioner here will always be answered. The answer may not always be something that you’ll like to hear but it will always be the truth,” he said.
Tucci said he cut his department staff down from 30 employees to 13 to manage 110 acres of parkland and all the buildings.
Moore asked if before the township sends the 27 or so employees to the league’s Atlantic City conference that the residents know why they are going.
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners first named TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' in 2019.