RANDOLPH, NJ- State assemblyman Tony Bucco paid a visit at a town council meeting on Thursday to recognize two members of the Girl Scouts who earned the Gold Award.

Scouts Kaitlin Quann (Troop #1959) and Mary Herc (Troop #1955) completed public service projects to attain the highest award in scouting. 

Quann cleaned and repaired a church basement storage area used by the Hexagon Players of Mendham for costumes and props, in order to remove a fire hazard that would have meant eviction.  Herc authored and helped distribute a bilingual children’s book for kids receiving medical care - “Maria and Carlos Visit the Doctor” - after she saw a need for educational materials while doing volunteer work at Saint Clare’s Medical Center.

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Bucco presented them with a joint resolution from New Jersey’s Senate and Assembly saying, “Through your work in scouting and especially through your Gold projects you brought your troop together, your friends, your family and in that time period created a little community for the betterment of others, and that’s what makes New Jersey the great place it is.”

In other news, former mayor Tom MacArthur won the Republican primary June 3 against Steve Lonegan.  He will face Democrat Aimee Belgard in the November election.  He said via email, “Running for Congress is like running for local office, except multiplied by 53 towns.”

“The 3rd Congressional District covers almost all of Burlington County and large parts of Ocean County, so there is a lot of time spent on the road.  Just like in Randolph, I enjoyed meeting with and talking to voters, hearing what’s on their mind.”

He added, “Working with our volunteers has been one of the most satisfying parts of the campaign and I’ve been humbled by the tremendous amount of volunteer support.  I have a great campaign team who always made sure we had people knocking on doors, making phone calls and setting up events for me to meet voters.”

Also, at the council meeting, Randolph was given a clean bill of financial health:  Bill Schroeder of auditing firm Nisivoccia gave a glowing report on municipal finances in 2013.

In his manager’s report Stephen Mountain said credit should be given where it’s due – to his predecessor, John Lovell, and retired CFO Michael Maloney.  “I want to commend our retired CFO.  Michael certainly deserves one last accolade on the way out,” he said.

There was also considerable discussion on a proposal to ban the sale of puppies bred by so-called “puppy mills.”  Several concerned citizens spoke at length about the animal cruelty and inhumane practices associated with puppy mills, where large numbers of dogs and cats are bred for sale.

While no one on the council voiced opposition to some type of ban, the question of implementation remains up in the air.  One proposal is to ban outright the sale of puppies in Randolph, with exceptions for hobby breeders and others.  Another would use a system similar to liquor licenses to place a limit of five on the number of pet stores and kennels allowed to operate in town at a given time.

Council member Roman Hirniak voiced particular concern that action be taken.   “I want to see this through.  Under no circumstances do I want operators of puppy mills to benefit from the Randolph market,” he said. 

“You’re not going to be able to walk in somewhere and immediately identify whether that business is violating the ordinance by selling dogs or kittens from these abhorrent operations, so in my mind the absolute ban on retail sale is perhaps the only viable option,” said Hirniak.

The second in the series of Mayor's Trail Treks will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at the Brundage Preserve.

This year’s Freedom Festival at CCM will be July 3 from 6-11p.m., July 4th from 6-11p.m., July 5th.  Parade at noon, Fair 2-11p.m. and Fireworks start at 9:45.

The next council meeting will be June 26 at 7 p.m.