ROSELLE, NJ - Proclamations, Resolutions, Commendations and Issues with the Roselle Active Seniors were on the agenda at the January council meeting in Roselle. The Mayor and Council issued proclamations to the Roselle School Board Members for the month of January for the work they are doing in the schools. Also receiving and award was Edward Abdussalaam who just celebrated his 90th. birthday.
A Certificate of Recognition was given to this months Hometown Hero Thaddeus Mularski, who volunteers his time to pick up trash around the town. Two Roselle Police Officers were also given a Commendation. Officer Christopher DaSilva and Officer John Perez were given the commendation for their efforts in saving the life of a Roselle senior citizen in October.
Many Members of the Roselle active seniors and other members in the community were also in attendance over a dispute where they were given a notice by the borough that they were being “Relocated” to the Roselle Fire Dept. 3rd floor. A room that Pam Rey, President of the group of approximately 80 seniors of which only about 10 are not from Roselle, says is not suitable.
According to Rey and other members of the group, the fire hall has many issues for them including access in the event of an emergency. They said, many of our seniors walk with canes or have wheel chairs and in an emergency if they could not use the elevator, many would not be able to exit safely. They also stated, that there group who has always been at the Anthony Amalfe Community Center on Shaffer Ave, in Roselle, always has food and beverages and at the fire dept. site, they cannot. Rey also stated that they were told they had members that were not from Roselle and that was supposedly the Recreation Director’s issue with the group. Rey, stated that she believes it is a retaliation by the Boroughs Recreation Director Donald Shaw because the group had gone to the town with some issues they were having at the Amalfe site.
A press release from the Borough stated that most indoor programming occurs at the Anthony Amalfe Community Center and includes both Borough-sponsored and non-Borough affiliated group activities. Because of limitations in scheduling and because the Amalfe Center’s schedule prioritizes Roselle-based groups composed of Roselle residents, the Borough sought to assist the Roselle Active Seniors group by making available space located at the Roselle Fire Department. That space, however, was not sufficient for Active Seniors organizers.
“Roselle’s level of commitment to its senior population surpasses that of other towns and that’s because we feel strongly about our residents’ ability to age in place,” said Donald Shaw, Roselle Recreation Director. “To that end, we also pride ourselves in accommodating non-municipal, senior-related programming whenever possible.”
“The issue we run into is that we must place Roselle senior residents and taxpayers first,” Shaw said. “The Roselle Active Seniors group brings in residents from all over Union County and that has created some serious logistical challenges in accommodating this group. We must look for solutions while thinking of our own Roselle residents first,” he said.
Shaw added that while there have been accusations that the Borough has expelled them from Amalfe, the opposite is true. “We are making every effort to accommodate them,” he said.
The last person to speak to the council from the group was resident Maria Hegener who said, we are not leaving the Amalfe Centre and we plan to be there at our next meeting at the end of the month. During the adjournment of the meeting, the mayor asked if the council had reached a decision related to the active seniors. Council President Kim Shaw replied that this matter is being addressed by the administration and there is nothing for the council to act upon at this time.