SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- At the Tuesday, Feb. 16, Scotch Plains Township Council meeting, the governing body passed ordinances that included installing stop signs at intersections of Montague Ave. and approving the salaries and wages for municipal employees. Additionally, the Council amended Emergency Management of the Code of the Township regarding appointment the appointment of the OEM director, which the township attorney advised should be made by the township manager (since Scotch Plains is governed under the Council-Manager ("weak mayor") form of government.
The Council also passed a long list of resolutions, most notably one that supports a feasibility study of the possibility of a shared municipal court with Fanwood, Westfield, and Garwood. Additionally, the Council voted to:
- Remove a municipal lien on the Snuffy’s Pantagis property (after payment made);
- Authorize year-end tax penalties to not exceed 6% of the amount of delinquency;
- Grant a recycling collection service contract to Recycle Track Systems;
- Award a contract to Colgate Paper Stock Company Inc. to accept the township recycling collections;
- Authorize the planning board to undertake a preliminary investigation for possible redevelopment of the Jade Isle property (475 Terrill Road);
- Authorize shared services with Plainfield Area Humane Society for an Animal Control Officer and Municipal Humane Law Enforcement.
In the Township Manager's Report, Al Mirabella covered snow removal issues and explained that residents are asked to clear the walkways and sidewalks and to take their cars off the street to assist in the efforts to plow roads. He also discussed the rising cost of recycling pickup and the split in a bid for funding between collection and disposal for recycling collection. Additionally, Mirabella reported that DJ Salvante has been designated as a Certified Youth Sports Administrator and that Todd Sharp passed his state designation as a Deputy Director in Public Works.
The council also heard a report from Scotch Plains Senior Housing. The senior community is self-sustaining and has not had to ask the Township for funding during the past decade.
The meeting began with comments from resident Carolyn Perkins, who inquired why the Scotch Plains Messenger newsletter, which lists township services, has not been made in printed form (with senior citizens in mind). Mayor Losardo responded that a copy of the Messenger can be printed by residents at home, and it is available upon request via mail from the Municipal Building, or it can be picked up at the Scotch Plains Library.
Mrs. Perkins also inquired about the absence of the invocation at the start of the meetings.
Losardo explained that the invocation is not part of the meeting because "This is a government meeting, not a religious organization."
"We all take the oath of the secular Constitution, and we really feel that we want our council events and our meetings to reflect the diverse community that we represent," Councilwoman Ellen Zimmerman added. "We wouldn't want anyone to come into a meeting and feel excluded if there was a religious affiliation attached to the meeting."
Related: Scotch Plains Hires New Police Officer.
To view the video of the meeting, click here.