SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Mayor Josh Losardo took time at the start of the Scotch Plains Township Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to condemn the attack of the Capitol on January 6.

I feel compelled to express my horror and frustration, and just plain sadness, about last week’s attack on our Capitol. I do not know how this Country moves past this moment, but I know that we will. There have been other times in our history when it appeared that our differences would tear us apart.  

It’s hard to imagine now, for example, but there were colonists living not that far away from where we live today that supported the English King. And ever since then, Americans have had strong opinions, and have always shared them. We, as Americans, argue amongst each other. We, as Americans, debate the issues. And then we vote.   And then we move on.  

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I understand the Scotch Plains Mayor’s bully pulpit is limited, so I won’t make this long… but I will share with our fellow residents, after consulting with my colleagues on this Council, that this elected Town Council looks forward to a day when Republicans and Democrats are arguing about alternative ways of helping this country and its citizens prosper, and no longer spewing alternative facts.

We think that change alone may improve the national discourse and get us all to a better place.

The Council also held a moment of silence for the victims of COVID-19, and Mayor Losardo announced the Municipal Building would be lit in amber in memory of those who have died from the disease. 

Township Manager Al Mirabella, in his report, said that the recycling costs have skyrocketed and that Scotch Plains is looking for ways to best continue the recycling program cost effectively. He also reported that the Municipal Building remains closed to the public, except by appointment, because of COVID. 

"We've had no interruption of service, and things are going very well," Mirabella said.

Scotch Plains Police Chief Ted Conley advised residents to lock their car doors when warming them up in the mornings following after several cars were stolen in the past weeks while the owners were inside their homes. He suggested that residents lock their doors with a fob to make it as hard as possible for thieves to be able to take their cars.

Councilman Roshan White updated the council on the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Committee, which has completed its report on the findings of the committee's listening tour last summer.  He also commended two Scouts from Troop 104 -- Luke Checchio for winning the James E. West Fellowship and Jonah Liebowitz for his service to the town.

Councilwoman Ellen Zimmerman updated the council on her interactions as liaison with the Board of Education.

Newly appointed Councilwoman Suman Dahiya-Shah reported that she has been meeting with department heads. 

Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Stamler, in her update, announced that the Recreation Department and the Scotch Plains Library have begun a book-delivery program for resident age 55 and older.

The Council also approved the Bill List of over $80 million.

To view the meeting, click here.

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