Shared Services and Consolidation Commission Dominate Council Meeting

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FANWOOD, NJ – Shared services and various issues surrounding the establishment of the Commission to look at Consolidation dominated the Council meeting Tuesday evening.

During the Council Reports segment of the meeting Mayor Mahr mentioned “shared services” as a “big buzzword in the two communities of Scotch Plains and Fanwood.” There have been discussions with the police departments about merging them and things are moving along. The council plans on “coming to the community sometime in the end of March or the beginning of April,” with a proposed plan.

One of the latest shared services to be rolled out is a radio station: AM530. On February 16th the township received from the FCC a license for Scotch Plains and Fanwood. “We will be able to broadcast emergency information to our citizens and events that are going on in the towns.” The station will probably be activated in May, 2013.

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When the council meeting was opened to the public Fred Lange of Courage to Re Connect, a non-group tasked with creating a Consolidation Commission, approached the council to thank them for appointing two commissioners. Mr. Lange went on to say that “we hope to, early next month, to have two appointed from Scotch Plains. This will be a total of eight and then we will have a meeting.”

Next Joe Nagy, an alternate Commissioner for Fanwood, spoke about property taxes “in a completely different way.” He circulated a spreadsheet that showed the average tax bill of the municipalities of Union County and their rankings, emphasizing that even though Scotch Plains and Fanwood had a consolidated school system, it did not show up in major savings for either town in terms of education costs.

On the community side, the Council acknowledged Tracy Wright and Katherine Drier as Volunteers of the Month for their work with The Little Shoebox Project. Mayor Mahr said: “The Project lets children and adults in NJ that are in need know that they are being thought of by providing shoeboxes full of thoughtful gifts.”  Project can be found on Facebook at The Little Shoebox Project and can be emailed at TheLittleShoeboxProject@Gmail.com.

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