MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Among the many topics discussed at the Maplewood Township Committee Meeting on Jan. 17, promises of equal treatment for all ethnic and religious groups took center stage.

In the wake of the presidential election and imminent inauguration, Mayor Victor DeLuca and fellow committee members made a point to clarify Maplewood’s stance on national issues of ethnic and racial profiling.

“Under no circumstances will we discriminate based on citizenship or immigration status, nor will we profile our residents based on ethnicity or religious belief,” said DeLuca. The Committee unanimously passed Resolution No. 3-17, "Expressing Maplewood's Commitment to Equal, Respectful, and Dignified Treatment of All People, Regardless of their Immigration Status and to Remain a Welcoming Community."

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The Committee also voted to remove the nightly parking ban on certain streets from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, to accommodate busses heading to Washington D.C. for the Women's March.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea to support the march in Washington, and to accommodate the interest of Maplewood residents,” said committee member Frank McGehee.

Cold-weather enclosures were approved for local businesses to have heated outdoor dining and entryways on public sidewalks during winter months. In addition, an ordinance was passed to establish standard heating requirements within residential retail properties in Maplewood from Oct. 1 through May 1.

Creating a standard policy for the number of boards and committees a single resident can serve on at the same time was discussed, as well as imposing restrictions on the lengths of terms served. No definite action was taken.

“It’s great to see such passion and commitment, but it’s fairer to have each person serve on a single committee,” said committee member Greg Lembrich.

The Township Committee also heard a presentation from New Solutions, Inc., who conducted a 450-person study of elderly residents to ascertain the best ways to improve Maplewood to become a more age-friendly community. Among their recommendations were more efforts to include the elderly in social and recreational activities, improve pedestrian safety and transportation systems, and offer more local volunteer opportunities suited to older demographics.

The Township committee meeting also included:

  • Oath of Office taken by Captain Christopher M. Ariemma of the Maplewood Fire Department
  • Promotion of firefighter Joseph Alvarez to Captain of the Maplewood Fire Department.
  • Prohibition of dogs, leashed or unleashed, from all basketball and tennis courts in Maplewood year round.

The Maplewood Township Committee will meet next on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Maplewood Municipal Building.