Sparta Honors Residents With Patriot Awards

Credits: Jennifer Fratangelo
Councilman Gilbert A. Gibbs and Councilwoman Molly Ann Whilesmith had out the Sparta Patriot Awards. Credits: Jennifer Fratangelo
The receipients of the Sparta Patriot Award. Credits: Jennifer Fratangelo

 SPARTA, N.J.- One of the highlights of the Tuesday, November 27 Sparta Township Council meeting, was when they handed out the Sparta Patriot Awards, recognizing philanthropic and community minded citizens.  

 “We want to recognize them for all of the work they do,” said Councilman Gilbert Gibbs.

 The Sparta Patriot Award recipients were: Dr. Christian Canzoniero, Vikki Szabo, Janine Cerra, Maureen Dykstra, Jennifer Morelle, Julie Killen, Melissa Fagersten, Deb Siipola, Gary Kolakowski, John Durkot, Bishop Dustin Townsend, Anthony Alfonso and Bill Gervens.  

Sign Up for E-News

Five items were discussed during the Manager’s Report, given by Township Manager David Troast.

The first item discussed was the shared service agreements, where Troast explained that he is working with Franklin Borough for gathering information for dispatching. He added that, regarding an animal control contract with the Town of Newton, he is unsure of if Newton is interested in a shared service agreement, but will be meeting with the animal control contact again.

The second item was the Employee Policy Manual, which was updated, is ready for the first reading, and awaiting action.

An update on Hurricane Sandy damage was item three; cleaning up after the hurricane has been a monumental task, and the town is still cleaning up. The council also added that citizens can recoup money from their insurance company if they need to buy a permit from the town for damages to their houses or property.

Item four scheduled the next committee meeting, as well as an additional meeting on December 27, where there will be a discussion of payment of bills, and allotment of money.

The final item was that the Sparta Fire Department appointed a new fireman, Terrence W. O’ Brien.  

The introduction of an ordinance to revise township personnel and policies manual was approved, as well as the hearing of ordinances to revise acceptance of the dedication of Town Center Drive as a public street, and of authorizing emergency appropriations to revise tax maps. Expenditures were also approved.

The following eleven resolutions were also approved: a raffle application amendment for Sussex Tech PTA; a refund of tax overpayments, of state tax appeal credits and of tax overpayments for veteran’s deduction; a solid waste account credit; a cancellation of tax overpayments or delinquencies; a resolution to increase current change fund; an authorization contract award for land services for the towns tax map certification project; a resolution authorizing a dispatch service agreement between Sparta and the Borough of Ogdensburg, and between Sparta and the Borough of Stanhope; and a resolution authorizing a shared services agreement with the Hardyston Township Board of Education for the position of “Treasurer of School Monies.”

Updates on "Unfinished Business" from prior meetings included the following: Attorney Thomas Ryan has heard from the lawyers for Homer’s Restaurant, but has not yet received their contract; the parking ordinance will be followed up on with the Fire Marshal; Deputy Mayor John Schon will have something for the council to look at during the next meeting, regarding the evaluation policy for the township manager and township clerk; the transfer of titles for ambulance vehicles were withdrawn, and everything will stay the way it is currently; and for grant writing services, multiple avenues have been looked into, and they would like to go out and send out request proposals as the next step of the process.

“[I’m] tired of hearing that Sparta is not business friendly. I think we need to look into that,” said Gibbs, during the "New Business" session of the meeting.

Gibbs said he would like to look into getting a committee together to evaluate the construction department, and see how the town feels about finding a way to streamline the process of applying; they would like to switch to a single page application that is online.

Also discussed during the New Business portion was the visit of Santa Claus for all of the town children on Sunday, December 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. There was also a request from a Rabbi to have a small ceremony at the Sparta Town Hall, but due to issues of separation of church and state, was passed over.

“I truly thank you guys for going above and beyond,” said citizen Rick Sullivan during the public sessions, specifically addressing the township manager and council members regarding the work they did during Hurricane Sandy.

Also during the public session, citizen Mike Spekhardt questioned Mayor Jerry Murphy and his position on the letter he wrote to the editor of a local paper. Spekhardt questioned if whether or not the public votes by council for modifying agreements, and if the entire council felt similar to the mayor regarding his letter to the editor. The mayor and the council members explained their positions, saying that those were the Mayor’s words and views.

The next township council meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Continue to follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County news, as well as news and community information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: 6 Teens Arrested at Alpine Beach Area Party Spot

April 26, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Six Sparta teens found in the woods behind Alpine Beach parking lot have been arrested on drug charges.  According to police, over the course of months, the Sparta Detective Bureau had been following up on complaints about teenagers doing and dealing drugs in the area of Alpine Beach.

On April 16 around 3:15 p.m. when checking on the Alpine Beach area, Detectives ...

Sparta Police: DWI Sparta Man Crashes in his Own Yard

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta man faces driving while intoxicated charges after crashing his car into a tree.  On April 22 around 4 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley went to the home of Mitchell Panten, 61, on Sagamore Trail following up on the report of an accident, police say.

Finley found Panten had hit the tree in his front yard when backing into his driveway.  Panten was ...

Sparta Police: Drug Charges for Sparta Woman After Traffic Stop

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta woman is facing drug charges after a traffic stop on Route 15.  On April 21 around 11:10 a.m. Sparta Cpl. Joe Antonello stopped Marina Scheer, 20, because the license plate on her green Toyota was bent making it impossible to read, according to police.

When Antonello spoke with Scheer he smelled marijuana in the car.  Scheer said there had been a passenger ...

The Issue of Alternatives to Elected School Boards

April 14, 2018

The time of electing local school boards should come to an end. According to the National School Boards Association, “the local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways. First and foremost, school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school ...

Newton Mayor’s continued attacks

Mr. Levante has once again made himself out to be the victim and attacked numerous people in the process.  His latest social media antics lashed out against current council members, council candidates and TAPInto Newton.  With this considered, I have a few comments for him:

First, you have indeed facilitated some positive changes in Newton.  I have not found many people ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic


Fri, May 4, 7:00 PM

Sparta Evangelical Free Church, Sparta

Veritas Christian Academy presents The Music Man

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, May 6, 7:00 AM

Liberty State Park, Jersey City

11th Annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for ...

Health & Wellness


Thu, May 10, 6:00 PM

First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, Sparta

Creating a Pollinators Garden - Talk & Plant Sale

Education Home & Garden

Sun, May 13, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, May 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


The Halsted Players Present Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. as Their Spring Musical

April 26, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—Just beyond the second star to the left in the sky lies Neverland, the place where Peter Pan and the lost boys live. The place where you never have to grow up. This is the setting for this year's Halsted Player’s spring musical.

Directed by Meg Penny, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. is based on the play by J.M Barrie and the 1953 Disney film, with music that ...

A Celebratory Welcome in Parsippany to the Inaugural Riders of the National Memorial Trail

April 26, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - Thirteen Hundred Miles.  That's the distance of a loop uniting three 9/11 memorial locations:  The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and the Flight 93 Memorial.  That loop is now a bike trail and today in Parsippany, at the Morris County September 11th Memorial, a celebration was in order as the riders hit their 700 mile mark right here in Morris ...

7 Tips For Using Mirrors in Your NJ Home

Mirror, mirror on the wall, how to decorate with them, if at all? First of all, mirrors serve as the perfect complement to nearly any space, so should definitely be incorporated in your New Jersey home decorating.  Secondly, if used thoughtfully, mirrors add considerable value to a space both aesthetically and functionally. So how should you bring on the mirrors? Team Nest Builder offers ...

You Could WIN a New Roof Through No Roof Left Behind

If you live in Sussex, Morris or Warren County and your home needs a new roof, you’re in luck! Jeff Alte Jr. Roofing & Siding will be giving away a free roof to a family in one of these counties through the national No Roof Left Behind program.

Nominations are being accepted through May 31st online only.  Nominate yourself or anyone you know who needs a new roof. Nominees must ...

Buying a Home Is Cheaper Than Renting in Majority of US

Great news for first-time New Jersey home buyers! The results of the 2018 Rental Affordability Report from ATTOM show that buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 54% of U.S. counties analyzed for the report.

The updated numbers show that renting a three-bedroom property in the United States requires an average of 38.8% of income.

The least ...

Home Buying Myths Slayed

Team Nest Builder wants YOU to know the truths about buying a New Jersey home!

Some Highlights:

The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!

Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers.

88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months!

The credit score requirements for mortgage ...

Buy A Home To Build Your Family's Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. Team Nest Builder wants you to understand what that means for homeowners and their equity positions.

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home ...

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders April 25, 2018 Meeting

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders April 25, 2018 meeting video.


Reduce Your Risk for Colorectal Cancer

April 26, 2018

Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center presents “Protecting Your Colorectal Health” on Tuesday, May 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion, 333 Mount Hope Avenue in Rockaway. Admission is free.

This popular, educational program presents an opportunity to hear up-to-date presentations from leading experts in ...