SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The Springfield Township Committee gathered for their August meeting on Tuesday at Town Hall yesterday evening. On the agenda were ordinances codifying pool room rental pricing, the handling of evaluations by the former Township Administrator and commendations for several members of Springfield’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
At the beginning of the meeting during proclamations and announcements, Mayor Richard Huber announced that the board wished to send its condolences to the family of Ann Pepe, who died July 30 in Martinsville, N.J. Pepe had been a longtime Springfield resident and was the mother of Joe Pepe, who died in 2004. The younger Pepe is the namesake for the annual basketball tournament held at Jonathan Dayton High School every year during winter break.
Scott Seidel, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Coordinator in Springfield, also had business to announce during the proclamations and announcements section of the meeting. Seidel was handing out volunteer appreciation awards to three members of the Springfield CERT team. Two awards were presented to Craig Abrams and Karen Bonacorda for dedication and diligence in preparing and implementing a plan for sheltering the Township’s residents in the event of an emergency, and a third certificate was presented to Jim Sedlak for diligence and exemplary service in coordinating the Springfield CERT team.
Speaking after the meeting, Seidel said he was proud of all the volunteers under his command, but that the three volunteers honored tonight had gone above and beyond the call of duty.
“I’m extremely proud of all our emergency management volunteers,” Seidel said. “Our auxiliary police, our OEM volunteers and our CERT team members [included]. These particular individuals have stood out and performed above and beyond undertaking some of the projects they’re working on. But all our volunteers are terrific.”
During the resolution section, two items in particular were of importance. The first adds and codifies rules for rental of the party room at the recently renovated pool complex. It was resolved that rentals of the multi-purpose room during the non-operational season will be up to four hours in time and will cost $400 dollars for Springfield residents and businesses, $500 dollars for non-Springfield residents and businesses, while a rental of half the room with the partition drawn will run renters half of the cost listed above.
Committeeman Chris Capodice explained that the new ordinance clarified when and how the room could be rented.
“The ordinance gives us the ability to rent out the party room during the off season at the pool,” Capodice said.
The second ordinance that passed, which generated some debate and public comment, dealt with the evaluation of township officials. According to the resolution Ziad Shehady, the previous town administrator, had not finished his evaluations of the township department heads and supervisory officials before departing for his new job in Red Bank. The resolution stated that John Cook, the acting Township Administrator now has the power to prepare a memorandum to be affixed to the 2017 and 2018 resolutions completed by Shehady voiding their use in future job evaluations. According to the resolution, Cook is also tasked with identifying and discarding those evaluations in a manner consistent with New Jersey’s records retention regulations.
The debate in the meeting was based on how this action would be undertaken and specifically how it was codified in the resolution. When asked for a clear explanation to the extent of the ordinance, the Township Committee declined to comment, explaining that they do not discuss personnel matters.
The next township committee meeting will be held on September 11 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.