SPRINGFIELD, NJ - An overflow crowd of Police Officers and their families attended Tuesday night’s Township Committee meeting to watch Detective James Mirabile be sworn in to the rank of Police Sergeant along with Police Officer Ryan Westover who was also sworn in to the rank of Police Sergeant.
Police Chief John Cook congratulated both Sargeants and said, “This is a big moment for these guys. It has been a long time in the making…. to go to sergeant. The passing rate is only 33%.” The Chief enumerated their impressive careers achievements to date and noted that both newly promoted sergeants came from law enforcement families.
Mayor Diane Stampoulos presented a proclamation to Anthony Cioffi and his family in recognition of the great achievement of Anthony making it into the National Football League with a contract with the Oakland Raiders. The Cioffi family was honored also for their commitment to and volunteerism in the Township of Springfield. Anthony’s uncle Joey Cioffi addressed the overflow crowd reading a letter from Anthony, which said “Between the town sign and the incredible rally I am at a loss for words. Springfield you are my home, you will always be my home. I will always give back to you through volunteerism especially with the Special Olympics.”
Under new business three ordinances were introduced for a first reading. A fourth one was pulled. One controversial ordinance was to repeal a prior ordinance authorizing a public question on the ballot November 7. The ballot question would have asked the voters whether the Township should set up a charter study to change the form of government. It had been studied in 2013 and a decision was made to keep the current form of government. The vote to overturn the ordinance passed three to two with Mayor Daine Stampoulos and Township Committee persons Richard Huber and Erica DuBois voted yes, while Township Committeewomen Geri Bujnowski and Maria Vassallo voted to keep the initiative on the ballot. Former Mayor Jerry Fernandez a proponent of the study said, “It is very clear we have had a big change in our political climate in the last year and a half both nationally and in Springfield. We should allow people to have a voice in how they are governed.”
A second ordinance would restrict the sale of cats and dogs at pet shops. This is in reaction to reports of inhumane breeding conditions. Janice Fisher of Friends of Animals United – NJ stated that by State Law the state is supposed to check the quality and condition of pet stores including where dogs are bred. She went on to say, “The regulation has failed miserably in finding where pets come from.” Fisher expressed great concern about the conditions of pets bred in puppy mills and felt they were inhumanely treated. She testified that 107 towns have adopted this ordinance and no town had a legal challenge. Springfield resident Beth Thomas testified in favor of the ordinance. She said she would like to stop pet stores from selling dogs.
Under resolutions a question came up about the position of tax collector. The position will be vacant shortly and by law someone must be put back in place. A resolution was passed to allow the Mayor and Business Administrator to fill the position.
Two other proclamations were presented. Sandy Weinger was honored for a decade of local service to the community. Dale Splindel, Director of the library, was present with members of the Friends of the Library in recognition of 50 years. A day of celebration is planned on Thursday with adult and children’s events going on all day. Check the website for details, http://www.sfplnj.org/.
Rich Huber announced that former Mayor, Marcia Forman died recently. She was Mayor in 1994-95. She is credited with forming the Environmental Commission and was for a time head of the Democratic Party in Springfield.
Business Administrator Ziad Shehady announced that on Monday August 28, the day of the solar eclipse special viewing glasses will be given out at the pool. Campers and pool members will be given first priority and then complimentary glasses will be given out on a first come first serve basis. Two hundred pairs are available. All residents of Springfield are invited to the pool to witness the eclipse. The best viewing time is from 2 p.m. and after.
The next Township Committee meeting is scheduled for September 12 at 7 p.m.