ROSELAND, NJ - The Borough Council of Roseland honored the promotions of several officers in the Roseland Police Department.
Richard Costello was promoted to captain, Livio Cioffi was promoted to detective lieutenant and William Mildon was promoted to uniform lieutenant.
The men were sworn in by Mayor John Duthie. Each officer had a loved one hold the Bible they placed their hand on while they swore to honor the laws of the borough, county and state, as well as to “seek no favor” or advantage from their new position of power. A throng of family members, colleagues and well-wishers were on hand to congratulate the trio. The council room at the Roseland municipal building was filled to capacity, with many people observing from just outside the room doors.
Roseland Police Chief Richard McDonough thanked the many members of the law enforcement and criminal justice fields who came to the ceremony. Members of the Orange, West Orange, Irvington, Denville, Bloomfield, Maplewood and Cranford police departments were present, among others. Representatives from the New Jersey State Police and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department were present. Members of the Prosecutor’s Office from Essex, Union and Hudson Counties were also present.
Fernwood Avenue Proposal
A resident of Fernwood Avenue criticized the Borough Council for a lack of communication to residents about the proposed upgrades at Lynn DeBell Memorial Field at the intersection of Fernwood and Eagle Rock avenues.
The resident complained that the batting cages and public restroom used to service field users would serve as a detriment to the neighborhood.
“It’s an eyesore. The noise from the batting cages is disruptive. It does not improve my quality of life and may actually decrease the value of the house I have worked so hard on for 28 years,” he said.
The resident also warned that a public bathroom would attract constant stopovers from delivery personnel, drivers and others passers-by. The maintenance of the restroom facilities was also a concern.
The resident passed around pictures of the poor condition of the restroom facilities at Harrison Field and the Bond Force Memorial Park to Council members.
“Paint is chipped, the wood is in poor condition… the water fountains are very unsanitary. I wouldn’t want any child drinking from one of those fountains,” he said.
Councilman Thomas Tsilionis of the Recreation Committee answered that the restroom placement was selected in conjunction with the recommendation of the engineers. Due to the pipe lining underneath the grounds, there were very few locations for a restroom installation, according to Tsilionis.
“I know it’s not ideal, but it is important that we have restrooms for security,” Tsilionis said.
Tsilionis noted that children using the baseball field might wander away from adult supervision without an immediate restroom option. He also said that it would curtail people urinating in the woods in the area.
The resident responded that the borough should concentrate on maintaining existing facilities, and that the restrooms at the nearby Bond Force Memorial Park would be sufficient for any needs.
Councilman Peter Smith promised that the council would consider the resident’s complaints. “The pictures [of the facilities at Harrison Field and Bond Force Memorial Park] certainly opened my eyes… that is not acceptable. The complaints have definitely been heard by this Council.”
A final decision on the upgrades has not been made, as the construction bids for the site were all over budget. The Council voted to pass the resolution to reject all bids for the site (Ordinance #301-2014) and to resubmit bids (Ordinance #302-2014). Ordinance #301-2014 passed unanimously; ordinance #302-2014 passed with Councilman Richard Leonard abstaining.
Other Council Business
A resolution to increase the amount of the legal budget for labor contract negotiations was passed. The increase was from $40,000 to $50,000. Councilman Mark Vidovich explained that $38,000 of the budget had been used through July. He noted that contracts have been successfully negotiated with the superior officers of the Police Department and the Department of Public Works.
Smith noted that branch pickup would be delayed due to mechanical problems with the Borough’s woodchipper. Leaf pickup will take place on Oct. 6 and Oct. 14. Recyclable bags are required for pickup on county roads (municipal roads are exempted). The bags can be picked up at public works. Twenty-four bags will be provided to a household for free, while additional bags can be purchased.
Councilman Michelle Tolli announced that Roseland will recognize Mental Health Awareness week from Oct. 5-11.
The council also commended the Roseland Rays Recreation basketball team. The team won the West Essex Youth Sports Association championship for seventh- and eighth-graders.