EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect that the 2020 Mayor’s Ball will benefit the Roseland First Aid Squad rather than the West Essex First Aid Squad, as previously stated. The event also benefits the Roseland Free Public Library.

ROSELAND, NJ — Leonardo Olivera, a 7-year-old Noecker Elementary School student, was recognized earlier this week for winning the Elks State Soccer Shoot, earning him the opportunity to represent the State of New Jersey in an upcoming national contest to be held in Pennsylvania in March.

The presentation was the highlight of a meeting that also included the adoption of various appointments and resolutions. 

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Public Comment

During public comment, resident Christine Marinaro thanked the council for the updates to the new municipal website, noting that the site is “very well done” and that “there is so much great information on it.”

In response to William Tedesco’s inquiry about whether the process for Request for Professional (RFP) services and Request for Quotations (RFQ) is open to the bidding process, the council confirmed that the bidding is required and has been enacted. The council also explained that RFQs and RFPs are currently available for review on the municipal website under “Government.”

Agenda Items

Introduced on first reading were two ordinances: one that seeks to “protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare, the quality of life and the ability to view the night sky by establishing regulations and a process of review for exterior lighting”; and a second ordinance that would add “generators and air conditioners” as “non-attached structures” to the existing list of items that require a zoning permit.

The council also adopted appointments to the Library Board of Trustees, the Board of Adjustment, the Municipal Alliance Committee and the subcommittee for Mental Health Awareness.

Other borough appointments adopted included: COAH attorney, borough engineer, auditor, professional planner for COAH matters, Land Use Administrator and Planning Board Secretary, Insurance Broker of Record, Borough Planner, Real Estate Attorney, Tax Appeal Attorney, Special counsel for Labor Issues and Real Estate Development Attorneys.

Mayor and Council Member Reports:

In other news, Mayor James Spango and Council President Chris Bardi apprised the community that the budget process has begun, and that the governing body began has reviewed—“line by line”—about 150 pages thus far, looking for efficiencies in order to keep the budget “as low as possible.”  They noted that a budget meeting was held last Saturday morning, that another is scheduled for this coming Saturday, and that those involved in budgeting will meet “as much as necessary.”

Spango thanked members of the Roseland Department of Public Works for their efforts during the snow event over the weekend and remarked that there was “black top all day long on the roads.”

He also reported that the 2020 Mayor’s Ball, scheduled for Nov. 13, will benefit the Roseland Free Public Library and the Roseland First Aid Squad.

Bardi stated that residents will soon be able to view public council meetings live on the borough’s website, which he said has been receiving an average of approximately 200 visits per day.

Councilwoman Jean Perrotti provided an update on the fire department’s activities for 2019, stating that there were 237 activated fire alarms, including 24 in December, compared to a total of 294 fire alarms responded to in 2018. 

With 37 volunteers currently on the department, Perrotti reported that 232 hours were expended on essential calls in 2019, and an additional 109 hours were expended on non-essential business.  The department is actively seeking volunteers, she added.

Perrotti also cautioned residents, particularly senior citizens, that Police Chief Richard McDonough recently warned about phone scams targeting citizens and claiming to be from the IRS or social security offices. She stated that any legitimate contacts by those agencies would be in the form of a letter via the United States Postal Service—not a telephone call.

Councilwoman Michelle Tolli reported that the basketball season is winding down and that baseball, softball and T-ball sign ups are about to begin through the department of recreation. 

The Patricia Borino Playground behind the Harrison Complex will be renovated to become ADA compliant, she added. The playground was dedicated to honor the memory of Patricia Borino, a former Roseland recreation coordinator who died in December 2008.

Tolli also reported that high-school-aged Roseland residents recently provided lunches for shelter residents at the Faith & Light Ministry in Newark. Their next project will benefit the senior citizens at Crane’s Mill in West Caldwell.

The next borough council meeting will be a caucus meeting on Feb. 4, and the next public council meeting will be held on Feb. 18.