ROSELAND, NJ — In response to the Borough of Roseland’s monetary support of renovations to property surrounding the municipal building that is owned by the school district, Anna Gordon, president of the Roseland Board of Education, attended last week’s borough council meeting to acknowledge the “valuable and productive partnership” between the two governing bodies.

Although Open Space funds are precluded for utilization of the Harrison Complex Park due to its ownership, Roseland Mayor James Spango stated that funding for the updates have already been budgeted for.

As she thanked Gordon for attending, Councilwoman Eileen Fishman mentioned that after careful analysis of the borough’s three parks, the borough determined that the park surrounding the municipal complex was selected as the priority based on the volume of usage.

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“We must invest in our infrastructure,” she said.

According to the mayor and council, the administration plans to resurface the tennis courts, refurbish the snack shack and provide playground equipment that is ADA compliant.

Gordon concluded her comments by thanking the governing body for “continuing to partner with the board of education.” 

As part of the regular agenda, three ordinances were passed on second reading.

One adopted ordinance included an amendment to the borough’s Land Development ordinance, which now prohibits “retail or wholesale establishments, businesses, persons or entities from selling or offering to sell marijuana or marijuana products, for medicinal or recreational use, or paraphernalia that facilities the use of marijuana and to further prohibit the growing, cultivation or harvesting or any type of marijuana plant within the borough.”

A second ordinance appropriates $78,000 from the capital improvement fund for the acquisition of police equipment, including, but not limited to, mobile vision cameras, a video recorder and an alcotest machine (which measures blood alcohol levels).

The third ordinance passed addressed the expansion and/or creation of—and in some cases the deletion of—borough committees, appointments and boards.

This ordinance provides for the creation of the following:

  • Community Events Committee
  • Community Recognition Committee
  • Community Interfaith Council
  • Rent Stabilization Board
  • Municipal Alliance Committee
  • Citizen Police Academy Executive Board
  • Local Emergency Management Coordinator and Local Emergency Council
  • West Essex Domestic Violence Crisis Intervention Team
  • Municipal Youth Guidance Subcommittee
  • Recreation Committee
  • Mental Health Task Force Subcommittee

According to the ordinance, the Municipal Youth Guidance Council will now be known as the Municipal Youth Guidance Subcommittee, which will become a subcommittee under the Roseland Municipal Alliance Committee.

The ordinance also acknowledges the elimination of the Municipal Housing Liaison, Shade Tree Commission and the Citizens Advisory Board to the Mayor.

Also adopted during the meeting was a resolution urging voters to support the referendum on the November ballot to allow for veterans and widowed spouses of veterans who reside in continuing care retirement communities, to be eligible for a $250 property tax reduction. 

Spango commented on “how important it is to give back something to those who have served for us.”

Committee Reports and Upcoming Events:

During his mayor’s report, Spango thanked the members of the fire, police, public works and emergency management departments for their assistance during the borough’s recent bonfire. The mayor noted that the event was well attended and that everyone seemed to enjoy the fire and the movie.

Spango also spoke about ongoing issues with the USPS and mail deliver. He encouraged residents to visit the borough’s website and complete a form if delivery is affected.

According to Spango, the problem is being addressed on a “one-on-one basis” and said that this is the “only way to attack this problem.” 

Council President Chris Bardi announced that a public meeting is being held on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. to provide information on the proposed settlement for the borough’s COAH obligation. 

He also said that the borough is beginning the process of reevaluation of properties, which is required every 10 years. Home visits will begin in the next month, and the new tax bill will go into effect in 2021.

Bardi also encouraged residents to sign up for the borough’s online weekly newsletter, “Borough Insider,” to keep up to date on town events and other news items.

Councilwoman Jean Perrotti updated the community regarding her attendance at the recent New Jersey School Board Association symposium on school security. She remarked that the safety initiative in the West Essex Regional School district was “amazing.”

“With a flip of a switch, all cellphones have the ability to become two-way radios to first responders in the event of an emergency,” she said as one of the major takeaways.

Councilman Roger Freda announced the completion of the Harrison Avenue project, noted that Roosevelt Street will be paved soon and said that the water main project on Crestview will also be scheduled shortly. Spango responded that the borough is currently seeking improved notification with its vendors moving forward.

As leaves continue to fall, Councilman David Jacobs stressed the importance of removing any leaves that are blocking storm drains in order to avoid flooding. He also suggested checking sump pumps to ensure that they are working properly. 

Finally, he urged residents to be cautious of children playing in the leaf piles and to avoid parking on leaf piles, as a fires can start quickly when warm engines sit over a pile of leaves.

Councilwoman Michelle Tolli announced numerous upcoming recreational events. 

On Saturday, Oct. 26, the 11th annual Trunk or Treat will take place in the Lester C. Noecker School parking lot for children in preschool through 4th grade. Set up is 10 a.m., and trick or treating will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

The Roseland Junior Woman’s Club will be hosting a Halloween Haunt Dance for Roseland 5th graders (costumes required) on Oct. 25 in the all-purpose room at 19 Harrison Avenue from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $12 per student. 

The Woman’s Club will be collecting items to be donated to the “Embrella” (formerly Foster and Adoptive Family Services). The collected items will be donated to college students who have “aged-out” of the foster care system.  Donations are being accepted until Nov. 4, and a collection box is located in the Roseland Public Library.

Tolli also encouraged seniors to take advantage of free door-to-door transportation to local shopping and other scheduled destinations. Residents should call 973-226-5108 or more information.

The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 29.