Last night's Council meeting began with a resident, Agnes Falk, reading a statement saying the Council lied to the public. We are giving the "Readers Digest" condensed version. It appears she asked the Council a question about a Resolution passed for a Borough employee's retirement. The Council responded, there were no additional benefits paid outside the IBEW agreement. Well, she filled out an OPRA form and lo and behold the Council gave this employee additional benefits outside the collection bargaining agreement! This is costing the Borough money and setting a precedent for other employees to avail themselves of negotiating outside of the IBEW agreement. The fact is that it has never been shown to save the taxpayers money when additional benefits are given for early retirement.
Andy Lopez, a resident, was irate and asked for the dismissal of the Personnel Committee.
This all fell on deaf ears! The Council did not respond. They know they are guilty and couldn't care less about the residents. So much for "pinching pennies." So much for "open government."
THIS BEGS THE QUESTION, WHAT ELSE HAVE THEY LIED ABOUT?
Sale of former Health Dept Building on Broad Street
Jerry Hourihan, a well respected resident, was outraged that the price was dropped over $100,000. citing even with the declining home sales market...that was too large of a reduction.
Then Councilman Buccellato, now Mayor, was instrumental in having the sale worded so that money from the sale will go directly to renovating the Police Dept Building. That would mean if we get a full price bid, $350,000. the money will go to help solve the PD Building problem. Well that would be a step in the right direction.
Fiero Avenue Parking Restrictions
Residents opposed the passing of this parking restriction, which states there is to be no parking on Fiero Ave., north and south, from 10pm to 2am on Fri and Sat. Stating he believes the restricted parking will not be of any value to residents and would be a problem for Cafe 34. Cafe 34 has purchased an additional lot to provide parking for its patrons.
A resident of Fiero Avenue, stating he agrees Cafe 34 is an asset to the community. However, he believes this is a quality of life issue and restricting parking on Fiero Ave is beneficial to residents.
Councilman Mullaney asked Officer Lovallo, Matawan PD Safety Officer, to state his findings on the safety issue. What an awful spot to put the Officer in Councilman. Officer Lovallo recalled his findings from past investigations.
The final vote was Councilman Mullaney and Councilman Mendes voted no, the remainder of the Council vote yes. There will be NO PARKING on Fri. & Sat. on Fiero Ave. from 10pm to 2am.
Councilman Cannon has called for a meeting of all Department heads in the borough to discuss further cutbacks in the Budget.
Stop giving away additional benefits to retiring employees Mr. Cannon. Department Heads have nothing to do with giving away benefits outside the collective bargaining agreement. The Borough Department Heads have done a great job cutting back their budgets.
Re-evalute the 2008 Road Program and do a less extensive program.
New Street Sweeper
Delivery of the new street sweeper is still pending. That explains the grass growing in the streets of Matawan. An idea would be for all property owners to shovel up the dirt outside their property. However, problem is the trash removal firm will not pick it up.
Temporary moving of Borough Court
Councilman Mendes requested an update on the progress on the relocation of the Court from Pat Sickels, Court Clerk. Instead of making a big deal, why not call Ms. Sickels and ask her for an update Councilman? Too busy giving tours of the Police Department Building?
Once again an unnecessary expense of up to $3500. for Maser Consulting to Provide Services for Red Light Camera Applications. This program was to be of NO COST to the Borough? Hellllllllo, $3500. now, how much more is needed for this program? No one has proved this Program to be cost effective to the Community. The only other town untilizing this system is Newark.
How much will it cost for the Borough Court to hear disputes on tickets? How much will it cost to handle the bookkeeping and paperwork? How much will it cost for a Police Officer to review the tickets and process? Do we really need a system used in Newark, a much busier town?
If it sounds too good to be true.....it usually isn't true.
On the upside
A Proclamation was read by the Mayor honoring Staff Sergeant Eric Paul Reisner, U.S. Army for his dedication and service to our Country. Staff Sergeant Reisner is heading for a second tour in Iraq. May God watch over him and all the other servicemen and woman as they fight to keep us safe.
Police Department Promotions
Several policemen were promoted to Sergeant two of whom were Patrick Walker and Jerry Hourihan. Councilman Mullaney abstained from voting on Patrick Walker's promotion as Councilman Mullaney's daughter is engaged to Officer Walker. Jerry Hourihan is the Grandson of well known resident Jerry Hourihan.
There will be one Probationary Police Officer being sent to the Police Academy for training.
We wish to thank them all for the sacrifices they make every day to protect and serve Matawan.
Hope to see you at the next Workshop or Council meeting....