Review of the Agenda for the Borough Council meeting was pleased to read Matawan is moving forward with the cell tower, a Commodity Resale Agreement with the County of Monmouth, Municipal Assistance/Share Services Agreement with the County of Monmouth, Loan Application to NJ Dept of Environmental Infrastructure Trust for the Water Treatment Improvements Project to name just a few. There is much to do but this is a good start.
In these difficult economic times it is good to see the teamwork on the current Council. So much more is being accomplished. With the above items moving forward Matawan will see much needed income from the Cell Phone tower and the possibility of selling water from the Water Treatment Plan, once improvements are made.
The Borough Council Workshop meeting on February 3, 2009 did not get to all items on the Agenda. JCP&L was in attendance to address the concerns of residents regarding the removal of trees behind their properties. JCP&L removed trees down to the base thus causing unsightly views and lowering property values. JCP&L will be returning to the Borough Council with further explanations and possible solutions. Many residents are rightfully upset as they were never notified the trees/shrubs would be removed. Discussion on the Cell Phone towers, which will bring income to the Borough was another item for consideration.
Discussion on Towing Ordinance Revision, Ordinance Prohibiting Elected Officials from Municipal Work are two items which were not addressed. To our disappointment these topics will not be discussed or voted on until the next Workshop Meeting/Council Meeting.
The problem, as we see it, is that same night the Council voted to pay invoices from Key Auto Body, (Councilman Kevin Mendes) family owned business. Councilman Mendes was absent from the meeting. WHY is a Councilman's family business, where he is employed, still doing work for the Borough? Previously, Councilman Bud Mullaney, owner of Mullaney Tires, stated his firm would no longer perform work for the Borough. At first blush sounded like the ethical approach to avoid any possibility of conflict of interest. Needless to say, Mullaney dropped the ball and never presented the Council with a draft of a Pay to Play Ordinance. A Matawan First Aid ambulance was seen in the Mullaney Tires parking lot months later. Hmmmm! During his tenure on the Police, Fire, First Aid Commission, Councilman Mendes' family owned business, Key Auto Body, did work for the Police Dept. in addition to providing towing services for the Borough, then voted to pay the invoices. "THE GOD'S MUST BE CRAZY!"
The current Council is attempting to protect the Borough (that is you) against any possibility of a conflict of interest. Current elected officials have to make a decision, do they work for the people of Matawan or their own self interests? That is the harsh reality! We trust the Mayor and Council will not drop the ball and do the necessary.
Note: The Feb. 17th Bill List does not contain any invoices from any Council members family owned businesses.
Hope to see you at the meeting......