to our township council meeting due to multiple executive orders declared by Governor Murphy and in an effort to prevent further spread of the virus. tonight's meeting will be closed to the general public that will be streaming live on Channel 35, Comcast, channel 30, Verizon, YouTube or Facebook Live starting at 637 o'clock will be the regular meeting a link for the live stream will be posted on the township website, which I believe everyone has the public has always an opportunity to make public comment. We have some public comments for tonight. If you choose not to email you could speak during the meeting, please dial in using this number 425-436-6348 with an access code 277839
when you are called upon, please state your name, address and then your comment, you will have five minutes in total to speak. Notice of the time date, location and agenda of this meeting to the extent that known was provided at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of this meeting in the following manner pursuant to the provisions of chapter 231 of the law of 1975. The open public meetings act by posting such notice on the bulletin board and the municipal building and by email notification generated by IQ m to software to the offices of the independent press Bloomfield life, the star ledger patch, Arista net and tap into Glenfield. Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Absent like to entertain a motion for acting Mayor for tonight's meeting. Someone make a motion please.
Will we use I would like to make a motion in the absence of Mayor the DCF. Tonight's being that the doctor or Tina Davis chair tonight's me. Second.
This woman crews second emotion and now we'll vote on the motion. Councilwoman Mondale? Yeah. Councilman Joanna?
Yes. Councilwoman Cruz? Yeah.
Councilman Davis? Yes. Councilman gamble. Yes. Councilman rapo. Yes. Thank you, Councilman Davis, the acting Mayor for tonight's meeting.
Thank you. So
we're going to go into closed session and we will return at seven o'clock.
Okay, motion for the closed session. Councilman Cruz. The second Councilman gamble. Okay, all in favor? Aye. Anyone opposed?
Thank you. Now you We have
audio and videos. So
there are records do Day more
does anybody have any questions about it
do not have a lot of time
and they weren't injured even
Thank you very much. Morning. Help us out
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us. I wanted to go ahead and ask
I think I'm missing some very important words right now.
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to wrap up in next time average
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and we had no phone okay?
Because you need to stay at home
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And he will be a part one first. Hello everyone ready
We will continue our regular meeting and we will begin with the Proclamation.
Council will include you please do the first one, as we all are to Good evening and welcome to a firefighter for cheapens Yes. I'm going to be reading this proclamation bootheel volunteer firefighter Richard breath. For us to tell you before we fail, they'll take great pride in the accomplishments and milestones on their staff members. And whereas Richard Brown, a longtime firefighter, volunteer firefighter, but I tend to prefer both he'll join the Volunteer Fire Rescue company in 1993 until 2010, whereas Richard came back as a member of the fire department in 2006 until retiring in November 2013. And whereas Richard served for a total of 21 years as a bluebell firefighters and training officers and the volunteers of rescue one. And we're all throughout his career which are many athletes such as firefighter one firefighter two hazmat technician, heavy rescue technician, fire instructor level one ICS, level three, fire officer one and others. And we're agile. Richard also served in the US Army Reserves as Lieutenant Colonel until retiring from the armed forces in 2019. And we're as Richard continues to serve the public of the US Department of Labor cleaner as the volunteer Protection Program Manager for OSHA. Now therefore, I Michael J. Vinny as mayor of the township of Louisville, along with the township council do hereby congratulate Richard brown on his retirement and thank him for 21 years of service. We greatly appreciate all the work our volunteers do and recognize your accomplishments.
Would you like to say something before I turn it over to
Thank you. Good evening, Council. I want to thank
firefighter brown for all his years of service. It's been a pleasure to hear serving alongside of him.
We are losing a very
highly experienced and competent firefighter with him. We're very sad to see him though. But it's, you know, bittersweet for him. You know, it's time to relax and,
you know, have some
fun with the family. No more getting woken up in the middle of like,
so thank you very much for your service.
We truly appreciate it. Thank you. Barbara, what
would you like to say a
Just thank you very much as always an honor to serve on the department was proud to be part of the organization.
Thank you, and congratulations to NYU and the local and well deserved retirement. We'll go on to our next proclamation which will be a rent by Councilman Joanna.
Thank you, Dr. Davis. radon awareness to 2021 whereas environmental health conditions and uphold can play a significant role in the well built well being of its occupants, especially in vulnerable populations. And whereas many environmental factors contribute to the health of a home and should be addressed, whereas elevated radon gas within homes has been identified as a significant public health concern, whereas radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, causing as many as 500 lung cancer deaths annually in New Jersey, whereas elevated radon levels are found in one in 15 homes on the US and pose a serious health threat to families residing in these homes, whereas any home may have high levels of radon, even if neighboring homes do not. Whereas radon testing is easy and inexpensive, and elevated levels of radon you can't effectively reduce a can be reduced at the cost of a typical home repair, whereas measurable number of homes in Bloomfield township are likely to have levels of radon. Whereas if all New Jersey Holmes would break down concentrations, at or above, for PCI ELLs are litigated about 83 lives could be saved this year, whereas it is good public policy to guide residents toward a healthy own environment. Therefore, I Michael J vinnytsia. Mayor township of lowfield, along with the town council do hereby proclaim the month of January 2021 is radon action month, we call upon orison swett not yet tested to test their homes for radon and to reduce levels if elevated levels are found to protect their families. From this serious health risk of radon to assist residents with radon testing of their home. radon kits are available at the municipal building free of charge, January 1 2021, to march 15 2021. Thank you. Thank you, Councilman
Joanna and Councilman gamble. Would you take the next one?
Yes, sir. It's my honor to read the proclamation for Black History Month. Whereas in 1976, Black History Month was formally adopted to honor and affirm the importance of black history throughout our American experience, which goes back 1000s of years and includes some of the greatest most advanced and innovative societies in our history. We can all draw inspiration from and whereas African Americans have played significant roles in the history of New Jersey State, economic, cultural, spiritual and political development, are working tirelessly to maintain and promote their culture and history. And whereas as a result of their determination, hard work, intelligence and perseverance, African Americans have made valuable and lasting contributions to the township of Bloomfield state and our nation, achieving exceptional success in all aspects of society, including business, education, politics, science and the arts. And whereas honored strength and stature can be attributed to the diversity of cultures and traditions that are celebrated by the residents of this great region. And whereas Black History Month is a time for all Americans, to remember the stories and teachings of those who helped them build our nation. We took a stance against prejudice, to build lives of dignity and opportunity to advance the cause of civil rights and strengthen families and communities. And whereas during Black History Month, all Americans are encouraged to reflect on past successes and the challenges of African Americans and look to the future to continue to improve society so that we live up to the ideals of freedom, equality and justice. And therefore, I Michael J even easier, as mayor of the township of Bloomfield, along with the township Council, do hereby proclaim the month of February 2021. As Black History Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month's with appropriate civic community and service programs in honor of black history.
Thank you, Councilman, gamble, council woman.
This proclamation declares the week of February 1 2021, February 7 2021, to the national gun violence survivor week and the townspeople get to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence and uplift the resilient voices of survivors across the nation. Whereas every year nearly 39,000 Americans are killed and acts of them violence and nearly 85,000 more are shot and wounded. Whereas by early February, more Americans are killed with guns that are held in our care countries in an entire calendar year. Whereas a gun violence survivor is anyone who has been personally who's personally experienced gun violence. Whether you have witnessed an act of gun violence been threatened or religion with a gun or had someone you know and cared for wounded or killed. Where it's forms of gun violence can include but are not limited to gun suicides, homicides, domestic violence involving a gun shooting by law enforcement and unintentional shootings. Whereas 58% of American adults including 68% of black and Latino Americans, or someone may care for as experienced gun violence in their lifetime, demonstrating the recent impact gun violence has in communities across America, whereas firearms the leading cause of death for children and teens, whereas Americans in cities across the nation are working to end the senseless violence by advocating for common sense gun safety legislation. Whereas by commemorating national gun violence survivors week on February 1 to February 7 cities across America will raise awareness about gun violence and honor the lives stolen by gun violence. And whereas in the newer commitment to reduce gun violence and pledged to do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands and encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our communities safe. Now, therefore, be it resolved. And Michael Davis media as mayor of the township of infield, along with the township council do hereby declare February 1 February 7 21 to the national gun violence survivors week. We encourage all citizens to support their community's efforts to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and to honor and value human lives.
Thank you, Councilwoman.
We'll let you keep that
in mind. As you we are. We approve the minutes are having minutes of
their counsel. I have minutes for approval for Tuesday, December 29th 2020. special meeting and Monday January 4 2021.
Move by Councilman and Dale seconded by Councilman Joanna.
All in favor, aye.
Do you have any written communications?
Yes, ma'am. The written communications on New Jersey DPW suspected hazardous substance discharge notifications for 231 broten Avenue 37 luellen Avenue 411 broten Avenue and 198 West Passaic Avenue. No further action notices for 59 Linden Avenue correspondence from the North Jersey district water supply commission, sending us their annual list of 2021 public meetings from the Department of Environmental Protection. There was an application was received for Montgomery street apartments from the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders there were two ordinances the oh one six a salary ordinance for 2020 2021 and 2022. And the ordinance number 17. appropriating $6 million by the county for various improvements from the North Jersey district water supply commission regarding their monthly public meeting on January 27, from the second river joint meeting commission regarding the water water consumption figures for the 20 2020 report. Also from DPW, there was an application was received for Bloomfield Junior High apartments, b d. d o t. Bloomfield will receive funding from the fiscal year 2021 transit village program for Lackawanna station improvement project in the amount of $380,000. Notice for the Bloomfield zoning board there will be a hearing on Thursday, January 28, at 7pm via zoom. And lastly, we have noticed to PSE and G customers regarding electric tax adjustment, credit and gas tax adjustment credits. That's all I have two letters from residents in town. Regarding oakside Francis Rodriguez irizarry, I did send these out to the mayor and council by email earlier today, I'm just going to read a few sentences from each as a current member of the Board of Trustees of oxide, or like Bayer vizia. And this council members to know how disappointed and frustrated I feel because of their decision to replace oxide with an arts utility. I understand the joining of the other committees under one umbrella, but radically changing the present functional format of oxide just doesn't make sense. We the volunteers have worked diligently in keeping oxide functioning with events and activities shared and enjoyed by the township and surrounding neighbors. And then she went on to ask for questions. And the other letter is from Peter Doherty. The first two paragraphs say we are Bluefield educators, parents, artists, veterans, healthcare workers, business owners and concerned citizens. We are the Bluefield, members of the oxide Cultural Center and are saddened that the township is not cooperating with oxide and what could have been a potential partnership to enrich the community. Instead, our organization has been caught in a slow legal process of ambiguity and intimidation. This letter is in response to an article published in Bluefield life to clarify that our lease is still valid, and we have no plans to vacate the premises. Our attempts to meet with the town to discuss how we contribute to the new arts utility have been met with radio silence. We are confused and we are extremely concerned. This is signed by all of the outside Board of Trustees, respectfully submitted and that was emailed to me by Mr. Doherty. That's what I'm here
for the read.
Do you want
we may have some people on the line for public participation.
Is there anyone on the phone? No, there's
no one. Okay.
Sorry, Councilman geoana, would you please we're in introduction and proposed ordinances on first reading. Council join on you take that first.
Thank you, Mayor. I have no ordinance to amend and supplement chapter 387 of the Bloomfield township code, providing parking for physically worthy persons. There are two parking locations 14 Evelyn place and 81 Floyd avenue that are being removed. They are no longer we no longer needed. So move. Okay.
Moved by Councilman Joanna and seconded by Councilman Cruz.
please call the roll. Councilman modelle. Yes, Councilman Joanna?
Yes. Councilwoman Cruz.
Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman Rockwell.
Oh, sorry. He's
Mayor Davis. Yeah.
Councilwoman, please, would you please take the next few moments to amend and supplement chapter three seven of the local township code for any parties of physically limited person and economic and orange ordinance to amend the township of Bloomfield for sure. So for number two
Second move by Councilwoman Cruz seconded by Councilman gamble.
Wiese, would you please call the roll?
Councilmember, Mendell? Yes. Councilman Joanna?
Yes. Councilwoman Cruz? Yes.
Councilman gamble. Yes.
Mayor Davis? Yes.
Okay. COVID we're going to loan the purchase of Roseville ordinance adopting titles for employees and fixing salary raises are represented So moved. Second.
Moved by Councilwoman, please and seconded by Councilman gamble.
Yes. Mayor Council, I'd like to introduce an ordinance creating the Bloomfield cultural preservation utility within the township of Bloomfield. I believe we want to elaborate on this given some of the public comments. Administrative walkins?
So we have a motion by Councilman gamble, and second by Councilwoman Mendell, and I'm there because there were some there were some questions before this. I think it's an n such a, there's a lot of there are a lot of questions about this, I think that it's appropriate for us to to take a moment and, and explain this particular action. So I'm going to let Council in Canada counselor, administrator Watkins, take over and share with that share, purpose and intent and clarify some some concerns that may be related to this.
Thank you bear. Just for the public this. There's been a lot of confusion. And I've seen some of the or at least I've heard some of the comments that have been made by the public that this was taking it over the silly and we were going to demolish it or change it, repurpose it. From the very beginning, the first time we ever talked to up to the director over there, and to one of the board members in the first conversation that made it clear that this that the intent was to carry on what was what was what the facility has been used for, and what for years, and to in fact, even make it expand that operation. But that the liability that exists with silly that's owned by the township controlled by a third party entity that that where there was no oversight by US was problematic. And during the course of looking into several issues. One thing that was clear was that until we got involved, there was no insurance that we knew of at least that was given to us on the facility, which is was most alarming to me that and I advised Mayor council that and what's important for the public to understand is that's a liability on the township. There's something that happened there. And in fact something did the cost of that litigation or repair or compensation, whatever that would have happened was on the township, not on the pump, not on the nonprofit organization, that granite. That was very concerning ditions of that there were things that were done, were they an apartment was made and leased out to other people that clearly is not within their within the law or within the lease arrangement that was made years ago. In fact, we looked at that lease arrangement and albeit none of us that were here that that have we're on board or that's on the election officials now knew this or was responsible for this but was done what was done in 1982 was not according to state law, it was not done properly. The formation Have a 501 c three was formed, was formed where the township would have actually would have liability for what the 501 c three because of the makeup, and there and yet, at the same time we had no, there was no direct line of response responsibility to the elected officials, which residents of this township put in the office to guard that kind of all the activities of the township. That was very concerning. The only way to approach this that we saw in the decision that we made was to form a utility, so that the utility stands on its own, that that it being on its own, it's identifiable, its revenues are there. It was then under the direct authority, like every single employee in this Township, and every part of the facilities of this township is under the control responsibility of the elected officials. That's where we're putting this Nothing more, nothing nefarious. In fact, it's actually with with what this does, and the way this is laid out, in this utility is actually transparent. Because we have our meetings in public as required by law, we hold our meetings publicly, we hold two of them a month,
Board of Trustees on nonprofit, what was going on what what activities were going on, as the outside, were not held publicly, or not held up to public scrutiny in that way. And, and so this is changing that governance, operationally, there's no intent to change what was going on. In fact, on the very first start of this discussion, I always told the executive director and we told the board, when we met with representatives of the board and our lawyer, that we had no intention of changing what was going on there that we wanted to continue with the programs, that they are shifting the responsibility to those individuals who are elected by people to take care of those things. And that is that we're shifting that responsibility back to the elected officials and the liability that absolutely is there. And that's it. So I think that it's unfortunate that the way things are today, with with social media, there's a lot of information, there's a lot of comments with no facts, or no, no basis for for what is proper, and as what is going to happen. We, you know, the unfortunate side of speed is that, you know, the COVID we've all been very tied up and very focused on COVID. and protecting the township employees protecting services that we that we do every day, please spire health. Btw, all those services had to be preserved despite the COVID pandemic, that delayed us from doing anything. Since August, we've been slow and steady about it. When we could work on it. Now we are here. We talked about this at length. In the January meeting, which was done publicly, we will continue to hold these discussions publicly. But this ordinance, the whole the main intent is to put responsibility where responsibility should go and that is for the elected officials. That's it. Anything else that we're going to shut down the operations that we're going to damage the arts or that we're going to level the building and put a parking lot is just not true? There is no fact to that at all. That's just any window and I don't want to characterize it beyond that kind of innuendo. There's nothing to it. This is just simply to put responsibility back to the elected people. Those who are going to have to pay for any liability for DB residents. You put it in the hands of those that us as residents put into office, protect our interests. So that's the extent of it. And I welcome the comments. But I think that hopefully that clarifies it there for what you you know, to answer some of the questions
and demonstrate a walking walk and I think it's really important important to understand that I don't think that I think this council has demonstrated a commitment to historical preservation and and in terms of development, the destinations, and we know that oxide is a destination in this area, so, and a jewel, a gentleman in our community. So I think it's important that people understand that that that we are acting in to protect taxpayers, as well as the property itself. Councilmember, Annandale you you were going to make a recommendation? Yes,
two things. One, I just wanted to come in as well on the timeliness of when we did this. Because I heard some rumors as well about that, you know, we waited for the opportunity with pandemics to sort of sneak this through. And that's really not true to and I think it's important to address that as well. You know, there was urgency behind making this move, because of the liability to the township and the taxpayers. And so I want to be really clear about that, that it was not the case that it's his plan. It's actually had nothing to do with when we combined the cultural Commission and the recognition that that was done in an attempt to bring, you know, bring those committees into alignment with where the departments in the township are. This move was really important, because we needed to make sure that the township property in the taxpayers were protected, should anything happen. So I wanted to make that point first. And second, I also wanted to make the point that we will be moving forward with transparency about everything that you do with both sides. And that includes getting community input from a committee, which is built into the ordinance that we're going to approve of the first reading tonight. And then we'll also seek input from the community and do right now about what your vision is for both sides in the future. So we welcome that input, please send us messages,
send us emails,
it's hard for us to be on social media all the time, but we, you know, please send us what, what you're what you're interested in, we think that's very important.
counsel them again. And I'd like to just underscore that, that that it that the idea of the vision of what oxide can be is something that we definitely are seeking input on. And that is, our all of our email addresses are
the township website, and encourage people to again to that's the most appropriate way because you're right, we'll put something on on social media, we may or may not see it. And and and the best way to share and in this is to do it. You know, send us your emails and engage in the process. And if there are opportunities for a working group or conversation to the town conversation, please come and engage in that that process. There's I think there's something I think I believe very much that there will be some, some some great things that will grow out of this. So having said that, Luis Delgado, would you please call the roll?
That's what Monday Oh, yeah. Councilman Joanna?
Yes. Councilman gamble will also take the next corner
of an ordinance amending the 2012 redevelopment plan for block 64 to one and for 192 Bloomfield Avenue and block 63 lat 77 former hearts mountain sight in the township of Bloomfield, so
moved by Councilman Campbell seconded by Councilwoman Mendell.