Bloomfield Town Council meeting, February 22, 2021
3:01PM Feb 23, 2021
black history month
mock trial team
Are we ready? Okay. Good evening everyone. Notice that the time, date, location and agenda this meeting to the extent then known, was provided at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of this meeting in the following manner pursuant to the provisions in chapter 231 of the law in 1975. by posting such notice on the bulletin board in the municipal building, and by email notification generated by IQ m two to the offices of the independent press, we felt like Star ledger FirstNet and tap into blog. gov. Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States. All right, Louise, can
you please take
us there? Councilwoman Mondale here. Councilman Joanna. Councilwoman Cruz here. Councilman Davis here. Councilman gamble. Councilman Rockwell here, never been easier. Here, all present.
First up, we have a diary for our Black History Month,
friend and not only our state representative but a friend to all of us here in Bloomfield, our State Senator Ron rice to be read by Councilman Nick Toronto.
Thank you very much service recognition to Senator Ronald L. Rice. Whereas Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievement by African African Americans in a time for recognition is Central African Americans US history since 1976. The month of February has been designated as Black History Month. Whereas Black History Month is a time for all Americans to remember the stories and teachings of African Americans who help build our nation and those who took a stance against prejudice build wives of dignity and opportunity. And whereas during Black History Month, the township of Lafayette would like to recognize the contributions that African Americans have made to Bloomfield economic, cultural, spiritual, and political development by inscribing, the honorees biographical information, stories and photographs into the Historical Society of Unitarian, whereas the honorable senator Ronald L. Rice represents the 28th district that includes info on wage newer and late and is recognized for decades of community contributions made in New Jersey, and whereas he holds a master's degree in criminal justice from Rutgers University, and is the chair of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus. Senator rice also served in the New York Police Department before entering politics, whereas among the many policies the senator has supported, it is notable that Senator Rice was instrumental in working with the Bloomfield Board of Education and New Jersey Department of Education to secure the permits required for the expansion of Bloomfield High School, and has also been a passionate advocate for the township getting additional state funding for our schools. Now, therefore, I Michael J. vinnytsia, as mayor of the township of boonville, along with the township council do hereby recognize the honorable senator wild rice for his contributions to Bloomfield, black history, and inscribing as such, the Historical Society of Bloomfield, New Jersey for a black history month of 2021. So
thank you, Councilman Joe. I know, Senator rice. Congratulations,
man, council members and business of Longfield. Let me thank you very much. I'm very, very honored. Government long time, and I got elected as an African American first black to be elected Council in the Westwood city of Newark, back in 92, but I didn't seek political office, I was
a draft candidate,
that a woman kept pushing me into their way. And I kept saying no, but we've got to know we need to come to your house and set you down. No, three times, man, you got to go with the drag. But I've been around since and it's been really a good experience. For me. I like to think it helped a lot of people out of township in my tenure, not perfect in the things that do I'm not perfect. I'm a policy that funds to people, I can say, to use water, because I came to Newark, New Jersey, in 1955, the second week in January. And they'll forget the date because I was nine years old. And I came from the sector itself, if you remember, Brown versus Board of Education in 1954. And I came to New Jersey, second week in January 1955. So I went to school, and I remember those segregated schools. And I remember, you know, the accident on one side and white on the other side, I came in just a very wonderful experience because everything was diverse, and terms of the population and New Jersey, Jewish communities really lives up to six cameras. So I'm not going to get into the racism, the word racism was in the south. But I don't forget the history, I get to history that my mother that many people thought was telling you because she's got a long face. Now she's the father's white, etc. and a member of officers SAP in urban areas in the rain, or she's with a dark skinned black woman, and they separate children want to know why she was with this black woman. Isn't she really negative back then. And so, you know, it always bothered me, when I see the issues we have plaguing us come into town, she problems your man and see when you can hang with me with her just hold peaceful policing them. And what was happening to boys, number of resources, just something that we have to work on. So black history is everybody has been always tell people until the Black Caucus members when we fight for rights, and we say that I can like chinos, women etc. We fight for those voice goes back release, we fight for the rights of everyone. And then just take a course in Black History Month, no one ever talks about ourselves as black people some black, so she embarrassed to talk to us about black history. I don't understand that. But the reality is that is that we all decide to make this more legit. And that's why we are who we are. And so there's a lot of work to be done monitoring up isn't challenging for Bloomfield on to have energy for a number of years I have, and we will continue to fight for the things. That's right. I'm watching the township grow me and council are watching the person to take place here. And I'm watching just how you manage that kinds of things that are taking place in terms of programmatic aspects. And so thank you once again, I mean to be served for both, but I just need to send it to you. And let you know that I really appreciate all that you do. And I also want to thank all the counseling truce reform course in reference to this dish recognition, so once again, thank you, Mayor Council, and y'all know how to feel about your budget right this year.
We appreciate you have a good night. Thank you.
Next up, we're going to have to switch some things around we're going to the blue pill people mock trial team Proclamation.
Got to make sure that the door is on okay. I am pleased actually to present the local high school mock trial team. Good those inspiring leaders with the following Proclamation. The mayor and council of cops recognize the achievements of good students. And it was the mock trial team competes in the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, Vincent j fsanz. mock trial competition held annually during the month of January. And whereas the Essex County mock trial competition is sponsored and organized by the Essex County Bar Association for Essex County attorneys, prosecutors, public defenders and judges volunteer their time to preside over the evening competitions traditionally held the Essex County Superior Court over three weeks. And whereas the first in the first round of the competition, the Bloomfield High School plaintiff team defeated James Caldwell High School. In the second round of the competition, the defense team defeated Seton Hall prep to advanced to the quarterfinals against Columbia high school where they lost by one point after a 15 minutes deliberation by the judges. And the students are incredibly well prepared, having invested countless hours during the weekend weekend leading up to this competition
held in a new vertical format
that further contributed to the stress of the competition. And whereas the students listed in this proclamation are polished, professional and maintain their composure and respect for the Rules of Civil Procedure, and the rule of law is a very tense moments during the competition.
Now therefore, I'm
Michael J. vinnytsia, as mayor of the township of Greenfield, along with the members of the township council do hereby recognize and congratulate the Bloomfield High School mock trial team reaching the quarterfinals of the distante after the mock trial competition, I wish them all great success in all their future endeavors.
Would you like to say a few things?
One more, I
will I will ask you. Is everything.
Okay, on your right.
I don't believe
the audio is connecting.
Can you hear us Lenore?
She can hear us
You want to um, we just want to thank this demo. And the mock trial team. They did an excellent job. And we're very proud of them.
Can you hear me now? Your other computer? Yes,
I'm doing it. All right.
My apologies. And thank you for your patience this evening. First of all, I would like to thank the mayor and the town council for this wonderful honor that you've bestowed upon our students at Bloomfield High School. These students on a mock trial team, many of them have been members for the past three years of the team, and they weren't going to they weren't going to let anything stuff in this year from being able to compete in the Essex County mock trial competition on the students wanted me to share with you how incredibly honored they are. They're watching in Google Classroom right now. And but also they want to tell you how incredibly thankful they are to each and every one of our town council members and to our bear for everything that you have done for us. During this pandemic you have steered us through just unchartered waters. And your commitment to this community is just beyond words, and the students want you to know that they're trying to hold up their end of the bargain and are working incredibly hard. In a virtual learning environment, and they hit it out of the ballpark in this mock trial competition in a in a zoom setting that has never been done before. And they are ready to go next year. And they just want to say thank you. So on behalf of local high school and our principal Jennings, who's an outstanding person, and the entire mocktail team, thank you truly made our truly made our year. So thank you very much, and all the best each of you. Thank you.
Thank you for leading the team and tell them we're very proud of them. Thank you, Mayor.
We're waiting for your daughter's mayor. So we're ready to go wait for everybody's kids to come to school and we will have the best program available to you. As Diana will tell you, many of our students go on to pursue careers in law, law related careers and everywhere you look in Essex County, you will see a fine graduate of Bloomfield high school who is making a difference in everything they do. So thank you.
Thanks. Take care.
And next up we have Councilwoman Cruz, who is going to read the next to Black History Month service recognition to the Kayden Norman and pastor Christine Harris by the Yeah.
Hi, everybody. So, um, I just wanted to go back and say that during Black History Month, for Bloomfield, we're taking this time to put into the archives of the Bloomfield Historical Society, stories of African Americans who have made an impact upon Bloomfield and beyond. So thank you, Eva Carr, that from the local Historical Society for being here tonight. They have an archive of local history and these proclamations of the honorees, their bios and pictures will be proclaimed for the Historical Society tonight for perpetuity. So that's the purpose of these proclamations and we will just continue to add to that archive every year. And there's just there's a lot of people so we want to make sure we just we could do this all year long, but for tonight, we honored senator rice and next up is Michaela Norman. And rather than read the entire population, I will start with where this is a service recognition from Michaela Norman, how Michaela works whereas during Black History Month, the township of Bloomfield like to recognize the contributions that African Americans have made to Bluefields economic, cultural, spiritual and political development by inscribing, the honorees biographical information stories and photographs into the surface Society of Winfield. And whereas, Caleb Norman is a vibrant, loving and caring student at Carter elementary school who loves reading music and dance, and is passionate about having her voice and thoughts heard. When it comes to social issues, and allow us to fully express her deepest feelings and thoughts on social issues. Michaela turns to her notebook and writes poems, such as the poem of love, justice and peace and supportive Black Lives Matter. Her poem was chosen to honor the Time magazine 2020 Person of the Year, and now therefore, I Nichols even easier, as mayor of detachable motels, along with the township Council, do hereby recognize mckaela Norman, for her poetry during Black History Month. inscribing as such, to the Historical Society of Bloomfield, New Jersey, the Black History Month 2020. So congratulations, Michaela. And if you don't mind I, I'd like to count to meet her. Yeah,
absolutely. Congratulations, Michaela. We're very, very proud of you.
Thank you. To my beautiful black people who are hurting, I can't physically protest with you. Allow my boys to report to justice and change. I've never witnessed anything like George was passing. Police officers never did a check. In my heart, I'm hurt. I'm angry and confused. When I feel that shame is coming. I'm proud to work together for that change and believing in that change. When I was three, my mom taught me five days about who I am my culture and my ethnicity. And enjoy your isolation with you. You're black is beautiful. Black is brilliant. Your black is low. Your black is great. And your black is great. I gave low definition to HP and what they mean to me beautiful because you are where you are. And you don't need to change for anyone earlier because we are gradually naturally smart, naturally creative and natural thinkers. Both because our work is strong and we fight for what's right. Because our hearts and souls are important to everything that we do. Right because they're black is it Naked light because we believe in love and you stole a license. So many black people, including driftwood are very fearful to watch us continue to buy and buy and protest for justice, peace and change so that my generation and many more that will follow. Have a safe world to live in. We all know that joy was the weekend race for him. Thank you.
And thank you
for having you.
Thank you. Yes,
thank you Michaela. Next up, we
have pastor by Chris spyzie. How are you? She's on the call. Okay.
For our next service recognition we want to recognize pastor Christine Harris lady. Pastor Christine Harris, Bonnie is recognized for her contributions made in the Bloomfield community through her leadership at the citadel of hope Worship Center, founded in 22,002. And we're asked the Ministry of community outreach programs as a church are a priority for pastor Chris. And she has had numerous volunteer programs supporting local residents, such as the Felicity towers, holiday luncheon, winter coat drives, and meal deliveries in partnership with the phone Sales Department of Health. Now, therefore, I make it even easier as Mayor touchpal Bluefield along with the township Council, do hereby recognize pastor Christine Harris fighting for her contributions to the community inscribing essential Historical Society of Bloomfield, New Jersey for Black History Month 2020. Thank you, Pastor Chris, for your work in the community.
Thank you so much for this honor, I was truly surprised when I got your call. I would like to thank as a general Walker for nominating me, our dedicated church staff and works diligently with our outreach ministry, and historical society. This allowed me to be the recipient for this great honor. I have been a part of a bull field for the last 35 years I've lived here, our churches here. And so to receive this honor from my hometown means a great deal to me. So thank you very much to our mayor and council members and Historical Society members.
all very much. I definitely appreciate it.
Thank you for all that you do. We appreciate you.
Thank you very much.
That concludes those proclamations mayor. Thank you. Thanks.
and then our next proclamation is going to be right by Councilman Davis for Women's History Month.
Just had a second ago and of course it's gone. Okay. All right.
Whereas women of every race, class and ethnic background, and made historic contributions to the growth and strength of our nation and countless recorded and unrecorded ways and whereas limited plays and continue to play political, economic, cultural and social role in every sphere of the life of the nation by constituting a significant portion of the labor force working inside and outside of the home. And whereas women are playing unique role throughout the history of the nation by providing the majority of the volunteer labor of the nation, and whereas women are particularly important in the establishment of early charitable, philanthropic and cultural institutions in our nation, whereas American women of every race, class and ethnic backgrounds start as early leaders in the forefront of every major progressive social change movement. And whereas women have served our country courageously in the military and continue to daily, continue daily as first responders and whereas women have been leaders, not only in securing their own lights of suffrage and equal opportunity, but also in the abolitionist movement, emancipation, emancipation movement, the industrial labor movement, civil rights, movement and other movements, especially the peace movement, which create a more fair and just society for all. Now therefore, I'm Michael J. vinnytsia, as narrow township lowville, along with the township council do hereby proclaim March 2021, as well as History Month, and call upon the residents of Louisville
serve March by participating inappropriate programs, ceremonies and activities that honor and recognize women in our community. And at this point, I will hand off to my colleague, Councilman Mondale, who's going to talk a little bit about the things that we have planned over the system he gave us
later in the process. It's very few things for us. trauma. But I would like to bring to everyone's attention and ask you to save the date for March 31 at 730. By zoom, we're going to hold a community conversation that centers around the impact of the pandemic on women's work. And then in addition to that, amongst some other lighter things we'll be doing a menstrual hygiene products drive again at various locations across town, including some of our businesses. So we are solidifying and finalizing the details for that and we will be sharing those locations in the ebooks as well as on social media and some other locations. So please keep an eye out.
Thank you, Councilwoman. So moving on, we have minutes approval.
Sorry about that
meeting. minutes from Monday, January 11 2021. Conference meeting and Monday, January 25 2021.
Second. Councilman Joanna, any questions or comments? All in favor. Hi. Communications. Louise.
Thank you. Good evening, mayor and council are quite correspondence that we received as the clerk's office suspected hazardous discharge notifications 48 of France. Two pieces of correspondence from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, one regarding a bike white bikeway grant for the esic Essex Hudson Greenway. This year's solicitation resulting in 49 applications. Unfortunately, the D o T was not able to fund the Essex Hudson Greenway because of the 49 applications requested more than $22 million and only $1 million was available also from D o t. Similarly, they were unable to provide a safe streets to transit grant for our water testing station sidewalk improvement project. This year solicitation resulted in 52 applications requesting more than $18 million from the Essex County Board of Commissioners. There were three ordinances a bond ordinance for various improvements, a bond ordinance for the improvement of Essex County College and a salary ordinance for 2020 2021 and 2022. correspondence from Remington and vernick regarding a change order for Clark Avenue utility restoration and Improvement Program, D EP regarding soil remedial action permit modification for 250 Glenwood Avenue, also from DPW. Soil gas sampling for 238 North 17th street for Chester Avenue and North 16th Street groundwater contamination. And lastly in this section, Bluefield zoning board. We have a hearing for a remote hearing on Thursday, March 18 at 7pm via zoom. We also receive two pieces of correspondence from two residents earlier this evening, one from norm sutaria regarding the food vehicle ordinance, he asked or made comments on four areas. One was food vehicle operators relying on consistency and predictability to engage customers. He said the ordinance particularly for class three licensees at train station seems a bit restrictive given they can only operate at a given location on three non consecutive days per week. His second issue was have designated locations at the train stations, not in residential zones been firmly established. The third area has to do with if a food vehicle is within 200 feet of a brick and mortar food establishment building that is not open or operational when the food vehicle is present. And lastly, bikes that have the ability to hold serve food seem to be considered food vehicles here. Is that correct? norm sutaria 99 Berkeley Avenue. And lastly, another email from another resident Brenda r Li for an 806 Broad Street asked three questions. Why is it that of the 126 police officers employed by the citizens? only seven police officers are African Americans? Number two, why is it that none of the officers with rank are African Americans. Number three, why is it that the township was unable to provide specific dates and individuals who participated in any form of implicit bias or cultural diversity trainings. That's all mayor. Thank you.
Mark, do you want to take those questions from Brandon?
Chairman of the Council in the evening? I think the first question was why 145 police officers, there's only seven African Americans. It's something that we don't have personal control over. Unfortunately, we're bound by civil service. And that testing process only takes place every four years. The last time it wasn't asked what happened to the minority communities. We did outreach, we did recruitment outreach with our community policing unit. And it's unfortunate that we're just bound by who takes the test. There is legislation that at state level right now, that would allow us to hire an officer who's already PTC certified in any municipality. Without them taking the civil service test is being sponsored in the interest of diversity. We're excited about it. As you know, I'm a member of the PTC and we have discussion on it already. And we're all for it. You know that the state Chiefs Association is probably not doing enough work, but only in New Jersey, misspells, which I represent on the board is certainly going to be in favor that'll enable us to move forward with that. As I've said many times in the past, my personal history and law enforcement know it takes a generation to make that change. And that means by people being recruited, taking the test, it's not something that we have direct control, and have direct control over is our civilian lives. And in our dispatch center, we have 16% of our dispatchers are minorities. And those are people that don't have to go through the civil service process, people that we interview and hire, we've also done the same thing, in our case, a camera, we have to replace gains in the municipality and attitude today, two of them are African American, and one is suspended. So every president can create diversity in VR, but in the civil service area of the former, we're gonna have to wait for that legislation to pass. The second question was, Why is there no African Americans in a supervisory race? Again, it's when you have a small percentage of, of a certain race in the army, the percentage of supervisors is going to be small, I believe, in the history of the department has only been one African American supervisor back in the 1970s or early 80s, who attained the rank of Lieutenant, we have attained great diversity in our supervisory ranks with Hispanics and females. I'm hoping that at the next conference, we're going to be talking about possible promotions within the police department. And I'm excited to say that out of the promotions that we're requesting coming up, we will be bringing an African American male into the ranks of supervisor within the police department that said, Detective Charles. The question was why did the township not release the names of who took the purpose of bias training? I thought we were clear when we talked about that every member of the police department had to take a middle ticket to a parent DNS system. is the fourth question is how are we going to address this? I think I've just kind of laid that out of what we're doing to address it. And hopefully, like I said, the state legislation does pass. I know, we have a lot of police officers from different municipalities that live in our township plus a lot of medical personnel that would love to join the ranks of the police department and your African American police officers from many of our surrounding communities, many of the towns that they live here into.
so I, you know, this the issue around the diversity in, in our township is something that's been a paramount of concern, or for me and for other council people in the mayor as well, we brought it up several times that we do realize that the difficulty associated with the civil service system is in place, it occurred to me while you're talking director, and I do appreciate, you know, you and I had a few conversations about this. But it just occurred to me as you were talking that I wonder if it is possible for us. And I'm just sharing it now, because I think I'll forget in two weeks when you get your conference presentation. Is it possible for us to do something like to sponsor like a some sort of class where we help people prepare for the civil service exam, or encourage people to do you know, so that way we can go and try to enrich the pool of individuals who are taking the civil service exam, by helping them prepare for that exam on the first of all know about it and then prepare for is that is that some way we can intervene on that end of it in terms of enriching the size of the pool to begin with?
Absolutely. We had conversations about a year ago or two years ago with the NAACP, out of orange, orange, orange, and that was one of the things that he asked us we'd be amenable to if they would want to come in and host the civil service test, training classes. What participate and help the network, absolutely. Get out and do recruitment, and go out and get your college which I spoke with college students graduating 21 years old, 22 years old, great pool of people for us to choose from to come in to work together with the NAACP, and the group that they're working to do to create these classes, because there are classes that people pay for. A lot of times, what's unfortunate is people can't afford to go to some of the classes so they don't go home, they just have to test. But if we can provide that with us together with lacp, and any other organization that we can get involved in creating a level playing field when they come to the touch.
Can we follow up on that? Can we try to appropriately to do it, but
can we never know exactly the process? But is that something that we can commit to, to as an effort, we realize that you've been watching the pool, there's no guarantee that individuals that come to Bloomfield, but I think if we
were to to,
to encourage that and put our you know, it's evidence in our actions, that it's important that they didn't that might encourage individuals to come join our,
our organization as opposed to others, because they knew that we, you know, we were part of the groups who were trying to
try to encourage participation in the first place.
Thank you, Director.
Moving on number, see the VCA. budget hearing counselor john. Oh, yeah, I
wish that I read that entire paragraph there. No, I don't think you have to. Okay, well, we'll open discussion on the VCA. LG hearing for mayor and council and any members of the public at this time.
there anyone on the phone?
No one's on the phone there.
Okay. Any questions, comments from members of the council?
new friend a bond ordinance of the township of Lincoln in the county of Essex state of New Jersey, providing for the refunding of all or a portion of its outstanding a 2012 a general improvement bonds and the 2013 General bonds and authorizing the issuance. Want to exceed 7,000,600 $1,000 aggregate principal amount of genuine funding environments of the township to affect such money and appropriate policies, therefore similar.
Second council wandel Are there any questions or comments?
Please call the roll. Councilwoman Mondale? Yeah. Councilman Joanna? Yes. Councilwoman Cruz? Yes, Councilman Davis? Yes, Councilman gamble. Yes, Councilman rafo. your share of an easier? Yeah.
You're upon adoption or amendment of proposal one on second reading number one.
Very complicated, amended supplement after 387. The Bloomfield township code providing parking for physical
limited person. This is
14 other plates. And at one point, it comes to the police department that these spaces are no longer use.
circuits that can Councilman Joanne Oh, are there any questions or comments from members of the public?
Are there any questions or comments from members of the council?
mayor and council I have learned in school mendon supplement chapter 317 of the Bloomfield township code, providing parking for physically limited persons. The following disabled parking spots located at 65 Grove Street, two way street and 144 Davie Street. So
decade capitalism and prairies. Are there any questions or comments from members of the public? No. Are there any questions or comments from members of the council?
This hand handling the multiple screens and eating has been a challenge for me tonight
so I apologize everyone.
So licenses we have the following are dealers of precious metals, gems and secondhand goods. Party law. enterprises john Michael's estate jewelry, New Jersey gold spot,
Blue Moon to find jewelry,
they get Palace Jewelry, when build jewelry exchange, and a Hawker hawkers peddler, canvasser license Alyssa Elisa, Camille Camilo has also looked for and then for informational purposes of HSA, St. Thomas school and Italian American one voice called have got raffle licenses.
Second after Councilman gamble. Are there any questions or comments?