WEST LONG BRANCH: The Sept. 20 council meeting opened with Mayor Janet Tucci and the team pausing to reflect on the storms that have fallen on the country, with prayers of hope the theme.
The reports from council members proceeded with Councilman Chris Neyhart describing the work required to bring the DPW building at Cedar and Locust into good repair, with a plan needing to be developed to cost out the work and determine priorities and lay out a work schedule. The discussion noted that work is needed on exterior walls, windows, doors and roof gutters to list just a few of the total jobs needed.
Council will be revisiting the matter when more details and a development plan are pulled together. It is a very busy building, with every day as busy as the last, and always needed to provide services to the town, trash removal, property protection, worker safety and more.
The upcoming events for residents were announced with the Movie Night show at the Community Center among them. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes snacks and beverages for the youngsters who always have a great time. The Fall Fest is scheduled at Franklin Lake for October 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the afternoon.
The work on the website has brought the site up to usage with some suggestions under consideration. It seemed the new system is well received.
An ongoing issue is the management of residence limits such as parameters for single family dwellings and what may amount to code issues. Several residents have brought these matters to Council in the past and the issues still need to be reconciled, and code enforcement rules are a work-in-progress. One resident said some summer and temporary residents of single family places really mount to more than single families, and bring inconveniences to neighborhoods. Automobile and traffic safety was brought up with speeding by "summer people", and some are university students it was stated.
Also discussed was a resolution to appoint Stephanie Murray as Business Administrator on the night's agenda. Attendee Vincent Lepore from Long Branch observed that shared services with Long Branch, which is now in the system, might help the town to avoid costs associated with the administrator job. The position was open in early 2017 by the resignation of the holder and Borough Clerk Lori Cole was asked to fill the position until and if another solution was identified. The job is challenging and time consuming, Mayor Tucci, and was too much for one person. She said Cole has a very full schedule even without the added responsibilities, albeit she has done an outstanding job, the mayor added.
The matter of unknown visitors walking around neighborhoods, apparently assessing the properties for possible sale was again brought up. The matter of trespassing was discussed and unless a "no trespassing" sign is posted on a property, the walkers were not open to be challenged. But police could investigate if called, and the "See something, call someone", such as Borough Hall or the PD was a reminder to all.