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>Reader Comments on the "SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING"

>Yes, the turn-out was good, seats packed full, standing room only on the sides and in back. We patiently listened to all of them; consultant, mayor, opening statements, each and every one of the comments by the BOE and council, many of them several commenting, especially Kim Ringler-Shagin -over and over.

Kim asked several questions, and the consultant wasn’t quite coherent, none of us knew exactly what she was asking.

It seems that their (The BOE and VC) minds are made up to concentrate on the HS, BF junior HS- expanded gym and fields and the other junior HS (GW). Lots of discussion about Habernickle too- the recommendation from Schoor-Depalma (now CMX) was to build and indoor gym. Also there was a lot of focus on Graydon. Their minds also seem to be made up on installing a parking lot at Grove Park and paving over Dunham Trail.

It was ‘their’ meeting – sort of like a tea party – full representation from BOE and council officals, John Q. Public was kept at a distance. And when we finally spoke after 2 hours of attentive listening we were told by the mayor to keep it brief – 3 minutes or less. Many of us were ‘cut off’, told to ‘wrap it up’, finish up – very rude of Mr. Pfund.

The elected officials babbled on for 2 hours before allowing the people a very limited window for comment. Also In the beginning the mayor commented that he heard a flyer was going around saying its going the cost $28 million and it would affect the public’s taxes – he stated that’s not so, and this is just an input meeting on the ‘draft’ and it will need to be reviewed, and then resubmitted , – sometime later – December 2007, then Jan/Fed put on agenda for public comment.

3balls Golf

12 thoughts on “>Reader Comments on the "SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING"

  1. >When “they” decide to spend our money, they do not like to hear “us” speak.

  2. >vote these bums out… someone please give us an alternative.

  3. >As another resident commented:
    It was disgusting! I didn’t appreciate the way they treated the people when they finally wanted to speak. Not one bit! As a TV viewer, I was able to watch their body language and whenever anyone came up to speak for the environment they literally closed up, made faces, leaned back. But whenever a Sports Council person spoke they leaned forward and were actually complimentary.

  4. >Isn’t the $27,596,025. Shown on the draft close enough to $28 Million? That IS a concern for the taxpayers.

  5. >Thanks for posting a rundown of the special meeting on the master plan. It was very accurate. By the time the public could speak, many people had to leave and yes it seemed that they had prejudged the comments based on those speaking pro and those with issues. It is frightening that this plan will go to the planning board and then to the council for final approval. A small group of people will be making vital,long term decisions for the rest of us. There is talk that this plan should go to the public in the form of a referendum. I believe this may be our only chance to put some restraints on a council acting out of control.

  6. >Referendum is the only way to rein in the totally insulated council. Each member has their own agenda which represents a very small percentage of the voters. Cronies get the nod while the rest of us get the finger.

  7. >The issues of Grove Park that they don’t want to hear, but will hear it anyway, are:
    Grove Park is a proclaimed Wetlands And Flood Zones as shown on the NJ DEP and FEMA maps and SD proposal maps. It is a highly environmentally sensitive area located in a densely populated residential quiet neighborhood that borders its edges. Acts as an aquifier for water filtration, and protects the homes during floods. Is a natural habitat for animals and vegetation for the green life cycle. It should be kept as natural as possible.
    Proposed is to construct:
    1.Parking gravel Lot for 10-15 cars Requires CUTTING TREES off Grove St in Park – that is Unacceptable. Parking spaces could be linear on Grove St.
    2. Paved stone screenings Paths – Overlap ENCROACH the Wetlands when they should be 50 ft or 100 ft from wetland lines, to be determined by permits by DEP and Army Corp of Engineers (new Federal regulations pending). How will path construction be done, between trees, by trucks? Loss, Cutting of more trees? Wood chips are natural.
    3. Picnic Shelter – would encourage a hangout, litter, bbq fires, vandalism, and in nearby homes.- Unacceptable and not necessary.

    It is evident that County Duck Pond when in season, has over 1,000 people a Day. They have a crew for maintenance for litter on daily basis, and for the Bike Path as its responsibility. Also have regulated hours, Patrols daily of the entire park and entire bike path.

    If the Nature Path in Grove Park is joined to the Bike Path, 1,000 people daily could severely compromise the habitat and result with negative effects.

    If any commercialization to Grove Park is to be done, it should be kept minimally invasive to prevent any loss of the natural habitat.

    Ask the VOR, BOE for their Reconsideration, not to commercially develop this environmentally sensitive area, the wetlands and flood areas of Grove Park and lower Hawes Pleasant Park, in the densely populated residential areas,as this area would become severely compromised, and have a negative effect on habitat and the homes that are adjacent to the park, resulting in more flooding.Thanks for allowing this post and without an “egg-timer”.

  8. >Admittedly, the presentation by CMX was a little long. Brogan and, to a lesser extent, Ringler Shagin seemed to miss the point of the proposal (a draft for a 10-20 year “PLAN” of what CAN be done) and appeared to be pandering to the voters with their comments about how to cut the list down to one or two items that will be the most politically correct. But, none of the other VC or BOE members made lengthy or repeated comments.

    The Mayor clearly stated that 40 minutes would be allotted for each of the 3 sections of the meeting, and that residents would be permitted 3 minutes to allow for everyone to speak. While the CMX presentation went over 40 minutes, the portion allocated to the BOE/VC comments actually took less than 40 minutes. There were at least 15-20 residents who spoke. If each one had kept their comments to 3 minutes,as requested, that portion would have lasted 45-50 minutes. Unfortunately, two residents read long prepared statements…one about sythetic fields and another about Grove Park. Both took approximately 10 minutes each (HALF of all the time allocated for ALL residents). The one who spoke about Grove Park became indignant when, after 8 minutes, the Mayor politely asked her to “wrap up.” Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with either of these residents’ opinions, they were rude and inconsiderate of everyone else in the room. They both would have been more compelling by emphasizing their points clearly and succinctly within the allotted three minutes, rather than rambling on.

    Contrary to the original poster’s claim, who sounds like one of the aforementioned inconsiderate residents, the public was NOT kept at a distance. They were given a specific time to speak, which logically fell at the end of the meeting. Everyone who wished to speak was given ample time to express his or her views.

    On another note, I was astounded by how many BOE/VC members and residents failed to grasp the value of this presentation. It was clearly explained that NONE of what was presented was assured of being implemented. This proposed plan is simply a guideline of projects to assist in sensible long-term civic planning that could be implemented over 10-20 years on a case by case basis, if desired. It was also disturbing to hear BOE/VC comments focusing on how to cut cost out, without any regard for what needs MUST be addressed. Even if all the projects are implemented (which won’t happen), the cost over 10-20 years is very reasonable ($1mm-2mm per year). Last year our taxes went up over $2MM just to cover the NJEA’s negaotiated salary increases for teachers and no one batted an eye. Clearly some of the projects are “nice to have”. But, others are necessities. CMX understands this and, when asked for the highest priority projects, they repeatedly indicated that the projects at BF and the HS would offer the greatest good to the greatest number of residents. A fact that is apparent to anyone who has spent any time thinking ojectively about the Master Plan. However, two residents did offer compelling arguements for creating a concrete bottom pool at Graydon.

    By the way, if you care, I agreed with the woman who went on and on about the unacceptability of creating paths and a parking lot at Grove Park. I say “leave it alone”! I also agreed that the plan recommended too many synthetic fields, without quantifying the benefits. It is obvious that we cannot make due with our current number of grass fields, and adding fields is not an option. So, as CMX pointed out several times, the only option is to make some of our existing fields MORE usable. However, I think that adding sythetic turf at Steven and RHS provide enough additional “usability” that all our other fields in town could remain natural grass. And to the resident who complained that sythetic fields are dangerous for our children and the environment…a quick call to the DEP would verify that the rubber/sand infill used does not contain metals or polyester and that the levels for any trace element chemicals are well within all state and federal guidelines for athletic fields (synthetic or natural), posing absolutely no risk to the environment or children who play on the field.

    It is time we all take a step back, get realistic about our needs, think objectively and make decisions that are truly in the interests of our children and our children’s children. Please leave the inflamatory rhetoric out of this discussion, for a change!

  9. >That was a very well written view of the presentation.

  10. >I find it interesting that Mssrs. Rogers and Fitzgerald tried to Bolger there way by offering to pay for a NJDEP permit that no one has said anyone wants yet. If this were Wall Street it would be considered “insider trading”.

  11. >Rogers and Fitgerald had nothing to do with the permit process that was funded and donated by a private group with no strings attached…

  12. >Years ago there was marked parking ON Grove Street – enough for 3 cars, but could probably be expanded to 10, if you go down to the telephone pole. Why not do that? It worked before, why not again?

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