Council Eliminates Stipends, Announces 9/11 Service

Cedar Grove Township Council ends $4,000 stipends and announces Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony for 4 p.m. at town hall.

Stipends for current Cedar Grove council members are no more.

The Cedar Grove Township Council followed through on a promise and unanimously passed a measure Monday night removing the $4,000 annual stipend.

For the past few years, council members have put the stipend in the budget only to later remove it with a new measure.

Led by Deputy Mayor Robert O’Toole, the council codified the measure put it in place because they have cut spending in other departments and want to show they can make the necessary cuts as well.

“We have asked departments to cut down on spending and we need to do the same,” said Deputy Mayor Robert O'Toole. “We have plenty of volunteer organizations who aren't paid and I don't think we should have any kind of stipends.”

Although he wished to make the measure permanent, Township Attorney Thomas Scrivo told the council that they do not have the authority to eliminate it permanently.

Future councils can reinsert the stipend later on down the road, but it would require a public vote, Scrivo said.

“This council might change this years from now but that’s up to them,” said O'Toole. 

The council also announced their Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony will take place today at 4 p.m. at town hall, 525 Pompton Ave.

Representatives of the township fire department, police department and rescue squad will take part in the ceremony. 

“Cedar Grove lost two residents and I think its fair to say that everyone that's a resident of this town has been affected by the horrific event that took place,” said councilman Joseph Chiusolo. “Its a good time to reflect and to join together as a community. I think it’s a good thing to remember the people who unfortunately lost their lives that day.”

Council members awarded a bid for curbside pick-up and disposal of grass clippings and vegetative waste to Galaxy Recycling. The motion approved a five-year contract with the company.

This measure also eliminates the need for brown paper (recyclable) bags, said Mayor Peter Tanella.

Residents can put their grass clippings into recycling or garbage containers instead of buying plastic lawn bags. 

O'Toole opposed the measure, saying, “I have a problem with them not accepting bags made out of corn which are biodegradable,” he said. “I have used these bags and they just rip them open and dump the grass into the truck and some of it misses and they throw the bag into the street.”

“I am not going to approve this resolution until this item is settled because these bio bags are alright and I'm not the only one using them in town and they are not accepting them,” he added. 

According to Township Manager Tom Tucci it is the disposal company, Nature's Choice, which will not accept the bags and not Galaxy Recycling.

In other news, the council:

  • Heard an announcement from Cedar Grove Chamber of Commerce President Al Rosen regarding an upcoming fundraiser for a new ambulance for the Cedar Grove Rescue Squad. The fundraiser will be held Feb. 16, 2013 at The Grove, located at 691 Pompton Ave.
  • Presented a proclamation to the Elks Club of Cedar Grove naming the week of Sept. 9 through Sept. 15 National Patriotism Week.

 Discussed bids to replace the roof of the Cedar Grove Library. The library roof is in poor condition and needs to be replaced for the winter, said Tucci.


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