Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Residents applauded, cheered as Verona Township Council approved a $5 million bond for Hilltop Park.
Dozens of residents crammed into the municipal chambers at Verona's Civic Center Monday to show support for an ordinance to appropriate $5 million towards the redevelopment of Hilltop Park. It was standing room only, with residents leaning against the walls of the chamber for nearly three hours as the discussion and drama between council members unfolded before them. It was unclear throughout the duration of the meeting whether the council would get the four votes needed to approve the measure, but ultimately the council voted 4-1 to approve the $5.125 million bond to thunderous applause from residents. Gail Shepard was the first to approach the council during the public portion of the meeting, prior to the vote. She demanded to know how …
Monday, April 15, 2013
Board votes 4-1 to approve $5 million for athletic fields, track on Hilltop property.
After three hours of discussion, and occasional contentious arguing, the Verona Township Council Monday night ultimately approved the appropriation of more than $5 million in bonding for the redevelopment of Hilltop Park by a 4-1 vote. The Verona Hilltop project, which includes designs for a baseball field, multipurpose fields and walking tracks, has taken five years to design and has been on the table for even longer. Councilman Kevin Ryan was the lone holdout against the application while Mayor Frank Sapienza, Deputy Mayor Bob Manley and Councilman Jay Sniatkowski and Councilman Michael Nochimson voted in favor of the ordinance. “I'd like to see the ordinance redrawn and reintroduced,” said Ryan. “I'm not opposed to the fields. I'm …
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Council hosted third roundtable Tuesday night prior to April 1 introduction.
The Verona Township Council held the third in a series of budget workshops Tuesday night and is now one step closer to introducing the $21,310,234 township budget for 2013. During Tuesday night's special session, Township Engineer Jim Helb presented the capital budget and Information Technology and Office of Emergency Management Director Jeff Hayes presented expenses and accomplishments for the communications department. Capital budget In the water department section of the capital budget, Helb discussed the replacement of water meters and equipment at a cost of $25,000. “Fifty percent of our revenue for the water utility comes from all our commercial water meters,” said Helb. “We must maintain the integrity of our water meters,” he said…
Monday, March 11, 2013
Township focuses on municipal court, code enforcement, engineering and public works and building and grounds departments at Monday night workshop.
The Verona Township Council continued to outline its 2013-14 budget during a special workshop focusing on the municipal court, code enforcement, engineering and public works and buildings and grounds departments on Monday night. The council already reviewed sections of the $21,310,234 budget involving the Verona Police Department and Office of Community Service at the Feb. 25 budget workshop. Municipal Judge John A. Paparazzo broke down the $237,948 municipal court budget and discussed different forms of technology, which save the township money. The court uses video conferencing for state and local prisons, he said, which saves thousands of dollars. If someone is in jail for another offense and has a Verona hearing, the court can simply …
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Three council seats are open in both Verona and Cedar Grove for the May 2013 election.
Both Verona and Cedar Grove will have new challengers for the May township council elections after two residents filed applications to run for council seats. On Monday, March 4, Stacy Kilkenny, a High Point resident, who has been very vocal at council meetings, submitted her application and petition for the Cedar Grove election. Three seats are open in Cedar Grove with Councilmen Joseph Chiusolo, John Zunic and E. Romeo Longo up for re-election. Both Chiusolo and Zunic handed in their applications for the ballot, said Martina Meding of the Cedar Grove Township Clerk's Office. Two other applications have been given out but neither has been turned in as of Tuesday, March 5, said Meding. Longo has served three full-terms on the council since …
Monday, March 4, 2013
Budget season continues in Verona and Cdear Grove.
The word "budget" is still on the tip of everyone's tongues as budget season continues in Verona and Cedar Grove. The Cedar Grove Township Council has completed their public budget hearings and will meet for a regular council meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 4 at town hall. An agenda is not yet available. The Verona Council has just begun its budget workshops and is also scheduled to meet for a regular council meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 4 at the Verona Civic Center. An agenda is attached as a pdf. Both the Verona and Cedar Grove Boards of Education will be meeting for special sessions after state aid figures revealed that neither district will see an increase in state aid. The Cedar Grove Board of Education meets at 8 p.m. on …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Township missed deadlines to officially vote on Susan Neale.
Thursday, February 28
It appears after Verona's fulltime clerk Jean McEnroe retired in 2011, the Verona Township Council never got around to officially voting on the appointment of acting Municipal Clerk Susan Neale, a violation of a state statute, a published report said Thursday. Township Manager Joseph Martin appointed Neale in late 2011, but Councilman Kevin Ryan told the Verona-Cedar Grove Times the council "never passed a formal resolution." According to the report, the state statute required the council to vote again, one year later, to keep Neale in her position, but that slipped through the cracks again. "We were just a little late, but these housekeeping things - I would like to see us do a little better job at," Ryan said.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Township hosts annual budget workshop, broadcasts session on VTV for first time.
The Verona Township Council began the task of assembling its annual budget with a Monday night workshop, which included proposed budgets for the Verona Police Department and Office of Community Service. Verona plans to decrease its 2013 budget by about $100,000 from 2012. The 2013 budget, which is still under review and discussion, will be around $21,310,234, while the 2012 budget was $21,411,838 “The budget is an on-going effort and a year-round process,” said Township Manager Joseph Martin. “We are half-way through the budget process. The next major milestone is the introduction of the budget on April 1.” Verona Chief of Police Douglas Huber began the workshop by presenting the proposed numbers for the police budget, which is often the …
Verona Council will begin the 2013 Budget Workshop at 7 p.m. at town hall.
[Updated Feb. 25 4:15 p.m.] The Verona Township Council has reversed course and decided to televise this year's budget workshops, which begin Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. After a lengthy discussion the council ultimately decided to televise the meetings for the first time. Mayor Frank Sapienza was initially unsure whether to televise the meetings since they have never aired in the past. Township Manager Joe Martin raised concerns over possible grandstanding. “The consensus among the council was to televise the workshop,” Martin said Monday. “I've always been in favor on transparency in the government and my philosophy is if the public is invited to attend the meeting physically then there is no reason not to record and broadcast it," said …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Township Council split over whether to televise upcoming session.
The Verona Township Council is scheduled to start its yearly budget workshop on Monday, Feb. 25, but whether the meetings are televised is still up for debate. In the past, public council meetings have been available on Verona's VTV local access channel, but budget workshops have not. Verona Councilmen Michael Nochimson and Kevin Ryan argued in favor of televising the workshops during Tuesday night's meeting, citing “full disclosure” and “transparency.” “A public workshop involving the general public should be available to citizens of Verona whether they attend the meeting live or view it at home,” Nochimson said later. While Deputy Mayor Bob Manley was indifferent to televising the workshops, Mayor Frank Sapienza and Township Manager …