Springfield Newsletter (Drugs in the Community, Pool & Summer Camp, Garage Sale, Agenda Update)

COMMUNITY
For a current listing of Springfield events, check out my Calendar at http://calendar.shehady.us!

–  Please join Committeeman Jerry Fernandez and me for my monthly “Town Hall Forum” this Thursday, April 30th, 7:00 p.m. at the Springfield Free Public Library, for a discussion on on the topic of “Drugs in the Community.” This is especially relevant in light of another heroin overdose in town just a few weeks ago.  This month’s special guests include Julie Peterman, the Supervisor of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force, UCPO Detective Gary Webb, Springfield Police Chief John Cook, as well as licensed counselors Laura Leigh Smith, PhD, LPC and Anna Vitale, MPS, LCADC of NJ Children’s System of Care.  Springfield is not immune to the dangers of drugs and addiction. Together as a community, the forum aims to raise awareness about this issue. This is a very important topic – the speakers will provide excellent information and insight on the problem in our community, trends, increase awareness and prevention assistance.  Due to construction at the Springfield Municipal Building, the meeting will be at the Springfield Free Public Library (66 Mountain Avenue) in the Donald Palmer Museum. More details are available at https://www.facebook.com/events/338184039724047  In an effort to reach as many parents in the community as possible, please share this invitation with your family, friends and neighbors. Thank you!

–  The Springfield Senior Citizens Calendar for May 2015 is online at http://zszs.us/SNJSrCz, Please share with family, friends and neighbors.

–  The annual Community Pool and Summer Camp Information Brochure has been released and online registration is now open! To view/download the brochure, visit http://zszs.us/1CD20hj.

–  I’m happy to announce the dates for Springfield’s annual Townwide Garage Sale are Saturday, June 20th – Sunday, June 21st and Saturday, September 12th – Sunday, September 13th. Sale hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More details and registration information at http://zszs.us/grgsl15

–  The Township of Springfield and the Springfield Veterans Alliance (American Legion Continental Post 228 & Jewish War Veterans Eli Unger Post 273) invite you to join the annual community tribute & parade this Memorial Day (Monday, May 25th, 10 a.m.) at Veterans Memorial Park.  The holiday is just around the corner and it’s not too soon to start organizing. If you represent a community group interested in participating, if you are a business or organization interested in sponsoring a float, or if you would like to volunteer to assist with planning, please contact Geri Bujnowski at memorialday@springfieldnj.us

–  The annual Saint James the Apostle Parish Festival starts today, Tuesday, April 28th and runs through Sunday, May 2nd.

GOVERNMENT

–  The quarterly tax bill is due next month.  You can pay online at http://zszs.us/SNJpaytax

–  The next Township Committee meeting for April is scheduled for this evening. Tuesday, April 28th at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.

–  At our Township Committee meetings earlier this month, more action was taken on the downtown redevelopment proposals.  The Township Committee passed an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan for a large portion of the downtown in the Morris Avenue corridor.  I could not support a plan that did not do enough to address concerns about the high density and minimal parking proposed.  Street parking is being reduced, the developers are being absolved of their resonsibiliity to provide adequate parking, and the plan calls for parking to be consolidated in a small parking lot that floods.  In the same evening, the Township Committee gave approval to yet another plan for several dozen more apartments downtown.  While Mayor Barnett and Deputy Mayor Bandrowski think adding 4-story buildings and nearly 130 apartments downtown is “redevelopment”, I think it is short-sighted, misguided and will do little to address the desire of the community for a downtown we can be proud of with shopping and restaurants.  Most resolutions were “routine”.  We recognized our Police Chief and Police Captain for their efforts leading the department, we accepted the retirement of a police officer, and pool staff was hired.

During our meeting tonight, Police Officer Keith Christopher will be promoted to Sergeant.  We will consider an ordinance providing for the purchase of a bus for our senior citizens.  Mayor Barnett’s agenda also includes two major ordinances for introduction:  a bond ordinance for capital purchases in the amount of $3,715,000 and the municipal budget ordinance proposing a tax levy of $22,630,668.  Along with the routine resolutions, we will announce the dates of the Farmers Market, hire additional pool staff, and begin a search for a consultant to handle our state-mandated affordable housing compliance.  I have some concerns about an unexpected resolution on the agenda that allows our Police Department to receive surplus defense equipment and I will be requesting that it be tabled for further discussion and research.

Check out a copy of the full agenda at http://agenda.springfieldnj.us  As always, I am interested in your feedback

EXTRA!

– The Springfield Republican Committee is looking for new members.  If you are interested in joining, send an email to email@springfieldnjgop.com for more information.  They will be holding their next monthly meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29th at 7 p.m. in the Chisholm Community Center.  Their 2015 candidates for Springfield Township Committee, Diane Stampoulos and Maria Vassallo, have officially kicked off their campaign and your early support is appreciated.  Come to the meetings to learn how you can help.

Help get the word out to more residents!  If you have family, friends or neighbors that you think may be interested in receiving this newsletter, please e-mail me.

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