Springfield Newsletter (June 2016)

For a current listing of Springfield events, you can always visit my up-to-date Calendar at http://calendar.shehady.us

– The Springfield Senior Citizens Calendar for July 2016 is online at http://zszs.us/SNJSrCz. Please share with family, friends and neighbors.

– Join me at the annual Independence Day celebration this Monday, July 4th at Meisel Avenue Park. Organized by the Springfield Office of Emergency Management in conjunction with our Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by several local businesses, the celebration will have all the usual fun and excitement…music, food, drinks, entertainment for the kids and FIREWORKS! Gates open at 5 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. The fireworks start after dark. More information is available at http://zszs.us/4thJuly16

– The Community Pool & Summer Camp is open for the season! For registration and the information brochure, visit http://zszs.us/1Mno7lY


– As you may have heard, there was a very serious and unfortunate incident in town on Monday. Springfield Police discovered two deceased individuals at a residence on Meckes Street. The Union County Prosecutors Office and Homicide Task Force led an investigation which revealed the stabbing victims were Thomas Brown (a member of the Springfield American Legion) and his daughter Roth Brown (a graduate of Jonathan Dayton High School). James Brown was arrested on Route 22 and charged with the murder of his mother and grandfather. He is being held on bail at the County. We mourn their tragic passing. If you were not aware of the incident but would like to stay informed about goings-on in town, I was providing public safety updates live on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ziadandrewshehady

– As promised, a Community Information Bulletin and Traffic Control Plan were published for the upcoming 2016 PGA Championship that will be hosted in Springfield from July 25 through July 31. The bulletin and maps address road closures, parking, traffic patterns, complimentary tickets, and the overall impact to the community. Visit http://zszs.us/16PGAsnjfor the details.


– The next Township Committee meeting will be on Monday, July 18th at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. This is the only meeting for July and it will also be preceded by an Annual Joint Meeting with the Board of Education which starts at 6 p.m. in Town Hall.

At our last Township Committee meeting this past Tuesday, June 28th we presented a proclamation to Paul Ciullo, a longtime Springfield resident and selfless, dedicated volunteer who recently retired from the Springfield Girls Softball Parents Association after nearly 20 years of community service to the town. I also invited the Jonathan Dayton High School Lady Bulldogs Softball Team to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments this season. We hired and swore-in a new Police Officer, Michael Piperato, to fill a vacancy on the Department. We heard the monthly reports from our Public Works, Recreation and Engineering Departments. We also adopted another 13 resolutions – most were routine but I’ll highlight a few:
– Resolution 2016-197 authorized our Tax Collector to send estimated tax bills (rather than actual tax bills) because the State has not adopted their budget and is refusing to allow the County Tax Boards to certify the tax bills.
– Resolution 2016-203 accepted the resignation of Jasmine Mathis who has worked in the Clerk’s Office as an Administrative Assistant and our Registrar of Vital Statistics. She has been a wonderful employee and we will miss her.
– Resolution 2016-209 approves the execution of a Settlement Agreement in response to a lawsuit by the Fair Share Housing Center concerning our Affordable Housing Compliance Plan. This is something that has been ongoing for many years and is happening in municipalities across the state. It is a very complicated matter related to the affordable housing requirements imposed on every municipality as a result of State Supreme Court decisions long ago. The County Superior Court Judge designated Fanwood as the “test” case that would chart the path for other towns in Union County to follow. Fanwood settled the case and Springfield was the “backup” case. We also decided to settle after consultation with several legal and professional experts rather than try the case. We feel the settlement, while still quite burdensome, is the best outcome we could hope to achieve, especially in light of the significant financial burden from a lengthy and difficult court case. We have already been forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers, planners and affordable housing experts so it is a relief to be able to conclude this saga. If you are interested in reading the full terms of the settlement, please let me know.

– Now that our Capital Budget and Bond Ordinance have been approved, we are starting on some infrastructure improvements around town. Our 2016 Road Improvements Projectincludes the milling and paving of 10 streets: Severna Avenue, Molter Avenue, Marcy Avenue, Green Hill Road, Stern Avenue, Ashwood Avenue, Statile Court, Laurel Drive, and North/South Trivett. After the bid process is complete, we hope work will start in August. Whenever I mention road repaving, I inevitably get asked by residents, “What about my street?” When I was Mayor, I requested that our Engineering and Public Works Department develop a transparent and formulaic methodology for determining the order in which streets would be paved. This is based on criteria to evaluate the condition of all the roads in Springfield and then rank them based on need. Additionally, the list inventories all the roads based on when they were last paved, if ever, since their original construction. There is no preference or bias in this process and it ensures fair and equal attention given to all streets. For a few years now, we have made it a point to budget money to repave several streets every year so that we have a gradual townwide improvement plan. Unfortunately, there were many years when previous administrations did not budget for road repairs and so there are many roads in poor condition and many have not been touched since they were originally constructed – now we are playing catch up.

– The Township has also embarked on a Sidewalk Improvement Program. On April 26th, we awarded a contract to repair sidewalks that have been lifted or damaged by trees in the right-of-way. The work started at the beginning of the month and is progressing around town zone by zone. Area 1 has been completed. Area 2 is wrapping up this week. Area 3 will start next week. This is a 10-12 month project depending on the weather. Click here to view the Area Map.

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