Newsletter

Springfield Newsletter (August 2016)

COMMUNITY
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 August 2016 is online at http://zszs.us/SNJSrCz. Please share with family, friends and neighbors.

– The Springfield Community Pool Activities Calendar for August 2016 is online at http://zszs.us/29wyoyO.

– If you haven’t yet stopped by the Springfield Farmers Market, visit any Monday through October 31st from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Municipal Parking Lot located at the corner of Church Mall and Morris Avenue. Check out the poster at http://zszs.us/29twFbR

– The Springfield Business Improvement District continues their Springfield Music Fest, a live outdoor concert series with the next event on Thursday, August 18th at Echo Plaza featuring Springfield’s own, “The Vaughns” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The full schedule is listed on my community calendar. View the poster at http://zszs.us/29wAxuj

– The annual free summer concert will be held on Monday, August 15th at Jonathan Dayton High School. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

– It’s almost time to clean out those basements, attics and garages. The community is invited to participate in the second townwide garage sale of 2016 on Saturday, September 10th – Sunday, September 11th. Sale hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The garage sale dates are prior to the quarterly bulk garbage pickups on September 14-15 so you can easily dispose of remaining items. Registration is not required and there are no permit fees. Participating households are encouraged to register at http://zszs.us/SNJgs to be included on a comprehensive listing of garage sale locations that will be posted in an interactive map on the Township website and on Facebook.

– Save the date – the annual Fall Festival & Car Show will be here before you know it. I have been speaking with the organizers and they have some exciting things planned to continue making this year even better than the last. The festival and car show is scheduled for Sunday, October 2nd with a rain date of October 16th. If you wish to register as a vendor or enter your car, visit http://www.festivalcarshow.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS

– Union County residents can now send a text message to 911 in the event of an emergency. If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to call 911 and speak to a dispatcher, Union County is one of the first counties in the state that will allow you to text 911 during an emergency. Texts are handled by the Union County Regional Dispatch Center located in Westfield. Please share this information with family, friends and loved ones as this can make a huge difference for someone who might find themselves in a situation where a voice call could jeopardize their safety.

– Did you know the Springfield Police Department provides a free child safety seat inspection? 8 out of 10 child safety seats are installed incorrectly. Our Police Department has officers who are trained to make sure your child’s car seat is installed properly. If you are interested in this service, call the Police non-emergency line at 973-376-0400 to set up an appointment.

– As a result of some past home burglaries, I contacted Ring.com (makers of a wi-fi doorbell) and explained what was going on. They helped me sign up Springfield for their “Neighborhoods Program”. They’ve agreed to offer Springfield residents a $25 discount with the use of the promo code 3z4snj However, the offer will expire at the end of the month. I highly recommend it! When the doorbell rings, your cell phone rings and you can see the live video feed and speak/listen to the visitor (like a video intercom). This offers some additional security and deterrence because the visitor will not actually know if you’re home or not and you will have video footage in the event of a crime. It’s easy to install and if it’s stolen, they’ll replace it for free. Aside from the up-front cost, there are no other fees unless you want video storage. To buy, go to www.ring.com and use the promo code 3z4snj at check out.

I report on all important public safety matters with timely updates on Facebook. If you would like to stay informed as things are occurring, subscribe to my official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ziadandrewshehady

– The Township Sidewalk Improvement Program is progressing nicely. The contractor is currently working on Area 4 and is expected to start Area 5 next week. Completing the town is a 10-12 month project depending on the weather. Click here to view the Area Map.

GOVERNMENT

– The next Township Committee meeting will be Tuesday, August 9th at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. The second meeting for the month will be on Tuesday, August 23rd at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. The agenda is available at http://agenda.springfieldnj.us There are 4 new ordinances being introduced and 9 resolutions being considered for adoption. This is a relatively light agenda but with an unusually higher number of new ordinances. Most of the ordinances are land use related and have been referred to us by the Planning Board.

ELECTION 2016

– It’s crazy to think that Election Day is just around the corner – there are just less than 90 days until voters head to the polls! Regardless of your political views and thoughts of the presidential elections, two candidates are running for Springfield Township Committee that need your vote – Victoria Sarracino and Kristen Labazzo. There’s still time to meet them and learn more about them. They are hosting a meet & greet at Kristen’s house on Wednesday, August 24th from 6-8 p.m. For a $50 per person donation, you can enjoy kabobs, appetizers and cocktails. I would love for them to join the Township Committee in 2017 so we can work together for the continued improvement of our town. If you’re interested in attending the meet & greet, just send me an email for more information!

Springfield Newsletter (Special Weekend Edition July 2016)

GOVERNMENT

– The next Township Committee meeting will be tomorrow, 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. The agendas for both are available at http://agenda.springfieldnj.us

One notable item on the agenda is a presentation of the Municipal Pool Project and consideration of a capital bond ordinance to advance the project. I have posted the information, plans and estimates on my website at http://zszs.us/SNJpool. Additionally, I have created a survey for all pool members and non-members to take so your feedback can be used to guide us. The survey is available at my website below or directly at http://zszs.us/SCPsvy. The public is invited to attend the meeting to listen to the presentation and offer comment.

Otherwise, the agenda includes two ordinances for adoption on final hearing and 13 resolutions for consideration. Here are some I’d like to highlight:
– Resolution 2016-211: appointing Robert Boettcher as the new Supervisor of Public Works (former Supervisor Ken Homlish has retired)
– Resolution 2016-220: awarding a contract to our Engineering firm for services related to Troy Drive (not to exceed $15,600)
– Resolution 2016-221: awarding a publicly bid contract to P&A Construction for our 2016 Road Improvements Project ($631,647)
– Resolution 2016-223: authorizing an extension for the August 1, 2016 installment of taxes (to be due August 15, 2016) as a result of the State budget delays

ANNOUNCEMENTS

– In case you missed the robo-call from the Town or didn’t see it on my Facebook, Troy Drive is closed between Baltusrol Way and Stone Hill Drive until further notice for safety reasons due to structural concerns. Why? Unusual soil erosion was just discovered which led to preliminary surveys of the area that uncovered a larger, structural problem underneath the road due to a faulty installation of the drainage pipe by the State in the 1960s (as part of the construction of Route 78). A large drainage pipe runs underneath Troy Drive that has been collapsing and leading to a washout of the soil underneath and on the embankment. I visited the site with our Assistant Engineer and it is believed to be an unsafe condition and an unnecessary risk to keep this road open. As a safety precaution until it can be further investigated, the road will be closed. We’re determining the extent of the structural concerns and have acted quickly to get experts out to study this further. We’ll know more about the impact to the PGA and long-term plans for area residents after that.

– If you haven’t heard, the Springfield Police Department arrested a suspect who confessed to the string of burglaries in town. Congratulations to our Springfield Police Department on their outstanding work! The following is an excerpt from the message from our Police Chief:
“I would like advise all residents that this afternoon, thanks to a resident who is very intuitive and pays attention to details, we were able to locate an individual that she had encountered in her rear yard, after she immediately contacted us and gave a very detailed description. Officers and plain-clothes detectives immediately flooded the area and one of the detectives located and detained an individual matching the description perfectly. This person had outstanding warrants for which he was placed under arrest. Upon further investigation by detective bureau personnel, this person admitted to the series of burglaries that have been taking place in our Township recently. This successful result was from you, the residents, working along with your police department.”

I would like to point out to residents that burglaries are rare but these are not the only occasions in which they have happened nor is Springfield the only town to deal with this problem. Many area communities have burglaries as well and often the suspects cross boundaries. Social media makes these problems more well-known. Residents do not need to panic or be alarmed as our Police Department does a wonderful job preventing and investigating these incidents. However, residents should always be vigilant and report suspicious activity to our Police Department.

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

– Last year, I hosted a series of Town Hall Forums. One in particular was very popular and requested again – “Drugs in Our Communities”. I am repeating this event and co-hosting with New Providence Mayor Al Morgan. Join me on Thursday, August 4th at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. The featured speaker and special guest is Ms. Grace Park, Union County Acting Prosecutor. She will be joined by Julie Peterman, Supervisor of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force. Speakers also include Police Department representatives and public health professionals. Our towns are not immune to the dangers of drugs and addiction. This affects people of all ages from all backgrounds. Together as a community, we can raise awareness, work collaboratively, and gain additional knowledge about this issue. Please invite your family, friends and neighbors from all over Union County. I am opening this to everyone in Union County but registration is requested to ensure adequate seating. To RSVP, visit https://www.yourunioncounty.com

– The next Springfield Music Fest Concert in the series is next Thursday, July 21st from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Stop by Dr. Gary Hecht’s Chiropractic Office (201 Mountain Avenue) for a performance by “QED”. The full schedule is listed on my community calendar. View the poster at http://zszs.us/29wAxuj

National Night Out, “America’s night out against crime”, will be celebrated in Union County here in Springfield at Meisel Park on Tuesday, August 2nd from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s part of Union County’s “Family Fun & Flix” series so they will be showing the movie “Zootopia” as well. The movie starts at sunset. In the past, there has been food, refreshments, activities for kids, and emergency vehicles and public safety personnel from around the County. Bring a blanket and chairs!

Springfield Newsletter (July 2016)

COMMUNITY
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.

– The Springfield Community Pool Activities Calendar for July 2016 is online at http://zszs.us/29wyoyO.

– The Springfield Farmers Market begins this Monday, July 11th and is open for business every Monday through October 31st from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Municipal Parking Lot located at the corner of Church Mall and Morris Avenue. Check out the poster at http://zszs.us/29twFbR

– This month, the Springfield Business Improvement District kicks off their Springfield Music Fest, a 5 Live Outdoor Concert series featuring area bands. Next Thursday, July 14th, stop by Patriot Park (corner of Mountain Avenue and Wabeno Avenue) for a performance by “The Mighty Movers” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (This was originally scheduled for yesterday, July 7th but was postponed until next Thursday due to inclement weather.) The full schedule is listed on my community calendar. View the poster at http://zszs.us/29wAxuj

– The Springfield First Aid Squad is holding a Car Wash Fundraiser this Saturday, July 9th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Squadhouse (10 North Trivett Avenue). Cars are $10 and vans/SUVs are $15. Your tax-deductible donation will help support our First Aid Squad in providing a valuable service to the community.

– Save the Date! National Night Out, “America’s night out against crime”, will be celebrated in Union County here in Springfield at Meisel Park on Tuesday, August 2nd from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s part of Union County’s “Family Fun & Flix” series so they will be showing the movie “Zootopia” as well. The movie starts at sunset. In the past, there has been food, refreshments, activities for kids, and emergency vehicles and public safety personnel from around the County. Bring a blanket and chairs!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

– Many residents have been asking me about the power outages they feel have been frequent lately. Our Area Manager at Jersey Central Power and Light has been very helpful in providing the Township with information about outages as soon as possible and keeping us apprised of restoration efforts. Additionally, JCP&L has been more responsive and more proactive than in years past when it comes to making repairs and improving infrastructure proactively in Springfield to prevent unnecessary outages. Unfortunately, not every outage can be prevented due to circumstances outside of their control. I asked our Area Manager to provide details of their outage records for the last 2 months which I’ve made available for public review at http://zszs.us/29KYcp0. In the last 2 months, there have been 16 incidents resulting in 20 circuit outages. Of the 16, 5 were due to animal contact, 4 were due to trees, 1 was due to a car accident, 1 was due to severe weather/thunderstorms, and 5 were due to equipment/line failures.

– In the last two weeks, there have been 4 home burglaries (not home invasions) while the homes were unoccupied. These occurred in the areas of Milltown Road, Evergreen Avenue, Briar Hills Circle, and Henshaw Avenue. In all cases the suspect(s) entered into the rear yard and either defeated the lock of, and/or forced open, a rear door. These have been during the work week and sometime in the early afternoon hours. Our police department has been working on these burglaries and following up on all leads. They are also working together with other local jurisdictions that have had the same, or similar, burglaries. Springfield is not the only community that this has been happening in. The actors in these types of burglaries will typically ring or knock at the front door and if there is no answer, go around to the rear yard and look for a way in. Residents are asked to keep an eye for any suspicious persons and/or activity that seem out of place in their neighborhoods. Please pay particular attention to the following: anyone walking around that you do not recognize from your neighborhood, anyone walking behind, or out from behind, a home, anyone walking through rear yards, and anything that you feel at all suspicious of. If you see any such persons or have any suspicion about anything whatsoever that you may see, contact the police immediately and we will investigate. If you have any doubt whatsoever, contact the police and they will look into it immediately. Our best defense for these types of crimes is to work together. Remember to lock all doors and windows when leaving. Also, if there is glass in, or anywhere near, an entry door, use a double cylinder deadbolt and do not leave the key in the interior side, but leave it nearby where family members know to find it should they need to exit in an emergency.

Residents have expressed some concern to me so I reached out to Ring.com (makers of a wi-fi doorbell) and explained what was going on. They helped me sign up Springfield for their “Neighborhoods Program”. As part of this arrangement, they’ve agreed to offer Springfield residents a $25 discount with the use of the promo code 3z4snj I’ve used a Ring.com doorbell for a long time and I highly recommend it! What does it do? Someone walks near the doorbell and it begins to record. The visitor rings the doorbell and the whole interaction is also recorded. When the doorbell rings, your cell phone also rings and you can see the live video feed and speak/listen to the visitor (like a video intercom). This offers some additional security and deterrence because the visitor will not actually know if you’re home or not and you will have video footage in the event of a crime. It’s easy to install and if it’s stolen, they’ll replace it for free. Aside from the up-front cost, there are no other fees unless you want video storage. To buy, go to www.ring.com and use the promo code 3z4snj at check out. The video at the following link is an example from when a solicitor came to my door just recently – https://ring.com/share/429014985

I report on all important public safety matters with timely updates on Facebook. If you would like to stay informed as things are occurring, subscribe to my official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ziadandrewshehady

GOVERNMENT

– 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. The agenda is not yet available but will be posted by Friday, July 15th at http://agenda.springfieldnj.us

At our meeting, I will be proposing the Township Committee approve a plan to provide free shuttle bus service to residents for the PGA championship. Since the PGA is not offering public parking in town (residents have to drive to Clark to park and catch the official PGA shuttles back to Springfield), I asked our town officials to investigate a pickup/dropoff route with a handful of stops around town so residents can leave their cars at home, walk to a nearby location and get picked up by a shuttle. At this point, it is just an idea and I am still exploring the feasibility but I hope we can make this possible. If successful, there would be no more than 5 stops with a limited schedule because we would be utilizing our buses that are needed for the town Jitney service and for senior citizens. Let me know what you think of this idea.

– I will be hosting a Forum in early August with Union County Prosecutor Grace Park on the topic “Drugs in our Community”. Details will be announced on Facebook and by e-mail when they are confirmed.

– The bridge on Mountain Avenue is scheduled for construction by Union County in order to replace the culvert. The road may be completely closed from August 1, 2016 until September 9, 2016. It should partially reopen while the project continues until the end of September. However, it is not certain anymore when it will start because $1 million in grant funding from the State is now being withheld as part of Governor Christie’s shutdown order over the Transportation Trust Fund issues. I will provide updates as they are available.

ELECTION 2016

– Please remember this name – Victoria Sarracino. Vicki is running for Township Committee and will be asking for your vote on Tuesday, November 8th. She has the support of 4 members of the Township Committee and we would love for her to join the Township Committee in 2017 so we can work together for the continued improvement of our town. She’s knocking on doors around town and would love to meet you. You can contact her at vicki@springfieldnj.us

Twitter @shehady

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