Thursday, August 24, 2006

Council Doings

By way of disclosure, I covered the City Council meeting tonight (Aug. 23, 2006) for the Courier News, specifically on the choice of a successor to the late Ray Blanco. For the blog, suffice it to say it was Harold Gibson.

Rayland Van Blake, who was named president pro tem Monday, was also named president pro tem again Wednesday before being named president to serve through the rest of 2006. The council observed a moment of silence in memory of Blanco.

The administration withdrew an ordinance that set new fees for Certificate of Compliance inspections, from $50 to $175 for residential units. Another ordinance that provided for higher fees for various building fees was also withdrawn for further review.

A resolution for the city to apply to the Council on Affordable Housing for regional contribution agreements had been withdrawn Monday. Resident Nancy Piwowar reminded the council Wednesday that the city had taken a firm stand in 1988 against accepting other municipalities’ affordable housing obligations in return for money.

Six resolutions related to redevelopment were up for approval by consent, but Councilman Cory Storch asked for one on the Marino’s tract to be voted on separately. Storch said the proposed developer, AST Development Corp., had done another project in the city (Park-Madison) but that there were “a number of significant unresolved issues” in connection with the project.
“I hope they will be resolved before they come back to us,” Storch said.
The resolution, which gives AST conditional designation as developer of the Marino’s tract, passed on a voice vote.

Flor Gonzalez, president of the Latin American Coalition, invited everyone to attend the Hispanic Heritage Festival which received council approval Wednesday to take place Sept. 9 on East Front Street between Park and Watchung avenues from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Gonzalez congratulated Van Blake and said he was one of the youngest presidents she has seen in 27 years. She also invited council members to go around the city with her and see what Latinos are all about, "how much we have to give and not to take."

--Bernice Paglia


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