Tuesday, January 21 is the first regular Council meeting for the year and my first regular meeting as Council President. Our meeting on January 2 was the Common Council Reorganization meeting, where Mayor Nora Radest, new Ward 1 Councilmember Danny O’Sullivan, and Councilmembers Beth Little (At Large) and Steve Bowman (Ward 2), who were all re-elected in November 2019, were sworn in. We also voted on our leadership and appointments for the year. I am pleased that Councilmember Beth Little will be serving as President Pro Tempore, which means she acts as Council President in my absence and as Mayor in the Mayor’s absence. Finally, the Mayor delivered a State of the City address.
I plan to continue the Common Council agenda previews that our past Council President David Naidu originated two years ago. These previews are intended to inform the public about what is on the council agenda before each meeting, as well as provide a context for our deliberations.
There will be two presentations at the January 21 meeting. First, Mayor Radest will present the Volunteer of the Year awards to Beth Lovejoy and Marian Glenn for their environmental leadership and years of service as chairs of the Environmental Commission. The second presentation will be a project update on the new firehouse that will be built on Broad Street next to the Broad Street Garage. The current firehouse is over 100 years old and in need of major updates. As part of the Broad Street West redevelopment, the city is planning to sell the land where the current firehouse is located to help off-set the cost of the new fire headquarters.
For the first resolution, the Administrative Committee will introduce a resolution and statement to honor and recognize the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Justice, Equality and Service to Others.
Council will vote on a number of routine resolutions that are presented annually for professional services contracts for engineering, planning, and legal services. We also have resolutions from the Finance Committee authorizing annual salaries for city employees and a bookkeeping measure to close out 2019 operating accounts.
We will also hear two resolutions to declare vacancies to replace one retirement in the Fire Department and three retirements in the Department of Community Services, Division of Public Works.
In addition, council will vote on a resolution to authorize the execution of an affordable housing deed restriction for two affordable units at 123-127 Summit Avenue to satisfy the Mt. Laurel affordable housing commitment. The deed restriction will be in place for at least 30 years.
Other resolutions include: (1) acceptance of a fire prevention grant in the amount of $2,710 from FM Global to the Fire Department for the purchase of fire prevention equipment; (2) an amendment to the resolution to add the Summit Family Aquatic Center as a site for Summit’s Earth Day Clean Up on April 18; (3) a change order to include replacement of six valves needed to update the City Hall HVAC system not already in design documents; (4) at the request of Reeves Reed Arboretum, authorization by the city as owner of the property to permit bow hunting by Union County at the Arboretum to cull deer at no cost to the city or the Arboretum.
To view the complete Common Council agenda, go to
Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, February 4 at 7:30PM.