Here is the report from the November Hainesport Township Meeting. As always, it is not a complete transcript, but simply a summary of the issues which were covered that I believe will be of most interest to the people of Hainesport.
After the meeting was opened Trooper Storm gave his report, summarizing the kinds of incidents the NJSP have been called to over the last 30 days. He emphasized that if Hainesport residents have issues, they should call the Bordentown based State Police direct on 609 298 1171, as that will be the best way of accessing state resources.
- Speed Humps/Stop Signs: the importance of introducing some form of speed impediment in several areas throughout Hainesport was discussed. Although the audience was not able to see the township maps for the proposed sites, we were informed that there were 5 potential speed hump sites, each of which would cost $8500, while stop signs could be erected for a total of $8000. The committee is considering this.
- 2016 Park Grant: several possibilities were put forward for this Burlington County grant, which can total as much as $250k. The deadline to apply is Dec 1. The committee plans to cost these suggestions further and apply for the grant.
- A dog park with separate areas for <30 lb dogs and >30 lb dogs with a gate system was suggested but not costed. Objections were raised about possible township liabilities because of aggressive dog behavior
- Improvements to Rancocas Park were suggested, including replacing the mulch with a softer surface ($80k), erecting a pavilion ($25k) and creating a sidewalk between the boat ramp and Flo’s (not costed that I heard.)
- The construction of an additional pump station and well in the municipal park area was suggested for about $50k total.
- 2016 Community Development Block Grant: Township Administrator Leo Selb explained that this is for roads in low or moderate income areas and the proposed target area is Washington and Albert Streets where there is not currently a clear path on either side. Committeewoman elect Leila Gilmore asked if the grant would address the issue with the side of Albert St that is crooked and has the stop sign, but was told it was more cost-effective to make a new sidewalk on the other side than to fix the crooked one. A resident complained about the lack of sidewalk outside the municipal building and was told that could not be addressed by this grant but would be addressed separately.
- Leaf Pick Up: Put the leaves out by the sidewalk and they will be picked up. This will run a little past Thanksgiving this year because of the warm weather/late leaf fall. After that the leaves will need to be bagged.
Only one resident chose to stand up during Public Comment tonight and that was long term Hainesport resident Ginny Cliver. She wanted to ask the three incumbent committee members why they felt they were each entitled to $30k of health benefits on their $5k salary. Mayor Dickinson reminded her several times that this was Public Comment not Questions and the Committee did not have to answer. Ms. Cliver asked if the incumbents were ashamed, and added that if they didn’t have the courtesy to answer her question they owed the township residents an apology. She asked the Committee if they would be willing to help out with her supplementary Medicare benefits and was told they did not have to answer. She ended by telling the Committee that she understood there was a record number of children at Hainesport School receiving free lunches and asked them how they managed to sleep, knowing that. Mayor Dickinson repeated that they did not have to answer questions.
Comments from the Committee
Deputy Mayor Porto thanked Hainesport residents for participating in the election.
Committeeman Fitzpatrick agreed, then congratulated Leila Gilmore and Frank Masciocchi (who did not attend the meeting) for winning the election, and for running a clean campaign unlike the Great Divider (Me) who continually bashed people on Hainesport Happenings. There was some grumbling in the audience from people who saw this differently.
Mayor Dickinson said the Committee was planning a Town Hall meeting to talk frankly about moving the town forward, and also thanked the poll workers for getting up so early.
So there you have it, Hainesport. I was still in the trenches for you at the November Hainesport Township Meeting, even though I respect your (close-margined) choice to pick my Republican opponents this election for the Committee positions. This is how you know that I am 100% about Hainesport, not about myself.
UPDATE: It has been explained to me that Frank Masciocchi had to miss Monday’s meeting because of his commitments as an Adjunct Professor. Being an Adjunct Professor myself, I’m prepared to give him a pass on that. Although he does not get a pass on his silence and utter failure to denounce the smear campaign which distorted my two Adjunct Professor roles into something he knew they were not, I have decided to forgive him and try to move on.