In a recent Emerson Borough Council meeting, a robust discussion on affordable housing and the announcement of a new police chief marked the highlights of a wide-ranging agenda.
The council discussed a resolution to allocate $60,000 for the acquisition of real property for potential affordable housing and other public purposes. A member of the public, Ms. Stutzel, sought clarity on which property was being considered, confirming it was on Lewis Avenue. Another member of the public, Mr. Todd, queried the land’s appraisal status and recommended considering it for housing the developmentally disabled.
During discussions on developments for seniors, concerns were raised about New Jersey retirees leaving the state due to high costs of living. The council also tackled the topic of updating borough employees’ job titles, notably adding the role of a records clerk for the police department.
In other segments of the meeting, Councilwoman McGuire highlighted the success of a recent music concert at Borough Hall and discussed the Borough Internship Program’s contributions. Meanwhile, Councilman Gordon addressed the growing infestation of Spotted Lantern Flies in the area. Both Councilwoman Moore and Councilwoman Rice touched upon the state’s 2022 Senior Freeze Program and the involvement of the Emerson Volunteer Ambulance Corps in a library program, respectively.
Residents raised concerns about local traffic congestion, specifically the suitability of trucks on Lincoln Avenue. The issue of train crossings disrupting traffic light cycles was also discussed. Additionally, there was feedback regarding local businesses like Cradles to Kranz, a daycare and preschool expanding to a new location.
A resident questioned the accuracy and integrity of a brochure for new Emerson residents. This advertising piece, distributed by the post office, contained incomplete phone numbers for some municipal departments. The council clarified that it wasn’t government-endorsed.
A significant announcement came with the impending retirement of the current police chief. Mark Savino was unanimously approved to be Emerson’s new police chief, effective October 1st. The council praised his qualifications, and the chief was authorized to advertise for a captain’s position and begin the hiring process for two upcoming retirements.
The meeting wrapped up with recognition for high school athletes, emphasizing their achievements and the unwavering support they receive from families. Standout accolades included the boys varsity baseball team’s 100th win and recognition for individual students in gymnastics and winter track.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for September 5th.