Bernards Township Committee Adopts New Ordinances and Honors Local Talent

In a recent Bernards Township Committee meeting, members unanimously passed a resolution honoring the Sharp Family Singers for their national recognition on America’s Got Talent, adopted ordinances including one to create a mixed-use senior overlay zone, and negotiated a notable agreement with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) on officer wages and off-duty employment.

The meeting commenced with Mayor Andrew J. McNally and the committee members expressing their pride in the Sharp Family Singers, a local family who has gained national attention. A resolution recognizing their achievements was passed with full support, and the family was invited to take a photo with the committee.

One notable topic discussed was the adoption of Ordinance 2541, which focused on establishing the Westgate Village mixed-use senior overlay zone within the E3 zone. The ordinance aims to create opportunities for seniors to age in place by providing a specified area for mixed-use development tailored to the needs of the older population. During the discussion, a question arose regarding the age restrictions, which was clarified by Mr. Bardo to be in alignment with federal statutes. The council members, including Committee Woman Janice M. Fields, supported the ordinance.

Another significant element of the meeting was the adoption of Ordinance 2542, which pertains to the outside employment of off-duty police officers. This ordinance was part of the agreement reached with the PBA regarding their contract. The council recognized the cooperation of the PBA and emphasized the importance of this agreement in maintaining fair labor practices and competitive wages for the police force.

In addition to the adoption of these ordinances, the council also covered the subject of a public hearing on Ordinance 2540, which involved accepting a conservation easement on a particular property. This ordinance was adopted and advertised as required by law.

The meeting also included Deputy Mayor Jennifer L. Asay expressing gratitude toward the staff and committees for their management and efforts over the year. She extended thanks to Mayor McNally for his leadership and commended the success of the recent 100th sing event, which celebrated community unity with about a thousand attendees. Mayor McNally praised the staff and colleagues for their extraordinary year and mentioned the upcoming reorganization meeting on January 2nd, where new members will be sworn in.

The consent agenda was another point of interest, with Committee Woman Fields requesting the removal of item 2023-0468 for a separate vote. After addressing this item, the council voted on the remaining consent agenda items, all of which were approved. This included the resolution PAC and Gladstone for the shared Municipal Court and the approval of minutes from the previous meeting.

The public comment period featured residents extending New Year’s wishes and congratulating Lieutenant Chris Hurst for his 24 years of service in the Emergency Management side of the police force. The council echoed these sentiments, acknowledging the lieutenant’s dedication and service.

Staff comments and Township committee comments were overwhelmingly positive, with an air of gratitude for the successful year and the collaborative efforts of the committee. The council members wished each other and the community a Happy New Year and looked forward to the contributions of the incoming committee members.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Andrew J. McNally
City Council Officials:
Jennifer L. Asay, Janice M. Fields, Gary Baumann, Ana Duarte McCarthy

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