In a recent meeting, the Fairlawn Borough Council issued a series of proclamations celebrating a variety of important community concerns and achievements. In a climate of increasing national dialogue about these issues, this gathering of local government served as a microcosm of nationwide discussions.
The first declaration made by the council recognized June 19, 2023, as Juneteenth, acknowledging the historical importance of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. This was followed by proclamations of June as LGBTQ Pride Month and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month.
Council Member Rynance commented, “we’re taking great steps toward that… we want everyone to feel welcome when they come into Fairlawn.” The council members collectively emphasized the shared values of justice, compassion, and inclusion that underpin these recognitions.
Further emphasizing the importance of public safety, the council marked June 2nd, 2023, as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Council Member Rynance called gun violence an “insidious, disgusting stain on our society”, advocating for the enforcement of common-sense measures to control concealed carry laws and prevent gun-related deaths.
The meeting also celebrated local triumphs. Fairlawn’s Indoor Percussion group was recognized for a successful season, including numerous awards and a performance at the prestigious WGI Indoor Percussion World Championship. The Mayor and council proclaimed May 24, 2023, as Fairlawn Indoor Percussion Day, acknowledging the group members individually.
In addition, the council discussed transitioning the borough’s ethics responsibilities to the state for improved stringency and fairness, earning unanimous approval from the members. Despite concerns raised about changes being made to the Board of Ethics, the council explained they were aiming for state oversight to ensure impartiality.
Mayor Kurt Paluso acknowledged Fairlawn’s increasing wealth and the town’s expanding diversity, setting an example for other northern Bergen County towns. He emphasized the importance of community participation and engagement, expressing pride in the community’s support for Pride Month, Juneteenth, and National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
The meeting also saw the passing of several ordinances for improvements and ethical standards. Notably, ordinances providing for certain capital improvements were adopted, accepting grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
During the public comment period, concerns were raised about traffic increases from the new warehouse site at the former Nabisco location. Pamela Coles requested a traffic study, which the council directed to the planning board.