In an eventful recent meeting, the Bergen County Board of Commissioners addressed various public and administrative matters, with significant emphasis on initiating legal aid for low-income residents, enhancing local infrastructure, and celebrating local scholarship recipients.
The meeting kicked off with several residents voicing their concerns. Andrew Mann from Hackensack raised the issue of a delay in assigning an attorney to the Ethics Committee, referring to a precedent set by a former freeholder’s case. Another citizen passionately advocated for the creation of a legal assistance commission, highlighting the plight of residents who fall in the uncomfortable gap between being too affluent for pro bono services but too poor to afford legal representation.
One board member promptly addressed these concerns, revealing that a proposal for establishing the commission was already under review by Judge Katono. This method was previously effective in the resolution of the opioid settlement case, offering hope to the proposal’s proponents.
On the topic of local infrastructure, residents discussed the potential for biking initiatives in county parks. While the board acknowledged this need, they also expressed the challenges presented by the dense local population, making biking infrastructure a delicate matter to navigate.
As the meeting transitioned to legislative matters, the board voted unanimously on a series of resolutions. Highlighting these were two crucial ordinances. Ordinance 23-11, which aims to reduce the speed limit on Godwin Avenue in Midland Park from 40 to 35, was successfully passed after due public hearing and discussion.
Subsequently, Ordinance 23-12, proposing a fee schedule for an abuse intervention program, underwent a similar process of public hearing and discussion, resulting in its adoption. This included marginal fee increases to ensure the sustainability of the program.
The meeting also provided a platform to celebrate Bergen County’s bright future. John Donatio, Executive Director of the NJack Foundation, acknowledged six Bergen County technical scholarship recipients, destined to continue their education in New Jersey colleges. The beneficiaries received their scholarships with commendations from the commissioners.
Finally, one Commissioner promoted the upcoming “Pride at the Zoo” event and the Colombian flag-raising ceremony. An announcement about the inauguration of a new stage and amphitheater at Riverside County Park ended the meeting on a high note.