In a recent Old Tappan Borough Council meeting, a spectrum of community issues were tackled. From a longstanding fence dispute to golf membership controversies, and infrastructure dilemmas, the council grappled with both new and recurring subjects of concern.
One of the most heated topics was the ongoing fence dispute between local residents Jack and Kathy Sheridan and the adjacent golf course. Despite the Sheridans’ years-long struggle with the borough over a fallen tree and damaged fencing, the issue had seemingly slipped under the council’s radar. The issue came to light after the Sheridans, feeling ignored and frustrated, raised the issue directly at the council meeting. They argued that their predicament reflected a dwindling sense of community spirit, an accusation that appeared to take the council by surprise.
The couple had even offered to pay for the repairs to their split rail fence, an offer that council members are now discussing. Complicating matters further, some members took issue with plans to replace the split rail fence with a chain-link variant, citing an aesthetic downgrade.
Simultaneously, the council is deliberating a related issue of golf course fencing. The current chain-link fence is in disrepair and an unsightly nuisance. The proposal to replace it with a wooden fence has sparked a debate over aesthetics and durability, as the current wooden fence is prone to rot. A potential compromise was suggested: a chain-link fence with wooden elements to maintain the appeal.
Golf matters weren’t limited to fences. The council also debated the transfer of a golf course membership due to the original member’s health issues. After some initial disagreements, the council agreed to the transfer. A similar situation arose with a former resident seeking a pro-rated reimbursement for his membership after moving out of town, which the council declined with one dissenting vote. Some may question, however, why the council was limiting who could access the golf course at all.
Infrastructure issues also took center stage, with ongoing road paving, drainage system issues, and the Haringtown Bridge construction facing delays. In Perry, disagreements have arisen with the contractor, D&L, over deviations from the planned drainage system, leading to property damage and strained relations with residents.
Finally, local organizations updated the council on their activities. The Library Board reported a significant increase in guest visits, with a particular uptick in the circulation of graphic novels and e-books. Progress on the new pickleball court continues, despite weather-related setbacks. Additionally, a leadership change in the Recreation Commission was announced, with Craig Mahler succeeding Manny Lago as the head of soccer.