Highland Park Borough Council Addresses Anti-Semitism, Community Services, and Infrastructure Improvements

The Highland Park Borough Council recently convened to address a range of issues, including the rise of anti-Semitism, community center services, and infrastructure improvements. The council also acknowledged local achievements and discussed cultural celebrations in connection with Black History Month and the Lunar New Year.

One of the key points of discussion was the report presented by Councilmember Hill on the concerning rise of anti-Semitism and the importance of community members reporting bias incidents. The report sparked a broader conversation about the need for continued vigilance and awareness within the community to combat such incidents. Councilmember Postelnik reinforced this message by drawing attention to the resources available on the borough’s website that facilitate the reporting of bias-related incidents.

In addition to safety concerns, the meeting also focused on services offered at the community center. Councilmember Canavera provided updates on the variety of services available, including assistance with grocery transportation for residents in need and upcoming programming designed to enrich the community. She also noted the availability of free COVID-19 tests at the community center.

Council President Hersh delved into issues regarding the environment and public health by discussing recent environmental commission and Board of Health meetings. A recent garbage truck issue was brought to light, alongside Hersh’s involvement with the rent control board, where collaborative efforts are being made to address housing concerns within the borough.

Mayor Foster added to the community-focused dialogue by discussing her attendance at the Lunar New Year Festival and inviting the community to participate in a related event at Highland Park High School. She also emphasized the significance of Black History Month, celebrating the contributions of Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, an influential African-American intellectual with connections to Highland Park.

The council addressed infrastructure concerns during a public hearing on an ordinance providing for improvements to North 4th Avenue, Denison Street, and Harper Street. Resident Lois Leing expressed that the condition of these streets required urgent attention, a sentiment that was echoed by the council.

During the first public discussion session, Lois Leing raised several issues, including concerns about the Professional Services Redevelopment for 810 North 2nd Avenue and the use of rock salt for snow removal. She also voiced frustrations with the audio quality during the meeting. The council acknowledged these concerns and committed to investigating and resolving them. In the second public discussion session, Leing brought up additional concerns regarding missing price tags in borough stores and the removal of snow from residential sidewalks. Council President Hersh stressed the importance of maintaining clear sidewalks for safety and accessibility and urged residents to report any uncleared sidewalks to the Department of Public Works.

Lastly, the council confirmed new appointments to the Boards, including Jennifer P-B and Brian Fitzgerald from the Highland Park Police Department.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Elsie Foster
City Council Officials:
Matthew Hersh, Tara Canavera, Philip George, Matthew Hale, Stephany Kim Chohan, Jason Postelnik

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