Lacey Town Council Deliberates on Police Protocol, Infrastructure Improvements, and Environmental Concerns

During a recent Lacey Town Council meeting, members engaged in thorough discussions on issues affecting the township, including police procedures, infrastructural developments, and environmental management. The council tackled the handling of police reports, debated the utilization of town properties, and examined the financial management of the town’s accounts. Additionally, community members voiced their opinions on a range of subjects, from the sale and revitalization of Deerhead Lake to the challenge of managing geese populations.

A particularly contentious topic was the procedure surrounding the completion and dissemination of police reports. A resident brought to the council’s attention the concern that only police officers were permitted to fill out the police blotter and questioned whether this was a mandated law or simply a policy. Despite extensive research and inquiries made to Ocean County, the resident reported not having found any law pertaining to the matter nor received a clear response. Council members clarified that the chief of police had the discretion to decide what information is released, citing the importance of protecting ongoing investigations and the need to redact sensitive information. This sparked a broader conversation about the accessibility of police reports and the frequency at which the police blotter is published, with residents desiring more transparency regarding criminal activity in the township.

Another focus of the meeting was the proposal for infrastructural improvements, such as repurposing town buildings and offices to optimize space and resource allocation. The council deliberated on relocating the tax assessor and building department, and the potential sale of a property was scrutinized due to its historical importance and the terms of its donation to the township. Calls for a halt on any sale proceedings were backed by references to legal documents and historical records. Additionally, the need for a new police station was proposed, with a plan that included relocating the courtroom and building department to the new facility, a suggestion that was met with enthusiasm by the council and participants.

Financial management also took center stage, with suggestions to explore alternative banking options to improve the town’s fiscal returns. A potential government repo was estimated to generate significant income between $7 and $800,000 annually. The council revisited the code of conduct, emphasizing the necessity for its implementation and reflecting on the council’s decision-making process in relation to the public interest.

Environmental issues were also a key point of concern, with discussions centering around the cleanliness and management of the township’s three bathing beach lakes and the looming problem of geese overpopulation. The council reported a commendable 99% tax collection rate and low delinquency in water and sewer bills. Deputy Mayor Timothy McDonald highlighted the lakes’ regular testing and recreational value, despite concerns over pollution in Deerhead Lake affecting nearby Middle Lake. Proposals to address geese-related issues included borrowing dogs from Popcorn Park and considering more drastic measures such as euthanization and water movement. The presence of a Wibit in local waters raised questions about age suitability and visitor management. A resident’s discovery of canisters behind the warden house prompted a pledge from the council to investigate.

The meeting concluded with the approval of various civic matters, including the Lacey Soccer Club’s request to post lawn signs promoting their registration, the use of Bayfront Park for a memorial service, and the acceptance of a deed dedication of open space. The council amended an ordinance determining township employee compensation and voted on resolutions, including a contract change order with Swift and Sun Incorporated, appointments to committees, and the refund of deposit monies for municipal facility use. Public comments were invited, but no one spoke.

In council member commentary, Deputy Mayor McDonald provided insights into lake testing results and conveyed the 9th district’s advocacy efforts for the township regarding toll raises and school funding. Council Member Steven Kennis highlighted the reposting of the police blotter as requested by the chief of police. There were no comments from committee member Mark Dykoff. Additionally, concerns were raised by the public regarding Mayor Peggy Sue Juliano’s responsiveness to communication and prior reactions to issues.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Peggy Sue Juliano
City Council Officials:
Peter Curatolo, Mark Dykoff, Steven Kennis, Timothy McDonald

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