Livingston Township Council Addresses Public Safety, Infrastructure, and Community Concerns in Recent Meeting

In a recent Livingston Township Council meeting, community concerns were addressed, including the approval of an ordinance for the installation of utility lines for a new cellular tower, discussions on public safety following a report of a local kidnapping, and the response to a potentially alarming flyer posted by the high school. The council also considered the impact of tax-free municipal bonds on local commerce, the potential conflict of interest for council members, and the recognition of Muslim Heritage Month.

The council approved an ordinance on the first reading regarding the installation of utility lines for a new cellular tower on Township-owned property. This development promises to enhance cellular connectivity for residents and businesses. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for January 22nd, 2024, offering an opportunity for community input.

Public safety emerged as a focal point of the meeting following a notable public comment detailing a friend’s kidnapping. The gravity of the incident underscored the importance of community safety measures. The council previously approved the installation of license plate readers, which have played a critical role in preventing and solving crimes, including a recent robbery solved directly due to the technology. Additional discussion centered on the implementation of camera technology to bolster security efforts.

A member of the public, Justin Aler, suggested the township consider issuing tax-free municipal bonds to stimulate local commerce. Aler’s proposal generated a council discussion but did not lead to immediate action.

Potential conflicts of interest were also a topic of debate. Aler questioned whether council members holding positions on the party committee could lead to conflicts. Mayor Alfred M. Anthony assured there would be no conflict for elected officials serving in both capacities.

Further community relations issues were raised by Ilan Nova Fastovsky, who expressed concern about the possibility of flying a Palestinian flag in the township. Mayor Anthony clarified that no such request had been made and that a proclamation for Muslim Heritage Month would be addressed at the next meeting. Susie Lugashi voiced concerns about a flyer posted by the high school that was alarming to the Jewish community. Council Member Barry R. Lewis, Jr. responded by explaining that the content of the flyer was not considered hate speech per the prosecutor’s review but did violate town ordinances.

The council discussed the need to investigate the posting of the flyer and to ensure community safety.

The meeting also touched on development issues, with an inquiry about the status of a hotel residence plan indicating that the zoning had been approved, although there were no updates on its progress. Councilman Michael M. Vieira offered well wishes to a former councilwoman, Rosie, on her transition to an assemblywoman role. Council Member Shawn R. Klein inquired about various local issues, including enforcement listings and the sidewalk at 31 Cornell, and discussed the need for a walkable circle and updates from the state. Deputy Mayor Edward Meinhardt commended the Department of Public Works for their efforts during a recent snowstorm and extended New Year greetings.

Township Manager Barry R. Lewis, Jr. presented audit recommendations and informed the council of the upcoming corrective action plan, which is expected to address administrative and financial governance matters.

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.

Mayor:
Alfred M. Anthony
City Council Officials:
Shawn R. Klein, Edward Meinhardt, Michael M. Vieira, Barry R. Lewis, Jr. (Township Manager)

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