Millburn Town Council Rejects Main Street Project, Approves Affordable Housing Resolutions, and Discusses Public Safety Concerns

The Millburn Town Council, led by Mayor Annette Romano, has taken steps in addressing affordable housing, public safety, and local infrastructure. The council unanimously rejected the nine Main Street project while approving several resolutions and an ordinance to promote affordable housing. The meeting also sparked discussions on public safety, including the proposed resident protection ordinance and concerns over crime rates due to bail reform.

Resolutions 2477, 2478, and 2479 were approved, supporting this commitment, while resolution 2480 and ordinance 2662-20 also received approval. The council’s decisions were met with gratitude from the public, as several residents lauded the council for their courage and sense of unity in rectifying past mistakes and considering the town’s best interests.

During the meeting, the issue of public safety took center stage, with Deputy Mayor Frank Saccomandi IV proposing a resident protection ordinance inspired by a similar Summit initiative. This ordinance aims to add penalties for home and car break-in attempts, with the town’s attorney reviewing it for constitutionality. Deputy Mayor Saccomandi also expressed concerns about police department staffing levels, particularly overnight, prompting a discussion about a possible staffing study and the necessity of transparency regarding crime trends and police department reporting.

The council addressed concerns raised by the public, which ranged from the Historic Preservation Commission’s actions to the potential overcrowding and traffic issues from new low-income housing. Frank Saccomandi IV and Michael H. Cohen responded with assurances of the council’s support for affordable housing but emphasized the need for transparent and competent governance to reject unreasonable projects.

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Furthermore, the council deliberated on a $3.5 million bond ordinance for various public improvements, including road reconstruction and improvements to the Millburn Police Department. Ben Stoller outlined the selection of roads for reconstruction using the pavement conditions index (PCI).

Another ordinance focused on repealing and reconstituting the shade tree Advisory Board to align with other advisory boards’ appointment processes. This ordinance, explained by Michael H. Cohen, passed its first reading and awaits final passage.

Public comments brought forward a variety of issues, including concerns about the Historic Preservation Commission, the impact of affordable housing on community character, and the need for increased transparency. Residents also suggested implementing a use tax to fund road repairs and urged the council to educate the public more on zoning code enforcement.

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The public safety discussion was further fueled by residents’ calls for more consistent police blotter updates and the implementation of real-time alert systems, addressing speeding concerns, and managing the increasing deer population through contraceptive solutions.

In new business, the council considered the Main Street application and discussed the importance of data in decision-making, the town’s legal obligations regarding affordable housing, and the formation of a citizens advisory committee. They also explored the possibility of a use tax for roads, the need for a townwide traffic study, and technology for handling alerts.

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:
Annette Romano
City Council Officials:
Frank Saccomandi IV, Michael H. Cohen, Tara B. Prupis, Ben Stoller, Christine Gatti (Township Clerk), Jessica Cruz (Executive Assistant)

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