Montclair Tackles Unpaid Bills and Finance Department Concerns

Montclair Town Council faced a issue as they tackled the longstanding problem of unpaid utility bills. The council’s decision to hire Government Strategies Group (GSG) without a competitive bidding process to review the town’s Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSNG) invoices was a focal point of the meeting. This resolution, known as R 24065, sparked debate among the council members over GSG’s experience and the potential conflict of interest involved. Despite concerns, the resolution was ultimately passed.

The issue of the unpaid bills was linked to broader concerns about the efficiency and transparency of the finance department, particularly after its disbandment. The absence of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the meeting did not go unnoticed, as members questioned the decision-making process and accountability within the department. The council acknowledged that the accumulation of bills represented a failure on the town’s part and pledged to address it promptly.

In a related financial matter, the council voted to create two nonunion administrative positions—senior assistant municipal tax collector and senior assistant municipal tax assessor. The need for these positions, their potential impact on union roles, and the implications of the “senior” titles were debated at length.

The Montclair Ambulance Unit’s presentation was another key point of the meeting. As the town’s sole 911 ambulance service since 1953, the unit outlined its operational challenges, such as limited federal and state funding, and the need for a new ambulance and safety equipment upgrades. They also discussed their role in the community, including partnerships with neighboring towns and volunteer opportunities, while emphasizing the importance of designating EMS as an essential service for increased funding support.

The council also heard from the public regarding concerns and projects impacting the community. The Bonsal Preserve was discussed, with a request for support in relocating a sewer line. There was also a call for a split rail fence to demarcate the northern edge of the preserve, following restoration efforts. The Montclair Climate Action Plan was presented, advocating for the reduction of carbon emissions and the promotion of a bikeable and walkable community. The council was urged to prioritize and integrate this plan into policy.

Additionally, the condition of Woodman Field was brought to attention by a group of concerned citizens, including a high school student and a baseball mom. They highlighted the importance of the field for student athletes and the community, stressing the need for improvements and voicing concerns over the environmental impact of the construction project. The council discussed the legal and environmental issues surrounding the project, with a commitment to prioritize environmental testing.

The meeting also included debates on other community matters such as recent planning board appointments and the council’s authority in certain violations. The council moved to go into executive session, and upon reconvening, motions were made, including the reappointment of a member to the Civil Rights Commission.

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.
Sean M Spiller
City Council Officials:
Sean Spiller, Robert J. Russo, William L. Hurlock, Roger Terry, Robin Schlager, Lori Price Abrams, David Cummings

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes