Montclair Town Council Debates Speed Limits, Honors Centenarian, and Tables Ordinances Amid Procedural Disputes

In a recent meeting of the Montclair Town Council, discussions were held regarding speed limits across the town, the honoring of a local centenarian, and the tabling of a number of ordinances. The meeting was also marked by debates over the procedures for public comments and the timing of agenda items.

The meeting began with Mayor Sean Spiller’s acknowledgment of the centenary of local resident Rosemary Darin. Councilman Robert J. Russo provided a detailed account of Darin’s contributions to Montclair, leading to the announcement of a community celebration in her honor.

Discussions on the township’s speed limits dominated a portion of the meeting. A proposed ordinance to amend speed limits (O-2339) led to a resident, Bob Kramer, seeking clarification on the limits outlined for Grove Street and Upper Mountain Avenue. Councilman Russo highlighted his previous advocacy for speed limit reductions, particularly around schools, while Mayor Spiller emphasized the town’s positive working relationship with County officials in such matters.

However, the council was unable to reach a decision on two pending ordinances. Ordinance O-2316, which aimed to amend the code of the township to add a new chapter regarding small cell facilities in the right of way, was tabled for two meetings to allow for amendments in compliance with recent changes to federal law regarding 5G implementation. Similarly, Ordinance O-2338 was also tabled for further review.

The council also engaged in lengthy discussions about the structure of public comments during meetings. Councilwoman Lori Price Abrams and Councilman David Cummings proposed a three-minute limit for both sections of public comments, a motion that was eventually approved. Despite this, Councilman Russo voiced concerns about the overall time spent on public comments, stating, “I’m all for democracy however we can’t keep doing these meetings where we are here at 12: 1 in the morning doing the actual business end of things or listening to the comments.”

Further disputes arose when Councilwoman Robin Schlager expressed dissatisfaction with agendas being presented on short notice. She emphasized that the council should have a say in establishing meeting procedures. This sentiment was echoed by Councilman William L. Hurlock, who underscored that such changes should be determined by the council rather than the manager.

Despite these disagreements, the council passed a number of resolutions, including the appointment of members to the Leaf Blower Implementation Task Force. However, Councilman Russo expressed reservations about two tax appeal attorney contracts, questioning the necessity of hiring two separate firms and suggesting the town’s own attorneys could handle the tax appeals. Despite these objections, the resolutions authorizing the contracts were approved.

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

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