Morris Town Council Condemns Anti-Semitism and Welcomes New Police Officers

In a Morris Town Council meeting, officials took a strong stand against anti-Semitism with a proclamation read by Township Committeeman Bud Ravitz, which was echoed by powerful remarks from guest speakers including Danielle Cohen Shreer and Michael Goldberg. In the same session, a swearing-in ceremony welcomed new members to the Morris Township Police Department, and the Morristown High School girls volleyball team was celebrated for their state championship win.

The council addressed the troubling rise of anti-Semitic incidents by presenting a proclamation denouncing such acts of hatred and discrimination. Committeeman Ravitz delivered the proclamation, calling for a collective effort to combat anti-Semitism and foster an inclusive environment for all individuals. Guest speakers supported the council’s stance, with Danielle Cohen Shreer of the American Jewish Committee sharing disconcerting statistics from a recent survey. Michael Goldberg of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metro West New Jersey shared personal anecdotes, urging the need for unity and understanding between diverse communities. Senator Anthony Buco and a statement from Congresswoman Mikey Cheryl’s office further highlighted the community’s resolve to stand against such bigotry.

In a moving ceremony, three new police officers—Ryan Carlin, Chris Furing, and Samantha Nkuzi—were sworn into the Morris Township Police Department. Chief Shear and council members expressed their confidence in the new recruits’ capabilities to serve the community with distinction. The ceremony also included a notable moment of silence for the fallen first responders in Burnsville, Minnesota, and recognition of Officer Carman Picolo’s retirement after 23 years of service.

The high school girls volleyball team’s accomplishments were celebrated, with each team member receiving individual recognition. Coach Kathy Hormaza and Athletic Director Smitty Horton were praised for leading the team to a historic season. The council noted the importance of women’s sports viewership and commended the team for their achievements, including the first Morris County tournament title.

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The council’s focus on inclusivity and respect for diversity was further emphasized by the acknowledgment of February as Black History Month. A proclamation, thanked by Councilman Ravitz, highlighted the contributions of African Americans, particularly in the arts. The council mentioned the exhibit “The Ties That Bind” at St. Elizabeth University, which explores the impact of race relations in Morris County and New Jersey.

Reverend Dr. Sydney Williams Jr. was recognized for his role in organizing the exhibit, which celebrates African American history and culture. A resolution was also discussed to correct the birth year of Frederick Douglass, aligning with the historical figure’s own calculations.

Enthusiasm was expressed for these projects, which will enhance local amenities and provide a community hub.

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During the public commentary, Dan Maguire from Homeless Solutions praised the township’s emergency services for their response to a fire at the shelter. The council reciprocated with appreciation for the organization’s work. Additionally, the meeting included discussions on ordinances related to salaries, the approval of a grant application, and updates from various advisory committees.

Council members shared their experiences and involvement in local initiatives. Mark J. Gyorfy highlighted environmental and historical preservation activities, Siva S. Jonnada provided updates on the Cannabis Advisory Board, and William “Bud” Ravitz encouraged residents to stay informed about municipal projects. Deputy Mayor Jeffery R. Grayzel and Mayor Donna J. Guariglia discussed the contributions of volunteer committees and reported on infrastructure and community service initiatives.

The session concluded with a public comment period, where resident Pamela Watson thanked the council for their collaboration and work.

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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:
Donna J. Guariglia
City Council Officials:
Jeffery R. Grayzel, Mark J. Gyorfy, William “Bud” Ravitz, Siva S. Jonnada

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