Old Bridge Honors New Police Chief and Public Works Achievements

The Old Bridge Township Council meeting was marked by the swearing-in of the new Chief of Police, Thomas Montag, and the recognition of public works employees for their dedication to the township’s cleanliness. Key discussions included the township’s financial expenditures, with particular attention to overtime costs, and public concerns over local infrastructure and environmental issues.

Thomas Montag, with 33 years of service, was sworn in as the new chief of police, promising to focus on crime reduction, community engagement, and transparency. His appointment was met with commendations for his vision and dedication.

The ceremony for Montag was not the only cause for celebration. The Public Works Department’s Barbara Grippy received the 2024 New Jersey Clean Communities Municipal Program Award for her exceptional service. Furthermore, director Casey Lenning was honored with a certificate of appreciation. Both Grippy and Lenning expressed gratitude and stressed the significance of community involvement in maintaining the township’s cleanliness.

Financial matters were also a topic of scrutiny during the meeting. The council reviewed the bill list, including accounts payable and payroll expenditures, and discussed the reasons behind the increase in overtime expenses. The uptick was attributed to budget preparation and response to recent snowstorm events. Discussions concerning police department overtime and the absence of an officer on light duty were also brought to the table.

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Public comments featured prominently, with concerns ranging from the protection of children with disabilities to frustrations over local infrastructure, such as the maintenance of Joy Lane, a paper road that has yet to be paved. Residents also inquired about the township’s progress in tackling electric rates and seeking environmental solutions.

The council’s agenda also included acknowledgments of personal loss due to COVID-19, with a moment of silence for the victims. In addition, there were expressions of gratitude and well wishes for the upcoming holidays, including Ramadan and St. Patrick’s Day, with an emphasis on safety during the festivities.

The former Chief of Police, Don Fritz, was also recognized for his service, alongside Montag.

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One of the more contentious topics discussed was the status of Joy Lane. A motion was proposed to make Joy Lane a public road, igniting a debate over the legal and logistical hurdles involved in such a decision. The complexities of converting a paper road into a township road were discussed, and the council grappled with the legal issues that would need to be addressed.

The reduction of funds for the Board of Education by Governor Murphy was a point of concern among the council members, with worries about the impact on taxpayers being voiced. Additionally, a member criticized the educational content being introduced in schools after a prolonged period of closure.

On a positive note, the council celebrated the recent ribbon cuttings of new businesses in the area and the anticipated grand opening of a ShopRite store, signaling growth and development within the township.

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The meeting concluded with a motion to adjourn into a closed session for contract negotiation and litigation updates.

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:
Debbie Walker
City Council Officials:
Mary Sohor, Anita Greenberg-Belli, Erik DePalma, Kevin Garcia, Darin Accettulli, Kiran Desai, Jill DeCaro, Tony Paskitti, John E Murphy III

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