At its June 13th meeting, the Oradell Borough Council swore in a new police officer, celebrated local youth sports achievements, discussed strategic investments, and addressed residents’ concerns over local safety and commercial zoning regulations.
The meeting started with the swearing-in of new police officer, John Mullins, badge number 57. A native of Hasbrouck Heights and a Montclair State University graduate, Mullins was commended for standing out in a competitive selection process by the Chief of Police, who also praised the police department’s hiring committee and the Mayor and council members for their unwavering support.
The council acknowledged the boys’ 13U baseball team, recent victors of a local championship. Coaches Brian McGovern and Sean Kim credited the team’s success to their passion, dedication, and resilience, and each member of the team was awarded a certificate by the council in recognition of their achievement.
Yet, not all the proceedings were celebratory. A resident voiced concerns over the state of Hoffman Field’s safety measures during the public comment segment, arguing for the immediate need for a defibrillator and a water fountain. These concerns were noted by the council as they unanimously approved the consent agenda.
A potentially impactful discussion revolved around a proposed resolution in support of Senate bill S3906. This bill plans to allocate $2.35 billion to the New Jersey Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund and $4.32 billion to the Department of Treasury, potentially providing funds to municipalities and counties for debt retirement and avoidance. The council resolved to gather more information on whether these funds were related to COVID relief or if they were monies previously accumulated by the state before voting on the resolution in a public meeting.
As the conversation moved towards community events and services, the council discussed vendor preferences at the local farmers market. There was agreement on the importance of a variety of vendors, provided they adhered to necessary health and safety regulations, with a collective decision to avoid turning the market into a food truck venue due to concerns over noise, pollution, and additional inspection costs. A flood theater installation event was also confirmed, with an anticipation of the artist’s drawings for inspection.
Discussion on adjustments to the summer work schedule for borough employees, potential changes to administrative code ordinances, and paving dates were among other items on the council’s agenda, revealing the council’s wide-reaching considerations for the overall betterment of Oradell.
Despite the council’s dedication to administrative matters, it was the public comment segment that garnered much attention. Zoning regulations, a monument expansion project, and the potential impact of a federal bill eliminating telecommunications providers’ obligation to pay franchise fees were hot topics brought forth by community members. One resident went as far as to call for more staff for local maintenance tasks and for stricter enforcement of existing buffer zone regulations between non-residential and residential zones.