River Edge Borough Council Plans for 2024 and Votes on Various Resolutions in November Meeting

In a recent meeting, the River Edge Borough Council covered a range of topics, from the extension of an intern’s tenure to the adoption of ordinances. Other items included the discussions on the 2024 meeting schedule, the possibility of in-person meetings at the library, and the renegotiation of a lease for the SCORE program, which will see the town save $6,000 annually.

The Council started the meeting with a closed session to discuss contracts and change orders. After resuming open session, the floor was opened for public comments, but seeing none, the Council proceeded with the meeting’s agenda. The Council approved an extension for Hayden Hernandez, a temporary intern at the borough clerk’s office, through the end of the year.

Three ordinances were presented for second reading, opening the floor once again for public comment. Again, the public remained silent, and the Council proceeded to unanimously adopt all three ordinances. Councilwoman Michelle Kaufman motioned for the adoption, with Councilman Barry Benson seconding.

The Council then moved on to discuss resolutions, including payment of bills and the tabling of resolution 23-315. However, the most engaging part of the meeting revolved around the scheduling of meetings for the upcoming year.

The Council discussed the possibility of holding their meetings at the library starting in 2024. This new venue posed a challenge, as the library closes at 9 PM, while the Council meetings typically begin at 7 PM. Council members also noted the necessity of including a Zoom component for hybrid meeting formats. Facing these obstacles, the Council decided to consider adjusting the meeting time to fit within the library’s hours, suggesting the possibility of extending library hours or hiring someone to close up if required.

The proposed date for the reorganization session was initially suggested for Friday, January 5th at 6 PM. Some council members expressed concerns about this timing, leading to a compromise of moving the meeting to 6:30 PM to better accommodate everyone’s schedules. The mayor, Thomas R. Papaleo, suggested the flexibility to switch to Zoom if necessary and keep the meetings at the more traditional 7 PM start time.

Another significant item on the agenda was the SCORE program, an initiative that was costing the town $20,000 annually. The Council managed to renegotiate the lease, reducing the cost to $14,000 for the next year. Despite considering a potential move to a space at the mall, the Council decided to keep the program at the temple for another year based on resident feedback. They also agreed to reach out to local churches and synagogues to boost membership and participation in the program.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Thomas R. Papaleo
City Council Officials:
Michelle Kaufman, Barry Benson, Dario Chinigo, Klodiana Malellari, Lissa Montisano-Koen, Indira Kinsella

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