Westampton Township Council Addresses Ordinance Confusion and Public Safety Concerns

In a recent Westampton Township Council meeting, members addressed several issues including ambiguities in an ordinance related to lead-based paint inspection, public safety concerns around halfway houses, and the approval of salaries for certain officials. Notably, a Council member expressed confusion and frustration over the lead-based paint ordinance, leading to a divided vote. Meanwhile, the council unanimously approved the payment of vouchers and lease amendments for a cell tower, despite initial concerns raised by Council member Genel Wright. Public comments also highlighted discrepancies in official reports and concerns over property maintenance and safety.

The meeting commenced with the roll call confirming the attendance of Council members Nancy Burkley, Odise Carr, Jaime Mungo, and Genel Wright, along with Mayor Sandy Henley. The approval of minutes from a previous meeting sparked a debate over terminology, specifically the use of “adjourn” in relation to a public hearing. This issue was resolved with a final vote of 3-1-1.

The council then unanimously approved the executive session minutes and reviewed monthly reports covering various municipal departments. During the public comment period, a resident identified as G brought forward multiple concerns regarding inconsistencies in construction and fire reports and inquired about Megan’s Law notifications. Another resident, Ken Craft, voiced concerns about the impact of halfway houses on local safety and quality of life.

One of the more contentious items was the discussion regarding an ordinance amending the township code to include lead-based paint inspections. The confusion surrounding the content of the ordinance elicited candid responses from a Council member who said, “I have no idea what’s in this ordinance” and “I can’t vote on something I don’t know what I’m voting on.” Despite the lack of clarity, the motion passed with a vote of 4-1.

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The council swiftly moved to approve the payment of vouchers, followed by a discussion on the consent agenda, which led to an item being set aside for further examination. The resolution to approve the third amendment to the lease for a cell tower on Rancocas Road initially prompted pushbak from a Council member who questioned the financial terms of the lease with the telecommunications company, asking, “I couldn’t understand why we’re leasing property to a multibillion-dollar corporation and I couldn’t see anywhere where they’re paying us rent for this property.” The concerns were allayed when it was clarified that the company does make monthly payments, resulting in unanimous approval of the amendment.

Public commentary continued with resident Ali Stanford expressing dissatisfaction with the state of a neighboring property and the response from township officials. The council acknowledged her concerns and committed to investigating the situation further.

Council members also reported on various administrative matters, including emergency services, police department activities, and street sweeping ordinances. The upcoming budget workshop was mentioned, with an emphasis on the need for clarity in laws and regulations.

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Finally, the council entered an executive session to discuss confidential matters, such as attorney-client privilege and ongoing litigation. The motion to move into the closed session was passed unanimously before the meeting adjourned.

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:
Sandy Henley
City Council Officials:
Odise Carr, Jaime Mungo, Nancy Burkley, Genel Wright

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