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Westfield — Westfield Top Stories

Westfield Town Council Restricts Marijuana Dispensary Locations, Hears from Opponents of Athletic Field at UCC and More at Meeting

Jackie Lieberman

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 • 11:21pm

WESTFIELD, NJ - Westfield’s Town Council voted unanimously on second reading to restrict potential medical marijuana dispensaries to commercial zones at Tuesday night’s meeting. (Mayor Andy Skibitsky and Councilman Frank Arena were absent from the meeting.)

During open discussion by citizens, several Westfield and Cranford residents asked the Town Council to oppose a proposed athletic field at Union County College, which they said could exacerbate flooding, parking, traffic and safety problems, as well as increase noise pollution and light pollution. Many asked the council to support Cranford’s resolution opposing the project.

In April, UCC President Margaret M. McMenamin said in a letter to Christopher Hudak, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, that the college had postponed its plans to construct a field for its soccer, lacrosse and track teams at its Cranford campus in light of community concerns and that UCC was seeking to identify a suitable alternative location.

Among those asking for the council’s support Tuesday night was Cranford Public Affairs Commissioner and former Cranford Mayor Tom Hannen, who implored, “Please, consider joining us in our resolution.”

Also during public comments, Resident Greg Kasko, who has asked the council in the past what it cost Westfield taxpayers when the town’s mobile command center was used in other cities, told the council, “I want to know what compensation was given those officers.”

He gave an example of an officer who was paid for unused comp time when he retired, and said that when officers do use comp time someone else could get paid overtime while covering for them.

Resident Adina Enculescu complained that the HAWK pedestrian-activated light and crosswalk system in front of her house on Central Avenue goes unused “because it is dangerous.”

“This was a favor. This was a mistake,” she said of the location of the crossing mid-block. “This is a waste of money of the taxpayers.”

And Perry DiPiazza of FieldTurf objected to the town’s plans to use another company’s product to returf Sid Fay and Houlihan Fields based on the recreation commission’s recommendation. The town later passed a resolution awarding contract for synthetic turf at the fields to a contractor using Desso Sports Systems artificial turf.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Westfield High School swimmers were honored and Betty List from the Westfield Garden Club spoke. More on these stories to come.

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