December 3, 2013 at 7:00 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – The township was recently awarded with a Silver Level Certification by Sustainable New Jersey which was presented at Monday evening’s council meeting.
According to Arlene Johnson, former Livingston mayor and chairperson of the Green Team, such actions as installing solar panels at township hall and the library, the Bicentennial Bicycle Tour, and newly revised tree ordinance jumped Livingston from Bronze to Silver.
“A lot of towns have to fight for every green action they take against their mayor or town manager … and that is not the case in Livingston. One of the greatest actors in gaining more sustainability is (Township Manager) Michele Meade,” Johnson said.
Although Livingston has been publically recognized for its environmental awareness, resident Walter Levine of the Livingston Environmental Commission stated he had noticed a lot of leaves being left either on the street or adjacent to it in piles. Levine stated that this is an environmental risk, since rain could bring a lot of those leaves down into the sewer system, “contaminating the water.”
The Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities (LACD) was honored last night as well. They gave out citations to three groups they had been working with: the Action Group, Key Club and the West Essex YMCA for their help in aiding the disabled.
In other news, the final hearing on two ordinances were held, Ord. 28, Amending Zoning Map to Achieve Rezoning and Designation of Lot 4.03, Block 7300 to HH Hospital Healthcare District and Ord. 29 which amended parking restrictions on Broadlawn and Tiffany Drive were both passed universally by the council.
Four resolutions were passed as well: R-13-222 Authorizing a One Year Extension of Existing Contract with State Shuttle, Inc.,R-13-223 Acceptance of Project Chanree Construction, R-13-224 Authorizing ADP to File Payroll Taxes, and R-13-225 Transfer 2013 Budget Appropriations.
During public comment, Livingston Resident Larry Kohn questioned the council about the budget used in constructing the new town hall building.
Kohn complained about the township’s “lack of transparency” with certain budgetary items and asked for a “detailed comprehensive budget” for the building of the Livingston Town Hall – which he has asked Meade for at previous council meetings.
Meade and Mayor Rudy Fernandez claimed that such items had been posted along with the ordinances passed to appropriate the funds, which according to Kohn is not true. “Is this a public forum?” Kohn asked, still not able to get any detailed information.