November 2018: Morris Township News Update
I am pleased to be sending you my periodic E-newsletters containing commentary on our Township Committee meetings as well as other helpful information about our municipality.
There’s lots of good information here about:
- Election results
- Summary of the November Township Committee meeting
- Information session on the impacts of Affordable Housing on our town
- Listing of upcoming events in the area
If you missed any of my past newsletters, you can find then at my website: www.JeffGrayzel.com
Please take a moment to read and consider the following information to stay informed about our municipality. As always, I welcome your comments and questions. When you are finished reading, please pass this on to your neighbors and friends.
Morris Township had a very unusual election this year. First, it was influenced by a VERY HIGH turnout of voters. Second, the results of the local election were VERY DIFFERENT from any prior elections results in our town.
The final tally was as follows:
- Grayzel = 6,495
- Gyorfy = 6,351
- Sisler = 5,015
- Calvanelli = 4,848
You are reading those numbers correctly. Gone are the days of Jeff Grayzel losing by just 15 or 23 votes -- or even one single vote one year. This year’s results show that voters clearly wanted change in our town. The difference of 1,480 votes between me and my closest opponent (Bruce Sisler) are simply astonishing.
I thank everyone who supported me and Mark in this election by coming out to vote. We are both honored by your confidence in us. And I also appreciate all the warm wishes I have received in the past few weeks since the election.
Mark Gyorfy and I ran on a campaign focused on many important community issues, such as greater transparency, increased communications, limiting over-development, controlling speeding, and working with surrounding communities to reduce costs and lower taxes.
We look forward to working with our colleagues Cathy Wilson, John Arvanites, and Peter Mancuso on the Township Committee. And we are both very excited to serve and represent our residents in the coming years.
I will be sworn into office, as will Mark Gyorfy, at the annual Township Reorganization meeting, which will be held on Wednesday January 2, 2019. If you are free that night, please join us at town hall at 7:00pm.
Township Committee Meeting of November 7
The Township Committee held a regular meeting on November 7, 2018. The agenda for the meeting can be found here: https://www.morristwp.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_11072018-934
The November meeting opened up with the swearing-in of yet another new Patrolman in our town. This was followed by a Police Awards ceremony. You can find the names of these police officers listed on the agenda (see link above). Congratulations to all our Officers who won an award!
Next up was a recognition ceremony in honor of Veteran’s Day for all our municipal employees who have served in the United States Armed Services. Morris Township has an incredible TWELVE employees who have given their service in defense of our country. You can find all their names listed on the agenda (see link above). Congratulations to all our Veterans and thank you for your service.
The meeting continued with the introduction of two ordinances. One dealt with towing fees and the second related to the installation of a new stop sign. Both of these ordinances will have a second reading at the meeting on December 19.
There was just one ordinance for final consideration and vote. This dealt with a contract settlement with the Policemen’s benevolent Association, the union representing our police officers.
The meeting then continued with the approval of ELEVEN resolutions. The titles of each of these resolutions can be found on the agenda (see link above).
Of note, the following resolution caused quite a stir and there were several public comments made relating to it:
239-18 - RESOLUTION OF THE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE OF MORRIS TOWNSHIP EXPRESSING ITS OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO PERMIT THE RECREATIONAL USE OF MARIJUANA IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Public Commentary/Inquiry was next on the agenda. If you would like to see what fellow residents had to say about the marijuana issue – and I recommend that you do -- then you can view this on the YouTube channel provided by “Friends of Televised Access in Morris Township.” Look for the link labeled “public commentary”. You can find the YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQFH1RFrH-59gPGpiMoaHgQ/videos
The meeting concluded, as usual, with individual commentary by each member of the Township Committee. I would personally like to thank Mayor Peter Mancuso for his gracious comments about the election results. These comments can also be viewed on the YouTube channel.
Affordable Housing in NJ
and How It Affects Morris Township
As I outlined in a previous newsletter, there are court-ordered affordable housing requirements that have been imposed on most municipalities in the State of NJ, including our town. Unfortunately, until now there has been very little public information or explanation about the specific impacts on Morris Township.
The Township is sponsoring an information session on Wednesday, November 28 at 7:00pm at the municipal building to discuss this very issue. No agenda has been issues yet but I assume they will explain to the public the specific requirements facing our town and the solutions being proposed to meet the court-ordered requirements. Here are the details of the information session:
- Date: Wednesday November 28 at 7:00pm
- Place: Municipal Building at 50 Woodland Avenue
- Presenters: Paul Phillips, Township Planner; Steven Warner, Township Planning Board Attorney; John Mills, Morris Township Municipal Attorney.
This is an important topic that is a key driver of the recently proposed dense developments in our town. If you are concerned about either affordable housing or over-development then I suggest you attend this information session.
Advisory from the Morris Township Police Department
The following advisory comes from our Chief of police regarding a recent rash of thefts from motor vehicles:
During the overnight of November 19, 2018, several vehicles were entered and one vehicle had items stolen from the vehicle. The unlawful entries to the vehicles occurred on Plymouth, Humphrey and Normandy Blvd East.
All vehicles were left unlocked. Please lock your vehicles and homes and report suspicious activity.
Chief Mark DiCarlo
Other Items of Interest…
- Annual deer hunting starting soon in Morris County parks: Several parks in Morris Township are affected. Please read the details here: https://morriscountynj.gov/2018/11/morris-county-park-commission-announces-2018-19-deer-management-program/
The complete list of park closures can be found here: http://m66.siteground.biz/~morrispa/assets/images/PDFs/Deer_Management_2016-2017/2018-19_Final_Hunt_Schedule.pdf
- Attention DOG owners! A friend’s family recently had to put their dog down after contracting a bacterial infection, and I was asked by them to share the information below with the community. A vaccination is available, something you may want to consider asking your Veterinarian about in an effort to learn more or take preventive action.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that impacts major body systems in a dog and can be deadly if not caught early and treated quickly. The infection is zoonotic, which means it can be transferred to humans from animals, with children being especially susceptible. More about Leptospirosis can be found here: https://animals.mom.me/leptospirosis-in-dogs-12195353.html
Another dog owner issued this warning after her pet died of bacterial infection: https://globalnews.ca/news/4664642/vancouver-island-dog-owner-issues-warning-after-pet-dies-of-bacterial-infection/
- Breakfast with Santa: The Township of Morris presents Breakfast with Santa. Bring your camera because everyone will have an opportunity to take pictures with Santa. Entertainment will be provided. This is held for children ages 3-8 on Saturday, December 1st from 9:30AM to 12 Noon at the Collinsville Fire Station. Parents are required to stay with their children the entire time. Reservations and payment must be received by Monday, November 27th. Cost per child is $16.00.
Register On-line at https://register.communitypass.net/morristownship or at the Morris Township Parks & Recreation Department, 50 Woodland Ave. If you have any questions, the Department can be reached by telephone at 973-326-7371.
- Santa Letters: Township of Morris children ages 4-8 are welcome to write their own letter to Santa and mail them to the Santa c/o Township of Morris Parks and Recreation Department at 50 Woodland Avenue, PO Box 7603, Convent Station, NJ 07961-7603. Letters must be received by Friday, November 23rd. All letters will be answered by Santa. Please make sure to include name, age, phone number, and return address for each child.
Register On-line at https://register.communitypass.net/morristownship or at the Morris Township Parks & Recreation Department, 50 Woodland Ave. If you have any questions The Department can be reached by telephone at 973-326-7371.
- Jersey Cares Coat Drive held by the Parks & Rec Dept., Nov 1st- Dec 12th: For the fourth year, the Morris Township Department of Parks & Recreation is participating in the Jersey Cares Annual Coat Drive. The Department will be collecting “gently used” winter coats for men, women and children NOW through December 12, 2018. A collection box is located in the lobby of the Morris Township Municipal Building to accept coat donations from residents and local organizations.
For the past 22 years, The Jersey Cares Coat Drive has mobilized the collection and distribution of thousands of "gently used" winter coats to men, women, children, and infants in need. In 2017, Jersey Cares collected more than 30,000 coats throughout the state of New Jersey.
Municipal Building Lobby hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Wednesday's 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM. Individuals donating more than ten coats should contact the Parks and Recreation Dept. in advance to arrange the collection. Please call the Department of Parks and Recreation at 973-326-7371 for questions and to arrange volume drop-offs.
Upcoming Committee Meetings...
There will be a SPECIAL meeting (added to the calendar recently) of the Township Committee on Wednesday November 28 at 6:00pm in the Municipal Building at 50 Woodland Avenue. This meeting should be very brief. The purpose is to introduce some items that can then be voted upon at the regular meeting on December 19. Every year all legislation must be closed out by the last meeting of the year because nothing can ever be carried over to the following year since a new governing body takes hold at that point. So everything introduced at the Special Meeting will be discussed in public again at the December 16 meeting.
The next REGULAR meeting of the Township Committee, the final meeting of the year, will be held on Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00pm in our municipal building.
I will continue to communicate with the public by e-newsletter on a periodic basis. However, if you ever have a question or an issue you would like to discuss, feel free to contact me by e-mail. I will continue to respond to e-mails sent to Jeff@JeffGrayzel.com.
Please feel free to forward this e-mail news to others. If you know someone who would like to subscribe to future issues, please have them contact me at Jeff@JeffGrayzel.com
Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.
© 2018 - Jeff Grayzel