Due to the Primary Election on Tuesday, June 6, the council meeting was held on Wednesday, June 7. At the meeting, Mayor Radest reported on the upcoming AAPI celebration on the Village Green on June 10 and asked for an update from Police Chief Zagorski. Chief Zagorski provided updates on a couple of ongoing investigations and spoke about increased targeted patrols. Administrator Michael Rogers reported on the ongoing utility work and that milling and paving on Summit Avenue is set to begin on Monday, June 12. Administrator Rogers also reported on Family Fun Night that was scheduled for Thursday, June 8, but due to the poor air quality the event was postponed until Thursday, June 15.
During his report, Council President Vartan shared that council discussed the Broad Street West Redevelopment project during the closed session meeting. The meeting included a review of the recent meeting of the Broad Street West Redevelopment Advisory Committee and a conversation with redevelopment attorneys. More information will be provided as soon as possible. He also reported that councilmembers and Mayor Radest hosted an information table at the Farmers Market on Sunday, May 21. Finally, the Council President added his words of thanks to Chief Zagorski and the entire police department for their response to the recent vehicle thefts and burglaries. He emphasized the importance of reducing the burden on our police department in order to keep them on the road patrolling, which, along with prevention techniques and new technology, serve as a visual deterrent to crime.
Mayor Radest proclaimed Friday, June 2, as National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Summit. Diane Dresdale, a Summit resident and gun violence prevention advocate, spoke of recent court rulings impacting the state of New Jersey and the importance of local efforts to reduce gun violence.
Council held five hearings on parking ordinances. All ordinances were adopted unanimously, and changes will be implemented across the parking system. These changes will allow for residents to park in the post office lot, fees will be increased and a reservation platform will be required for non-residents to park in the Broad Street garage, and the parking spaces on Morris Avenue between Elm Street and Maple Street are no longer restricted to employees. Additionally, fees were increased for three, five, and 12-hour parking spaces. Daily fees were also increased for bagging a meter and using parking spaces for either construction vehicles or dumpsters.
Ordinances were introduced that include a salary ordinance that is required after adoption of the municipal budget, bond ordinances that are associated with the recently adopted capital budgets, limiting the weight limit on the High Street Bridge (as requested by NJ Transit), and administrative changes to peddlers' licenses for non-profits seeking donations in the downtown. Hearings for all of these ordinances will be held at the council meeting on Tuesday, June 20.
Council considered and adopted a number of other resolutions. These included housekeeping finance resolutions related to salaries that are required after adoption of the budget. Resolutions to authorize renewals of liquor licenses and transfer of a liquor license were adopted. A resolution was adopted to execute an agreement with New Providence to jointly pave Division Avenue. A number of safety-related resolutions were also adopted. These authorized the lease to purchase a new firetruck to replace one that is 27 years old and the submission of grants to the Department of Justice and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
There were several comments from members of the public on a range of topics.
To watch the full meeting, please visit the City of Summit YouTube channel.