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Tuesday to Saturday by Appointment Only Councilman and Mayoral Candidate McDermott Encourages
Officials to Implement Alternate Parking Recommendations
WESTFIELD – Westfield First Ward Councilman and Republican Mayoral candidate Gregory S. McDermott came out in support of plan that begins to address the town’s parking crunch.
The plan calls for the implementation of 11 “Westfield Parking Principles” as already approved by the Town Council, and which are designed to create more parking spaces immediately for shoppers and commuters.
Mr. McDermott said the set of principles needs to be implemented now, allowing the council to make the correct decision regarding deck construction. He said the principles, unveiled by Third Ward Councilman Neil F. Sullivan, need to be accomplished now to show that the town is serious about creating additional parking opportunities.
“These principles are the best approach to our town’s parking issue for two reasons: First, it helps shoppers, commuters and employees today, not tomorrow. A deck cannot have this kind of immediate impact, even if we approved it now,” said Mr. McDermott.
“Second, we owe it to our taxpayers to try every alternate strategy before we make an investment that will cost them additional dollars each year in property taxes.
“We need to remember that not every taxpayer will use a deck, but everyone will be paying for it. The prudent thing to do is to give these principles a chance to work, and to make an expensive parking structure our last alternative to be considered after reviewing the effectiveness of
the programs we are implementing today,” he added.
Councilman McDermott noted that the report from Rich & Associates acknowledged that many of the principles can and will improve parking availability, and that a parking deck is just one of many options to consider.
“The report from Rich & Associates was comprehensive with respect to providing the town with multiple solutions to parking shortages,” said Mr. McDermott. “It’s time now to make some of these proposals real.”
Some of the 11 parking principles include:
· Establish a parking department with the responsibility of enforcing parking in the downtown.
· Reshape and restripe existing lots, and acquire, where feasible, adjoining property to increase the number of spaces. Preliminary estimates indicate there are between 50 and 100 attainable spots in the downtown area at a much lower cost than any deck parking.
· Begin pilot programs for commuters, employees and shoppers using shuttle or jitney service.
· Better monitor the oversell of permits in the rail commuter lots both South Avenue and Watterson Street.
· Execute agreements with various churches to allow use of their parking lots during the week.
· Pass ordinance to allow employees (with a “free” or low cost permit) to park in any vacant space in the South Avenue railroad lot after 10 a. m., freeing up as many as 70 spaces on some days.
· Better oversee the distribution of parking passes and check the license plate of every car in the commuter lots to determine whether these vehicles are owned by residents of Westfield.
· Reallocate existing municipal lot spaces in the downtown north of East Broad Street to better reflect the reality of downtown, including a “seasonal” change from long term to short term parking spaces.
· Enforce meter feeding rules. Councilman McDermott also noted that some proposals have previously been identified for action. In May, employees who work downtown were told to park in the south side lot of the train station on weekday evenings and on weekends.
Prosecutor Warns Seniors of Scams By Unscrupulous Contractors
ELIZABETH — Concerned about recent scams, Union County Prosecutor Thomas V. Manahan has issued a warning to senior citizens to be on the alert for unscrupulous repair contractors and scam artists who prey on the elderly.
Investigations Supervisor David J. Hancock noted that Roselle police officers recently uncovered a scam where a juvenile had been soliciting “driveway repairs” by handing out flyers. Two more members of the youth’s family, alleged to be part of gypsy group known as “The Travel ers,” were found by another officer.
An investigation revealed the individuals had no credentials or a permit to solicit or even a permanent address other than a Edison hotel.
Another case uncovered involved a woman convicted of selling items on the Internet and taking money without delivery of any goods.
Seniors can call the Better Business Bureau at (973) 5811313 between 10 a. m. and 4 p. m. weekdays to check the validity of a prospective contractor.
Mojave Grille Earns Top Billing From Westfield Health Board
WESTFIELD — The Westfield Health Department has give the Mojave Grille, 285 North Avenue, West, an “Excellent” rating on the restaurant’s recent health department inspection.
Restaurants and/ or food establishments that have received a “Satisfactory” rating for two consecutive years are eligible for the new “Excellent” designation. All ratings are at the
discretion of Health Inspector Robert Sherr. Mr. Sherr noted that the rating was established by the Board of Health “to recognize local retail food establishments that have maintained an exemplary record in compliance with the New Jersey State Sanitary Code, and local ordinances and regulations the operation of retail food establishments.
Seniors Group Sets Debate For Federal, County Candidates
UNION — The Senior Citizens of Union County, N. J. Inc., based in Union, will hold an open roundtablestyle debate for candidates for the United States Senate, the Seventh Congressional and Union County Freeholder on Thursday, October 5.
The event will be held at the Senior Center on Bunnel Court, located at the corner of Johnson Place, in Union. For more information or reservations, please call (908) 9647555. Mr. McDermott said that an ordinance
change must be made to fully implement this rule. When fully implemented, he said, the new requirement could open up to 200 parking spots in the downtown for shoppers.
For commuters, Mr. McDermott said the sale of 75 additional parking permits in the south side train station and Watterson Street lots, one of the 11 principles, should improve space availability.
“Currently, the lot is “oversold” but is still not being used to capacity.
On the question of a deck, Mr. McDermott noted, “I will tell you I’m not against a deck. But what will it cost and where are we going to put it?”
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CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
THURSDAY, AUGUST 17
A Windsor Avenue resident reported that someone unknown to her entered her house through a basement window. It was unknown what, if anything, was taken.
A Cacciola Place resident reported the theft of $60 in cash from his residence.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 18
A resident of Ship Bottom reported that someone broke the rear window out on his vehicle at East Broad Street.
Michael J. Martinho, 18, and a 16yearold suspect, both of Elizabeth, were arrested in the 100 block of Quimby Street and charged with possession of under 50 grams of
WESTFIELD POLICE BLOTTER
marijuana. Martinho was also charged with possession of an alcoholic beverage by an underage person. Both he and the juvenile were released on their own recognizance.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 19
An employee at a South Avenue bank reported that she was harassed by a customer after he was told he could not have a rebate refunded to his checking account. The customer remained unidentified at press time.
MONDAY, AUGUST 21
The theft of patio furniture from the rear deck of a home on Settlers Lane was reported to police.
Joseph Mandell, 39, of Scotch Plains was charged with harassing a Kensington Drive resident, authorities said. Bail was set at $5,000, with a 10 percent option, which Mandell posted.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)