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OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, January 9 • 1 to 4pm 1166 Lawrence Avenue, Westfield OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS! Wellmaintained 4 Bedroom home on large treed lot. Living Room with bay window, Formal Dining Room, new Eatin Kitchen new roof, new heat and more! $389,500.
Dirs: E. Broad St. to Mountain Ave to Lawrence
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OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, January 9 • 1 to 4pm 15 Wychview Drive, Westfield SPACIOUS SPLIT ON CULDESAC. Four Bedroom, 2½ Bath home with private backyard. Living Room, Dining Room, Eatin Kitchen, Family Room, 2car garage. Updates include main Bath, roof, furnace, front walk and steps and exterior paint. $354,900.
Dirs: East Broad Street to Wychview Drive OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, January 9 • 1 to 4pm
343 Parkview Drive, Scotch Plains CHARMING CAPE in move in condition. Four Bedrooms, 1½ Baths, recently finished second floor, newer roof and central air. Kitchen plus separate Breakfast Room and more! $229,000.
Dirs: Westfield Rd. to Parkview Dr. OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, January 9 • 1 to 4pm
939 Ripley Avenue, Westfield CHARMING 4 Bedroom home in Manor Park. Living Room with fireplace, Formal Dining Room, Kitchen, Den, full basement, 2car garage. $264,000. Dirs: Central Ave to Elizabeth Av to Ripley. Turn right. OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, January 9 • 1 to 4pm
3 Plymouth Road, Westfield ROOMY 4 Bedrooms, 2½ Bath home near Tamaques Park and School. Living Room with fireplace, Dining Room, Eatin Kitchen, vinyl siding, oversized 2car garage and fenced yard. $359,000.
Dirs: Rahway Ave to Willow Grove Rd to Plymouth. SALE PENDING
Beautiful, Restored Victorian Home Exceptional 1880’s home, meticulously renovated. Elegant Entry Foyer, Formal Dining Room, designer Kitchen with Butler’s Pantry, Family Room, wraparound porch, 2 working fireplaces, service stairs, oversized doublehung windows, stained glass windows and much, much more! $699,900.
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Volunteers are certainly the backbone of our community. In addition to the Rescue Squad and Fire Department, there are 17 various boards, commissions and committees involving over 200 people! Some 1999 examples of their work include the Planning Board having six lengthy hearings regarding the Dean Oil site, the Communication/ Volunteerism Committee publishing quarterly the new Fanwoodian
Newsletter, the Downtown Revitalization Committee facilitating organization of the FBPA (Fanwood Business and Professional Association), and the Environmental Commission planting wild flowers at the Nature Center, and those are just a very few examples. Our volunteers or do indeed make Fanwood the great place it is.
Ninetyninenine also saw the completion of the library computer
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Downtown, Park Improvements Top List Of Priorities for Fanwood Mayor Louis Jung
automation project, naming of the Carriage House as the Patricia Kuran Cultural Arts Center, approval of a LOSAP (Length of Service Awards Program) pension program for the Fire Department and Rescue Squad, beginning of the Chelsea (at Fanwood) expansion, and initial work on the Pocket Park.
New Year’s Day is also a time to look forward. Our top priority this year will be continuing our downtown improvement efforts. This will include physical improvements and upgrades as well as organizing the FBPA and developing ways to attract additional businesses to our downtown. We will be participating in programs like New Jersey Main Street and Downtown New Jersey. We will again be approving for grants from the county and state. In addition, we will be looking at our downtown in a more comprehensive way,
Scotch Plains Mayor Martin Marks Sets Tone For Township Council as it Begins Year 2000
dressed. We will have a concerted effort that will include this governing body, the Scotch Plains Environmental Commission, the Scotch Plains Recreation Commission, our Engineering Department and consulting Engineers, and the public atlarge to make sure all concerns are addressed before one blade of grass is disturbed in the reservation.
Even though I have focused here on ball fields in the reservation, please bear in mind that any opportunity to enhance our existing parks and playgrounds will be given top priority. If my term as mayor will be remembered for one thing I would hope it will be for a commitment to the young and the young at heart and their need for places to play. Let the year 2000 be known as the year of Recreation in Scotch Plains.
Even before I was elected to Council in 1996, I was involved in trying to make our downtown area more vibrant. Our central business district, now known as Scotch Plains Towne Centre, has seen steady improvements over the last few years, and we know stand at the precipice of some major aesthetic changes thanks to a $450,000 county grant. We will put these dollars to work for some thematic lighting, brick pavers, crosswalk treatments etc. and will continue to vitalize so that we can attract the types of businesses that will put Scotch Plains Towne Centre on the map as an alternative to regional malls and other nearby shopping districts.
We have seen some real progress here in town and I’m certain it is because of the partnership forged between local government and private enterprise in the form of the Downtown Task Force. This entity will continue in 2000 as I am quite proud of the work that has been done thus far and am enthusiastic about the prospects for the future.
The Scotch Plains Public Library has seen some significant aesthetic and functional improvements over the last year thanks in a large part to a state grant secured by (State) Senator Don DiFrancesco in 1998. I fully realize that this is the one municipal area that is visited by the greatest percentage of our residents. We will challenge our Library Board of Trustees, Director Norbert Bernstein and his staff to make us proud of our library in this very special year of its 200th anniversary. Stay tuned for updates on our library’s bicentennial celebration.
Some of you have voiced concern over the prospects for the former Zoo property on the corner of Terrill and Raritan Roads. As many of you know, the acquisition of this property through eminent domain is being litigated in court with a conclusion hopefully not too far off. The Adhoc committee will continue this year and be given direction to work toward the goal of a passive park that we envisioned when this process began over two years ago.
As I alluded to earlier, there will be noticeable changes from last year. Let me now highlight three areas. Firstly, this summer, the Scotch Plains Township Council will be on an abbreviated schedule. I have pointed out before that citizens due tend to take their vacations during the summer months and it is inappropriate to move important ordinances through the municipal process during this time. Certainly, if emergencies occur, the council will be available to deal with them.
However, nothing will be rushed through in July and August of 2000 when many are away and not paying attention to the affairs of local government.
Let’s talk about property taxes. Many, including the editors of the
local newspaper, are already starting to speculate on where the municipal tax rate will be set for 2000. It is fair for this issue to be at the forefront of most citizens’ minds after all the hullabaloo last year.
In fact, the reason I am here speaking to you today may be directly related to the aforementioned hullabaloo. At this point in time, we are just starting to get a handle on where the Town stands financially for 2000. The budget process will begin shortly, and the 2000 council will be particularly sensitive to the needs and desires to Scotch Plains taxpayers. With the financial information we have thus far and the fact that Mr. Atkins will be asked to prepare a very tight budget, I feel comfortable in stating the following:
This council will not propose a 6.5 percent municipal tax increase this year. This council will not enact a 5.4 percent municipal tax increase this year. As the budget process proceeds, I encourage you to pay close attention and ultimately participate in the public hearings in this most important function of your local government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, just a few moments ago, I placed my hand on the family Bible and swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. A little over 200 years ago our founding fathers, led by James Madison, who would later be our fourth president, met at a convention to agree on a constitution for our fledgling nation.
Most representatives felt strongly that the document originally proposed needed amendments which ultimately became known as our Bill of Rights. The first of these amendments not only dealt with Freedom of Speech, but also with Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Assembly and the right of citizens to address and petition the government.
Now I imagine when Mr. Madison and company spoke to the issue of addressing elected officials, they probably were not thinking of the floor of Congress or the various state houses across the land. I believe they envisioned places just like this Town Hall, where the public could have direct access and free interaction with their elected representatives.
If Mr. Madison were here today he might be a bit perplexed to see the microphones, the telephone and the television cameras, however I think he would soon realize that these technological developments are not only tools of but also symbols of the first amendment to our constitution. I also believe that Mr. Madison would have been a bit disappointed, as I was, that the spirit of free speech was on several occasions curtailed last year.
Accordingly, we will undertake several changes that I believe will lead to a kinder, gentler more “user friendly” local government. First of all, this gavel will be put away for now in the hope we can have a little less formality in these chambers. If a citizen would like to address an individual council member, or the Municipal Manager, or the township attorney, he or she may do so without going through the mayor first.
By the same token, any of the aforementioned municipal officials will also be encouraged to participate in the meeting without having to go through the mayor first. Courtesy and respect will rule the day. Everyone will be given an opportunity to speak for a reasonable amount of time without interruption. Also, I will ask the council to introduce an ordinance that will amend our present statute regarding the progress of our public meetings.
At the beginning of our meetings, under item no. 4, the public is now
allowed to address the council on items only found on the agenda. I envision this time to be set aside for comment on any matter, while allowing for similar time at the end of the meeting.
When we do recess for telephone calls, I will do my best not to limit there number. As long as the process is not abused, I will take as many calls as possible. I am here to hear both questions and advice; both criticism and praise.
For those of you who are unable to attend council meetings and would rather not use the callin system, I will be more than happy to come to you. For the year 2000, I would like to institute a new program called “Meet the Mayor.”
At various times during the year, I will visit with your service organization, classroom, religious organization, scouting group, etc. and speak with you on any topic of interest, or perhaps just give you an update on what is happening in your local government.
Stay tuned for more information on this program. It is one I hope will catch on. It is my intention to do everything possible to put a smile back on Mr. Madison’s face.
My friends, I am indeed humbled as I take on the responsibility of being Mayor of our township. I promise not to take myself too seriously, because I would like to have some fun along the way. I would like to thank you once again for sharing this day with us, and I would particularly like to thank those township employees and volunteers that really make this process work.
My best wishes to all of you for a healthy and happy 2000. May God bless you and may God bless Scotch Plains.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 beginning with the upcoming adoption of our revised zoning ordinances. Another priority will be our parks. I’m going to ask the Recreation Commission to do a needs assessment of our parks, prioritize those needs coupled with a multiyear plan. This has not been done since the early ‘90s. This will help the Mayor and Council determine how best to allocate grant monies and capital monies set aside for our parks. New Year’s Day is also a time to listen. I know that this Mayor and Council consider it an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of Fanwood. To serve you better, we want to hear from you your comments, ideas, thoughts, and questions. Please contact any one of us. We will respond! I wish you all a healthy and Happy New Year.
But as important as it is to discuss all of what we have done, and all of what we plan to do, it is just as important to once again ask ourselves, “What kind of community do we want to be in this new century?”
About a week from now, I will be sitting down with members of our clergy, heads of social service agencies and other leaders in this community, to begin planning a process that I call Community 2000.
It is a process that has as its goal defining for this town a common vision for a new century. It is an effort premised on the ideal that improving the
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
Good Housing, Continued Development On Westfield Mayor’s Year 2000 Agenda
quality of life for all citizens requires that all of our institutions government, families, churches, schools, nonprofit groups must create partnerships and attack problems together. It is a strategy that recognizes that government cannot solve all of our ills, but it can provide leadership in efforts to overcome isolation, to strengthen the fabric of our community and to make this town an even better place to work live and raise children.
The columnist, David Gergen, recently noted that “All across the land, Americans hunger for something more than money and a brandnew car. They
are looking for answers that satisfy the soul and restore a sense of belonging.”
This is the goal that we must set for Community 2000. We will build on our successes of the past. We will continue to work on moving Westfield in the right direction. But we owe it to ourselves at the dawn of this new century to lift our sights higher; to create a community with a longterm vision; to redefine a sense of purpose for this community. This is our responsibility, and it is our opportunity. I hope that you will join with me as we make it our reality.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)