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Freeholders Slam N.Y. Plan for Garbage Barge; Daniel Sullivan Praised as Out-Going Chairman
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
Reports of garbage coming across a rail link from Staten Island to Union County’s incinerator in Rahway drew the ire of Union County Freeholders last week.
The action follows news accounts that New York plans to ship 5,900 tons per day of solid waste originating from the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens to as-yet-to-be-built waste transfer stations in Newark and Carteret.
New York is looking to fund an alternative to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, which has been designated for closure within three years.
The Freeholders pulled out as the main sponsor of a rail link between Staten Island and Union County over concerns that their objective of increasing economic development along the proposed line was being ignored.
Published reports state that Freeholders also became concerned upon learning that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had budgeted $22 million for the project.
In a strongly worded resolution sponsored by Freeholder Donald Goncalves and passed by the board, the county government officially noted its opposition to a New York City plan to transport garbage to New Jersey via a garbage barge.
“This plan represents an outrageous assault on the state of New Jersey by jeopardizing the quality of life of New Jersey citizens and everything the state has accomplished through an enormous commitment in the past decade to cleaning up its beaches and shorefront areas and eliminating practices that could threaten them,” according to the resolution.
Freeholder Goncalves noted that state legislators plan to look into the issue. Especially of concern is that the garbage will not be in containers, thus increasing the risk of pollution along the Jersey shoreline.
Published reports note that New York officials plan to send the trash to sites in Newark and Carteret, where it will be unloaded and placed in containers before being shipped to disposal sites inside and outside of New Jersey.
The Freeholders’ resolution notes that under the state’s Solid Waste Management Act of 1970, transfer facilities of the type proposed to receive New York City garbage must be approved by county Freeholder boards and by the state Commissioner of Environmental Protection.
It also urges the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to “scrutinize and review, in the most
environmentally sensitive, aggressive and thorough manner possible” the New York proposal.
While New Jersey’s solid waste system was effectively deregulated through a court decision, all New Jersey disposal facilities must be DEP approved.
Freeholder Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan said last week that the Rahway incinerator is at full capacity and thus there is little chance New York’s garbage will be headed there.
Nearly half that capacity — some 250,000 tons – represents long-term contracts with 13 communities in Union County. Ogden Martin Systems Inc., the builder of the facility, is in charge of marketing the remaining capacity as part of a 25-year lease agreement it signed with the Union County Utilities Authority earlier this year.
In other business, Freeholder Sullivan received the accolades of board members in his final meeting as Chairman.
Freeholder Vice Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari, who assumes the Chairmanship on Sunday, January 10, noted that Mr. Sullivan came before the board with an aggressive agenda which he and the board followed through on as the year progressed.
The 1998 Chairman put through a program to preserve county parks by issuing grants of up to $125,000 to municipalities, as well as grants to school districts to help connect all classrooms in the county to the Internet by the year 2000.
The county also started a grant program for artists this year to help
them continue their diversity within the county.
Freeholder Alexander Mirabella noted that Mr. Sullivan brought a “strength and vision” to the office of board chairman. He added that Freeholder Sullivan “walked the walk and talked the talk.”
County Manager Michael J. Lapolla, a former Freeholder Chairman himself, said Freeholder Sullivan put forward an agenda while exhibiting a “sense of fairness and a
sense of humor.” Accepting the praise from the board, Freeholder Sullivan said the Freeholders came together this year with a “sense of purpose” to accomplish the issues he had put before them.
“Basically, I just think we had a tremendous year,” he added.
Freeholder Sullivan was reelected to another three-year term in November. He joined the board in 1993 to fill a board vacancy.
Volunteers Lauded for Efforts Against Substance Abuse
Union County Freeholder Lewis Mingo, Jr., spoke of the importance of fighting drug and alcohol abuse during the Annual Meeting of the Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA) held recently at the Westwood in Garwood.
LACADA is a Freeholder-appointed advisory board responsible for providing policy input, development of programs and resource allocation of funds for prevention and treatment of substance abuse in Union County.
In addition to being the featured speaker, Freeholder Mingo was one of 27 honorees recognized during an award ceremony for the 1998 Municipal Alliance Volunteers of the Year.
“We are at a time when drug and alcohol abuse continues to be at an all-time high. Not long ago, this was an adult problem. That is no longer the case,” Freeholder Mingo said.
“The problem we now face is drug Freeholders to Observe Holidays With Carols
The 42nd Annual “Christmas Carol Sing Along” will take place Thursday, December 24, at the Old Courthouse in Elizabeth, with the Ric-Charles Choral Ensemble performing.
The traditional event, sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and County Manager Michael J. Lapolla, will begin at 11 a.m. around the Rotunda Christmas Tree on the first floor of the Old Courthouse at the corner of Broad Street and Rahway Avenue.
Mr. Lapolla will be the Master of Ceremonies, and Freeholder Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan will lead fellow members of the board in welcoming the public to the event. The Reverend William Guyer will deliver the invocation and the benediction.
Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in this holiday celebration.
abuse among school students. Figures show that 22 percent of eighth graders and up to 50 percent of seniors have tried marijuana, and 2.5 percent of those seniors have tried heroin,” Freeholder Mingo added.
“Alcohol and drugs play a predominant role in most crimes. We are doing our best to stem that tied,” concurred Carol Berger, an Assistant Prosecutor with Union County for 14 years and LACADA Chairwoman.
Ms. Berger, along with Freeholder Mingo and Diane Litterer, Chairwoman of the Professional Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (PACADA), presented the Appreciation Awards to the 1998 Municipal Alliance Volunteers of the Year.
Among the award recipients were Sue Winans, Mountainside Recreation Director; Elizabeth Gordon of Scotch Plains-Fanwood, and Elizabeth Riker of Westfield.
HOLIDAY CRAFT FUN…Students and their families from School One Elementary in Scotch Plains recently enjoyed the annual PTA Craft Fair. Pictured, left to right, are: Linda Kolb, Mary Jo Van Buskirk, Paige Van Buskirk, Kevin Regan and Judy Dougherty.
Councilman Hart Bids Farewell to Colleagues On Mountainside Body By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
After serving the Borough of Mountainside for six years, David M. Hart performed his last official duties as a councilman during the governing body’s December 15 meeting.
A resident of the borough for 44 years, Councilman Hart also served as Mountainside’s representative to the Union County Regional High School District for 12 years.
He additionally performed many leadership roles through his involvement with the Boy Scouts, the Lions Club, the Mountainside Music Association and the Jonathan Dayton Choral Parents Association.
Councilman Hart also served on the Mountainside Recreation Commission, and has been active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
During his tenure as a Councilman, he served as a Liaison to the borough’s library, as well as to the Board of Education, and to Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH). He announced that he is proud of the accomplishments that all three groups have made in recent years.
He especially commended the efforts of the borough’s Board of Education and the newly-formed Strategic Planning Committee, which he noted is made up of community volunteers as well as members of the board and teachers.
He stated that the focus of the Strategic Planning Committee is to review the goals and objectives for the district and make suggestions for improvements that can be made.
Councilman Hart also commended the efforts of Children’s Specialized Hospital in trying to affiliate itself with the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyRobert Wood Johnson Medical School.
He added that through these affiliations, the hospital would be able to offer even more services to patients and their parents.
The outgoing Councilman also served on the hospital’s Building and Grounds Committee, whose efforts resulted in the construction of a new parking garage for CSH two years ago.
Councilman Hart served as a science teacher at Roosevelt Junior High
School in Westfield from 1951 to 1959, and as Assistant Principal at Deerfield School from 1959 to 1962.
In 1963, he became Principal of Charles H. Brewer School in Clark, and later Principal of Carl H. Kumpf School, also in Clark, a position he held from 1983 until he retired in 1985.
During his career in education, Councilman Hart also taught at Kean College in Union as an Adjunct Professor of Science Education.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Science Education and his Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Supervision from Montclair State College, now Montclair State University, in Upper Montclair.
In 1948, he married his wife, Dr. Marilyn Hart, who also served the borough for many years. Dr. Hart, who holds a Doctoral Degree in Urban Anthropology from Rutgers Uni
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cil for 12 years. She also served for three years on the Union County Regional High School District Board.
While on the council, Dr. Hart served as a Liaison to the Mountainside Board of Education. In addition, she served as the Fire Commissioner.
Councilman and Dr. Hart have three children. Their son, Michael, is a dentist who operates Gentle Dental Care in Edison. They also have two daughters, Ellen Richardson, an insurance executive in Ohio, and Allison Brafman, an attorney who owns the Journeyman Title Agency with her husband in Westfield. The Harts also have six grandchildren.
In 1994, the Councilman and his wife started the David Hart annual Westfield High School scholarship award of $1,000 for a student who has shown respect for the environment or who is aware of the ecological balance of nature.
When asked about his retirement from the governing body, Mr. Hart responded, “I appreciated being a member of the Borough Council and working with such a dedicated and professional group.
“I am also proud to know a group who gave such a tremendous amount of time and dedication to the community,” he added.
With his pending extra free time, Mr. Hart stated that he would be doing more fishing, including fly fishing and fishing for shad, bonefish, steelhead, and salmon.
Mr. Hart said he also plans to continue serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Trout Unlimited, a national organization for the preservation and enhancement of cold water fishing.
David M. Hart