OUR 108th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 3699 FIFTY CENTS 2324407
The Westfield Leader — Serving the Town Since 1890 —
Thursday, September 9, 1999 USPS 680020 Periodical – Postage Paid at Westfield, N. J.
Published Every Thursday
INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX
Arts................ Page 17 Business ........ Page 15 Classifieds ..... Page 16
County .......... Page 2 Editorial ........ Page 4 Obituary ........ Page 9
Religious ....... Page 8 Social ............ Page 6 Sports ............ Page 11
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Cops Hope New Signs Yield Results
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Consultants Working to Enhance Safety of Pedestrians, Bikers in Westfield; Public Hearing Set for Later This Month
By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
In response to two pedestrian fatalities which occurred earlier this year in Westfield, and numerous nonfatal accidents involving pedestrians in 1998, there are two safety studies underway in the town of Westfield.
The first study is a bicycle and pedestrian needs assessment being carried out by the state Department of Transportation (NJDOT) through a $25,000 grant funded by the NJDOT’s Local Bicycle/ Pedestrian Planning Assistance Program.
The DOT has hired the consulting firm of Fredrick R. Harris, Inc. of
Trenton to assess bicycle and pedestrian needs, and to devise ways to improve safety for these groups, in and around the central business district as well as around the locations of Franklin and Tamaques Elementary Schools.
The second project is a traffic calming study that has been commissioned by the Town Council to study traffic problems in Westfield, the focus of which is more oriented to traffic flow, congestion and speed, and ways to correct problems associated with vehicular movement.
The R. B. A. Group, based in Morristown, has been hired by the
town, funded by $25,000 of municipal capital budget monies, to conduct the trafficcalming study. Although each study is different in focus, there is considerable overlap in the locations and issues being assessed, according to Town Engineer Kenneth B. Marsh.
Mayor Thomas C. Jardim has appointed a Traffic Safety Advisory Committee to work with both consulting firms in determining which locations have the greatest problems, as well as to coordinate the two studies to avoid unnecessary duplication.
The Advisory Committee includes Town Administrator Edward A. Gottko, Planning Board Chairman Martin Robbins, Police Chief Anthony J. Scutti, Town Council Public Safety Committee Chairman and Third Ward Councilman Neil F.
Sullivan, Jr. Westfield Board of Education Board Secretary and Business Administrator Robert A. Berman and a representative from the local citizen’s action group, B. R. A. K. E. S. (Bikers, Riders and Kids are Entitled to Safety.)
B. R. A. K. E. S. was organized in 1997 by Westfield resident Sarah Strohecker in response to numerous incidences involving cars hitting adults or children who were crossing the street, in crosswalks, while holding their mothers’ hands.
The Advisory Committee determined that the major intersections in the business district, the entire length of Rahway Avenue and the immediate vicinities in front of Tamaques and Franklin Schools, are the locations most in need of improvements, and recommended these locations for
study to the consulting firms. Based on a review of bicycle and pedestrian accident data for the last four years, Fredrick R. Harris, Inc. also identified several major downtown intersections as “hot spots” that pose frequent dangers to pedestrians and bikers. All of the major intersections in the cbd carry heavy traffic volumes as well as being a “gauntlet” for pedestrian activity, according to a report issued by the firm to the Advisory Committee in July.
After assessing key issues and conducting field surveys, Harris issued its report which identifies a range of potential alternative strategies and actions, as well as guidance to the town for implementing safety plans and engineering changes for these locations.
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Light Rail System’s Impact On Town Could Be Significant
By RUSS WATKINS
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
Editor’s Note: The following is the first in a twopart series on plans for a light rail system in Union County.
* * * * *
For most people, the phrase “local politics” usually elicits a combination of indifference, cynicism and confusion. But if you think local politics doesn’t affect you, think again. A Union County transportation project currently under development could have a significant impact on downtown Westfield.
The project, called the NewarkElizabeth Light Rail Project is currently being designed by Raytheon Engineers & Constructors of Lyndhurst in cooperation with Union County officials. In its most ambitious form, the system links eight
cities and towns across the county by means of a light rail commuter train.
Phase 1 of the project, which will cost an estimated $200 million and could begin as early as 2001, will connect downtown Elizabeth to Lot D at Newark International Airport. County officials say Phases 2 and 3 will extend the system west to Cranford and then to Plainfield by way of Westfield.
Light rail systems are similar in appearance to an aboveground subway and are meant to provide a faster, more convenient way of moving shoppers and commuters from point A to B.
According to Mayor Thomas C. Jardim, transportation projects like these often seem confusing and complicated to casual observers because they take so long to finish.
But for those willing to untangle the red tape, the proposed light rail system offers a practical look at the state’s political process.
The Light Rail project is the result of PublicPrivate Partnership legislation adopted by New Jersey in 1997. Part of Governor Christine Todd Whitman’s “urban strategy,” the legislation encourages local governments and private firms to cooperate on infrastructure and transportation projects.
To date, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has selected 18 plans presented by local businesses and governments for further study, but the Union County system is one of only four actually in development.
County officials, concerned with the revitalization of industrial areas around Elizabeth and Newark, view the project and its parent legislation as a way of meeting the county’s economic objectives.
In May, the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the county’s governing body, spelled out the economic objectives for the Elizabeth area in its Port Master Plan. The plan, which serves as a blueprint for future port and airportrelated projects, emphasizes transportation infrastructure improvements like the light rail system.
The system itself, which has not yet been officially approved, took a major step forward last month when NJ Transit commissioned BRW, Inc., a Newarkbased engineering firm, to conduct an environmental study along the Elizabeth section of the proposed route.
The study, which will cost $2 million and is required by federal law, will examine the proposed rail system’s impact on the environment. It will also determine the location and alignment of rail system platforms.
Once the study is completed, the project is eligible for federal funding under the Transportation Equity Act and can proceed toward final approval.
Supporters of the new light rail system say it will simplify commuter access to Newark Airport and will encourage shoppers to take advantage of the Jersey Gardens Value Mega Mall scheduled to open next month in Elizabeth.
But opponents say that the details of the light rail plan have not been properly thought out and that less
Front (Central Avenue) Elevation Right (Cacciola Place) Elevation
Westfield Planning Board Grants Preliminary Approval To Central AvenueCacciola Place Retail, Residential Plan By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
The Westfield Planning Board granted preliminary approval during a special meeting September 1 to local developer Ralph Rapuano to build a retail and residential development on Central Avenue and Cacciola Place.
The new development, when finally approved, will include an Lshaped, 13unit apartment building on the corner of Central Avenue and Cacciola Place, and 10 townhouses that will be constructed on the lots behind the apartment building site.
Seven Board members voted for the preliminary approval of the plan, with final okay pending the applicant’s compliance with numerous conditions and several plan revisions enumerated by the planning body. Board members Mary Withers did not vote and Marc A. McCabe abstained.
Since the plan was first unveiled, the project has been controversial in the Cacciola Place and Central Avenue area and has met with opposition from residents who live near the development site.
In fact, after much discussion by Board members and the applicant’s
lawyer regarding the appropriateness of Ms. Withers, a Board member who lives in the Cacciola neighborhood, voting on the application, the board member removed herself from sitting on the board on the matter.
Ms. Withers, who was appointed to the board earlier this year by Mayor Thomas C. Jardim to fill a vacancy, stated to the board said she was not completely against the project, but that the development was cause for some serious reservations and concerns.
One of the objections raised by area residents over the past few months has been that these new units would displace the area residents who are unable to afford the new rents.
Another objection, according to Westfield Neighborhood Council (WNC) Director Ezella Johnson, was that the new development would increase traffic and pose a danger to schoolage children in the neighborhood. Many of the objections about the project have been raised throughout the last few months at WNC meetings.
In addition, objections to the project have been raised by current tenants
of Mr. Rapuano, the developer, who claim their landlord has failed to make repairs to his buildings in a timely manner, and that he had to be ordered by a court to make those repairs. Mr. Rapuano owns several apartment buildings on the development site, many of which will be razed for his new project.
Mr. Rapuano’s defense to these allegations has been that he gave some of his previous tenants reduced rent, with the understanding that the buildings in which they lived were too dilapidated to upgrade and were not going to receive certain repairs.
As a way to demonstrate his commitment to support the existing neighborhood and to make a possible contribution to the community, Mayor Jardim made the unusual suggestion that Mr. Rapuano consider making a donation of computers, printers and Internet service to the WNC. WNC members suggested the contribution of computers in a proposal submitted to Mayor Jardim.
Mayor Jardim also requested reassurance from the applicant that Mr. Rapuano would not displace the current residents, but would enable them to obtain one of the new units for a
reduced rent, commensurate with their current monthly payment, for a period of one year.
Mr. Rapuano’s lawyer, James B. Flynn of Westfield, said his client would follow through on the suggestions made by the Mayor.
In addition, the Board asked Mr. Flynn and Mr. Rapuano to meet several conditions and to submit plan revisions — which will have to be approved by the board — before the project could be finally approved.
The conditions and changes included agreement by the applicant to financially share the burden with the town for reasonable trafficcalming devices, in the immediate vicinity of the project that may be deemed necessary following a planned traffic study.
Other conditions and changes included reversing the plan’s layout to switch the locations of the townhouses with the adjacent parking lot without increasing the variances, installation of enhanced, nonglare lighting and approval of the landscaping by the town’s ShadeTree Commission.
Mr. Rapuano’s attorney also agreed to meet these conditions and changes.
Mr. Rapuano’s application also requested approval of over a dozen
variances. The variance requests included a height variance, lessthan required distance between buildings and lessthan required side yardage. Another variance is required for the continuous wall length of 128 feet, which exceeds the maximum continuous wall length ordinance of 50 feet.
Several parking variances were also requested because of the insufficient number of offstreet parking spaces. The ordinance requires a minimum of 83 offstreet parking spaces for this many units, and the applicant is proposing 78 spaces.
A town ordinance requires that new businesses account for parking needed by their patrons and renters.
Michael Kauker, of Kauker and Associates in Wycoff, professional planners for the project, addressed the board at length on the numerous benefits to the community that this revitalization would bring.
Mr. Kauker pointed out to the board that this project was removing dilapidated buildings that were currently in violation of numerous zoning ordinances and replacing them with new buildings that needed less variances than the current structures.
Patricia Thomson of Doris Parkway, in addressing the board during the public portion of the meeting,
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By KIM KINTER
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
Four yield signs have been erected at the Westfield traffic circle that both local police and the state hope will help traffic flow and reduce accidents.
The four signs, put up by the New Jersey Department of Transportation at the request of Westfield Police Chief Anthony J. Scutti on August 30, are located at the entrance of the traffic circle on both North and South Avenues.
One set of signs is located as motorists leave West Broad Street and travel on South Avenue toward Garwood; another set is located as motorists cross under the train overpass from North Avenue into the traffic circle area.
“One of the problems with the traffic circle, which is a congested area, is that no one know who has the rightofway,” Chief Scutti said. “There is no definite answer from the state either when there have been accidents and we don’t know who is at fault.”
Chief Scutti added that the town also is trying to get a “synchronization” of traffic flow around the circle and the oncoming traffic has disrupted that flow.
The state wants to know what it should do to help traffic move more efficiently, he said and the Westfield police have observed the circle to try to make recommendations.
“In my travels, I noticed yield signs in other traffic circles and they seemed to be working,” Chief Scutti explained. “I approached the state and suggested that they put up yield signs.”
David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader WE ARE NUMBER ONE!… First graders at Franklin Elementary School hold up their number one fingers in glee to celebrate their first day of school. Pictured, left to right, are: front row, Tracy Kaplan, Nikki Koll, Eric Rackear, Wyatt Smith and Sara Ann Power; back row, John Gentile, Kyle Wolf and Jack Kephart.
Courtesy of Ralph Rapuano
AN ARTIST RENDERING... The Planning Board last week issued preliminary site plan approval for a retail and residential development depicted above, to be located at Central Avenue and Cacciola Place. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
Mayor Jardim Forms Committee To Begin Search for Administrator
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
The search for a new Town Administrator officially began Tuesday night with the naming of a fourmember, bipartisan committee by Mayor Thomas C. Jardim.
Edward A. Gottko, who has served as Administrator since 1993, will retire at the end of this year after 29 years in municipal government, the past 20 with Westfield. He was previously employed as the Town Engineer for 14 years.
The committee appointed by Mayor Jardim includes Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger, a former Westfield mayor; former longtime Democratic Fourth Ward Councilman James Hely; veteran Republican Second Ward Councilman James J. Gruba, who chairs the governing body’s Fi nance Committee and Democratic
Fourth Ward Councilman Lawrence A. Goldman, who chairs the Laws and Rules Committee.
The Mayor reiterated comments he made to The Westfield Leader last month, stating that he would like the new administrator in place by December. He anticipates receipt of resumés by October, to be followed by an interview process.
Third Ward Councilman Neil F. Sullivan, Jr. suggested that an executive search firm be used in the process. Mayor Jardim said he would consider the suggestion.
Second Ward Councilman Matthew P. Albano, a Republican, questioned whether an administrator could be hired earlier in order for the individual to have more involvement in the preparation of the 2000 mu nicipal budget.
Mr. Gottko said he believes the procedure put forth by Mayor Jardim is actually “ambitious.” He said neighboring Cranford, three months into its search for an administrator, is just now selecting candidates to interview from a stack of 62 applicants for the post.
Mr. Gottko told the governing body he would be willing to stay on beyond Friday, December 31 should more time be needed to conduct a search for his replacement. The Administrator emphasized that he did not want to see a rushed process due to the scheduled date of his retirement.
Councilman Albano questioned whether the search process should have been handled by the council’s Personnel Committee, and whether
Page 10 Thursday, September 9, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
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Chief Scutti said that he has also suggested to the state that the timing on the green arrow on the traffic light at the corner of South Avenue and West Broad be timed so that more cars can get through the intersection. He said that the timing is too short now and that traffic backs up into the traffic circle, causing even more congestion in the traffic circle.
The Police Chief said, however, that he has heard nothing from the state on the timing of the light and does not know whether it will be changed.
He added that lines entering the circle also eventually are to be restriped by the state to help the traffic
flow. About whether the yield signs will prove successful, Chief Scutti said now it is a matter of motorists getting used to the fact that the signs are there.
“Now we have to get motorists acclimated,” he commented.
The Police Chief said that only about two days after the signs were erected he was driving in an unmarked police car and yielded to oncoming circle traffic when cars behind him began beeping at him to move into the circle.
“It could take some time for everyone get used to the yield signs, I guess,” he said.
Cops Hope New Yield Signs Will Assist Traffic Circle Search Committee Formed
To Find New Administrator Consultants Work to Enhance Safety for Pedestrians, Bikers
WESTFIELD FIRE BLOTTER SUNDAY, AUGUST 29
· Seven hundred block of Harding Street – smoke condition.
· One hundred block of Elm Street – system malfunction.
· Seven hundred block of Carleton Road – lockout.
· Two hundred block of Welch Way – lockout.
MONDAY, AUGUST 30
· Five hundred block of Shackamaxon Drive – assist police.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 31
· Seventeen hundred block of Boulevard – electrical fire.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
· Nine hundred block of St. Marks – assist police, hazardous condition.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
· One hundred block of Barchester Way – smoke scare.
· Three hundred block of Wychwood Road – system malfunction.
· Seven hundred block of Coleman Place – gas odor investigation.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
· Two hundred block of Clark Street – system malfunction.
· Nine hundred block of Tice Place – alarm activation.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
· Ten hundred block of Central Avenue – electrical hazard.
· Ten hundred block of Lamberts Mill Road – smoke condition.
· Ten hundred block of Boynton Avenue – alarm activation.
· Three hundred block of Roger Avenue – good intent call.
Some of the key issues studied were the intersection designs and elements of the roadways, such as crossing distance, curb ramps, crosswalks, onstreet parking, lane geometry, signal timing and right turn on red restrictions.
Problems cited by the report included traffic congestion and unsupervised street crossings around Franklin and Tamaques Schools, as well as some areas of missing sidewalks near the schools. The crossing guard at the intersection of Rahway Avenue and Willow Grove Road has also reported some “near misses” to the consultants.
Many improvements were suggested in the report including curb ramps, additional crosswalks, pedestrian signal heads, pedestrian refuge islands and curb extensions, in order to improve safety at the major downtown intersections cited as problematic.
Additional crosswalks, revised traffic flow, increased visibility of signs and separating entrance driveways with median islands were the recommendations to improve safety in and around the two schools.
The next phase of the study will continue to review the existing facilities and result in recommendations for new and improved pedestrian accommodations, according to the report.
The Advisory Committee plans on meeting with the consulting firm in order to clarify the specific recommendations in the report and to discuss the best ways to implement the recommendations, according to B. R. A. K. E. S. ’ CoChairwoman Deidre Geline.
R. B. A. has also issued a report to the Advisory Committee citing specific problem areas and making recommendations to improve traffic flow
all along the Rahway Avenue corridor, focusing on the locations near Westfield High School, Kehler Stadium and the field house area, the National Guard Armory and near Tamaques School, according to Mr. Marsh.
Councilman Sullivan has said that Rahway Avenue is representative of the traffic and pedestrian problems that exist all over town and the engineering recommendations made by R. B. A. to improve Rahway Avenue is applicable to all of the town’s problem locations.
Because Rahway Avenue is representative of the problems that exist in other locations, Rahway Avenue was chosen to receive two pilot projects to see the impact of these changes. Most of the suggested improvements involve engineering changes to existing curbs and crosswalks, similar to the DOT’s recommendations.
The Advisory Committee will meet this evening, Thursday, September 9, to discuss and define the content of a public meeting, which will be held toward the end of September, at which time the Committee will present the recommendations of both consulting firms to the public and give the public an opportunity to voice their input and concerns.
The improvements will be implemented in incremental stages, according to Mrs. Geline, after public input has been considered.
Some of the recommendations will be funded by $50,000 in municipal capital budget funds that have been set aside for these projects, according to Councilman Sullivan. The town has also applied for a $200,000 grant to the DOT’s Transportation Trust Fund, to implement the engineering recommendations of the two consulting firms.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 31
· A Rahway Avenue resident reported the theft of a bicycle from the 1200 block of his street. Two male Westfield youths, ages 13 and 14 years old, were subsequently charged with theft and stolen property, according to police.
The bicycle was recovered at the home of one of the suspects, authorities said. Both boys were turned over to the custody of their parents.
· A motor vehicle belonging to a Piscataway resident sustained damage due to criminal mischief in the 100 block of Central Avenue, authorities said.
The vehicle was scratched with a key, and someone had also kicked the rear passenger side panel and attempted to slash a rear tire. Police currently have no suspects in the case.
· A resident of the 700 block of Boynton Avenue reported the theft of a cockatoo which she had placed in a tree outside her home. A neighbor reported that a man in a station wagon or a hatchback vehicle pulled up in front of the home and removed the bird from the tree.
The bird is creamy white in color with orange feathers. According to police, the suspect was described as a white or Hispanic male, approximately 40 years old, 5 feet and 9 inches tall with a stocky build, and dressed in a blue coveralltype uniform.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
· A West Broad Street resident reported the theft of a bicycle.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
· Three people were arrested and charged with robbing a Plainfield man of $60 in cash and a gold necklace after giving him a ride into Westfield.
Police said Leon Williams, 20, of Avenel, Quarana Nobles, 19, of Rahway and Latifa Jackson, 19, of Plainfield allegedly robbed the 20yearold victim
at Prospect Street and Lincoln Road. It was unknown if there was any prior relationship between the suspects and the victim, or where the group was coming from or their exact destination on the night the incident took place.
Police were alerted to the situation by a resident who reported a possible fight at Prospect and Lincoln. Nobles and Jackson were apprehended a short time later in a car on Prospect Street.
The victim’s gold necklace was discovered in the suspects’ car, although the missing money was not recovered, authorities said. Williams was discovered hiding in a bush on Lincoln Road.
All three were charged with robbery and aggravated assault. Nobles was additionally charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, described by authorities as a knife. The victim was not injured.
Williams, Nobles and Jackson were each held on $250,000 bail at the Union County Jail.
· Rodney Morgan, 34, of Plainfield was arrested and charged with shoplifting overthecounter medication valued at $92.76 from an Elm Street supermarket, according to police.
Morgan was held in lieu of $750 bail on the shoplifting charge and on a warrant out of the Montclair Municipal Court for $500.
· Joseph Barbini, 21, of Cranford was arrested and charged with armed robbery and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes after he allegedly attempted to rob a convenience store on East North Avenue, according to police.
Authorities said the suspect made a purchase at the store, after which he reportedly displayed a knife and demanded that the cashier give him money from the register. When the cashier told him she would have to get the manager, the suspect fled the scene, authorities said. Bail was set at $500.
WESTFIELD VOLUNTEER RESCUE SQUAD BLOTTER
Statistics for August 1999 Top 10 Response Categories 1. Falls (19) 6. Motor Vehicle Accident (5) 2. Cardiac Pain (15) 7. Head/ Neck Injury (5) 3. Respiratory (12) 8. Stroke (5) 4. General Illness/ Weakness (9) 9. PreArranged Transport (5) 5. Diabetic Reaction (7) 10. Suspected Fracture (4) InTown Emergency Calls: 136
Outof Town Mutual Aid Calls: 12 Non Emergency Calls: 6 Total Calls: 143 Total Hours Out: 145: 30 Total Volunteer Hours: 1,835.5
expensive, better alternatives exist. Some also doubt whether the system will ever extend as far as Plainfield.
What all this means for Westfield is uncertain.
“It’s complicated and murky be cause there are essentially two opposing
viewpoints and it’s difficult at times to know whether information from one viewpoint or another is opinion or fact,” said Mayor Jardim. “I am a little unsure how this is going to shake out right now.”
Impact of Light Rail System On Town May Be Significant
Historical Society Curator To Speak at Sept. Meeting
WESTFIELD – “Images of Westfield in the 20th Century” will be the slide and lecture presentation by Ralph Jones to the Westfield Historical Society on Thursday, September 16, at 7: 45 p. m. in the Community Room of the Westfield Municipal Building.
Mr. Jones, the Society’s Curator, has selected many pictures s h o w i n g Westfield in the early years of the 20th century, as well as those showing its steady growth while still maintaining its Colonial atmosphere.
“It will be a chance for longtime residents to reminisce, while new
comers can view Westfield in its earlier days,” stated Don Mokrauer, President of the Society.
A Westfield native with a keen interest in history, Mr. Jones joined the Wesfield Historical Society in 1978 and soon became a strong force in developing the society. Elected its President from 19831985, he went on to become the Town Historian for several years, then the Society’s Archivist and Curator.
Still very active in the Society’s Museum and Archives, which is located in the Westfield Municipal Building, Mr. Jones can be found updating the archives, answering questions, arranging displays as well as cataloging and listing the large amount of material the Society receives.
He was recently elected a Lifetime Trustee by the Society for his longtime service. also stated that she felt that the development
would be a great benefit to the town since Central Avenue is a major corridor into the town, and needs to be upgraded.
In other Planning Board business, James Nawn, managing member of the Fenwick Group, LLC, received approval to convert existing retail space at 143 East Broad in downtown Westfield into the Panera Bread Company, an upscale bakery and sandwich shop.
The applicant sought a variance of the ordinance requiring new businesses to account for patron and renter parking needs. Under the ordinance, the applicant needs 69 parking spaces, but has proposed none.
Mr. Nawn testified before the board that despite the lack of assigned parking spaces, his store would not lead to increased parking congestion because the majority of his customers would be patrons already parked in Westfield for other destinations during the busiest part of the day.
He also stated that he expects that most of his employees will be people who live in the area and who walk to work.
Michael Blancato, who resides on Summit Avenue, voiced his concerns that there is already an overflow of downtown patrons who park on his street for hours at a time and that approval of this site would escalate the current parking problems.
Mayor Jardim assured Mr. Blancato that the board and the town
are aware of the parking problems in the downtown area and on Summit Avenue and that measures are being taken to address these problems, such as plans to build a parking deck in the near future.
Mayor Jardim told The Westfield Leader that he spoke with Mr. Blancato, and that he is looking into all of his concerns regarding parking congestion on Summit Avenue and studying ways to alleviate those problems.
Mr. Nawn agreed to work with the town to find and implement solutions to the parking situation by discouraging his employees from bringing cars to work or by purchasing assigned parking spots, if necessary. He also agreed to the condition that deliveries would be made only during offpeak hours to the rear entrance of the building.
The Panera Bakery application was approved 80 Board Member Todd Evans, who arrived late for the presentation, abstained.
The Fenwick Group’s first Panera Bread Co. franchise opened in West Orange on August 3.
Mr. Nawn said he hopes to open the Westfield franchise by December.
The next regular meeting of the board is set for Wednesday, September 15, at which time the revised plans for the Cacciola Place development will be presented to the board for final approval.
Preliminary OK Granted To CentralCacciola Plan
Royal Conservatory of Music Susan B. Rosenberg • (908) 769-6355 Lessons in my Studio, your Home or Day Care Centers
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Junior League’s Jumble Store Opens Today for Fall Sales
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Janis Fried Weinstein, who chairs the Personnel Committee, should have been named to the Selection Committee.
Mayor Jardim said it was his opinion that the Personnel Committee is responsible for personnel policy but not necessarily personnel decisions.
Third Ward Councilman John J. Walsh, a Democrat, noted that the hiring of a new administrator is “probably the most important decision the council will make.” He said all council members should “speak clearly and fully” during the selection process.
In other business, Town Engineer Kenneth B. Marsh announced that the town will be taking bids on Monday, September 27, for the town’s new sidewalk replacement program.
Over 100 homeowners applied to have their sidewalks included in the program prior to the July 31 cutoff date, a response Mr. Marsh described as “overwhelming.” Those persons who applied after the cutoff date will have their sidewalks replaced as part of next year’s program, officials said.
The council included a line item of $100,000 in the 1999 budget, an amount to be split evenly between the town and residents, for replacement of sidewalks. As part of the program, residential sidewalks will either be replaced or leveled off.
On another matter, the Westfield Corporation, Inc., a major mall operator, has indicated it will change its advertising so as not to be confused with downtown Westfield. The company owns the Garden State Plaza shopping mall in Paramus.
In a letter sent to Downtown Westfield Corporation Executive Director Michael LaPlace by Westfield Corporation, Inc. Executive Vice President Randall J. Smith, the latter corporation has announced its plan not to use television advertising that reaches the Town of Westfield or, for that matter, Union County.
In addition, the corporation said it has no plans for regional magazine and outdoor advertising for the remainder of the year. Likewise, no radio advertising is planned by Westfield Corporation, Inc. in New Jersey for the remainder of 1999.
It was the corporation’s “Westfield, It’s a Wonderful Town” radio spots, broadcast during the 1998 holiday season, that first sparked the ire of Westfield town officials. The company has since changed its campaign slogan to “It’s a Wonderful Town,” thus removing “Westfield” from the advertising jingles.
Town officials expressed concern at the time that last year’s holiday radio spots were confusing in that many people might assume the ads were actually promoting downtown Westfield. The Garden State Plaza is located in Bergen County — over 25 miles from Westfield.
Westfield Corporation, part of Australianowned Westfield America, Inc., officially began promoting the Garden State Plaza last year as a Westfield America shopping mall.
Council members, who still are not completely satisfied with the changes, have requested that the special counsel hired by Westfield send a letter to Westfield Corporation, Inc. outlining a counter proposal.
Under a separate discussion, Councilman Goldman presented a draft ordinance to the governing body, as sought by New Jersey Common Cause, which would remove the awarding of professional service contracts from party politics. New Jersey Common Cause is an organization which strives to ensure government integrity by eliminating potential conflicts of interest.
The ordinance would require that outside professionals be hired on the basis of their qualifications and through competitive requests for proposals, or rfp’s.
Among the services to be included in the ordinance are financial advisory and insurance advisors, as well as land use and planning consultants.
Nonprofessional service companies, such as those who do road paving, are hired through the open bidding process per the state’s Public Contracts Law. Professional services, however, are not hired through the bid process.
The ordinance would be aimed at ensuring that information regarding the qualifications, experience and responsiveness of consultants and other professionals is presented to all members of the Town Council as part of the award process.
Mr. Goldman said he will “fine tune” the ordinance before bringing it back to the governing body to be considered for a future council agenda.
Council members also agreed to let Mr. Gottko hire a TV36 coordinator as per a job description written by a subcommittee of the TV36 Advisory Committee. The coordinator will be an employee of the town and will be responsible for developing a betterutilized communitybased station.
CRANFORD — The Jumble Store, operated by the Junior League of ElizabethPlainfield (JLEP), will open its doors for business today, Thursday, September 9, at 9: 30 a. m.
The Jumble Store carries a wide selection of items, including clothing for everyone in the family, as well as jewelry, shoes and housewares. There is also a maternity section.
All proceeds from the store are donated to benefit community service projects.
The store is introducing two new programs this fall. One is a consignor referral program. Individuals who refer a new consignor will have their registration fee refunded, for the first referral only. For every other referral, the existing consignor’s name will be entered into a drawing.
The other new program is Seniors Discount Day. Starting in October,
senior citizens will receive a special discount on selected merchandise on special sales days. More details will be announced over the next few weeks.
Selling hours are 9: 30 a. m. to 3: 30 p. m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 7 to 9 p. m. on Thursday and 10 a. m. to 3 p. m. on Saturday.
Consignment hours are 9: 30 a. m. to 1 p. m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 7 to 8 p. m. on Thursday and 10 a. m. to noon on Saturday.
The JLEP is an organization of women dedicated to improving their communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Membership is open to all women over age 21.
For more information, please call (908) 7091177.