Past Newsletters

Council Action Taken Last Night


Hi everyone, we had quite the meeting last night. If you didn’t get to watch, you can check it out here. You can skip around by chapter in the video if you want to focus in on a topic with those respective remarks and votes. 

We had over three hours of public comment, which really speaks to how much people in this town care about what their local government is up to. I really want to thank everyone who came and made their voice heard on a number of issues. I also want to acknowledge the continued courage of my colleagues, in particular Mayor Spiller, Councilor Price Abrams and Councilor Schlager for sticking together to get some important things done despite significant opposition. 

Over the last few weeks and including last night, the four of us have:

While the broader Council has also been able to do things like:

  • Make massive investments in public health, sewer, water, and parking infrastructure
  • Save HomeCorp
  • Ban Bamboo (effective Sept. 4th)
  • Hire a new Senior Services Director, Health Director and as of today, a new Social Worker

I also heard the concerns many have expressed on other matters and those need to be taken seriously and addressed. In particular we must:

  • Get the result of the O’Toole Scrivo fire department exam investigation out there as soon as possible
  • Quickly improve response times for open public records requests. 

Lackawanna Plaza Next Steps

Last night the Council successfully introduced the new plan (thank goodness). I’m waiting to hear back from our attorneys and to determine with my colleagues if the plan needs to go back to the Planning Board for an additional review. If so, they would have approximately 45 days to provide additional feedback on changes made to plan (even though our plan already addressed their concerns — ahhh government). I will keep you all posted on whether this means the plan will come up for a final vote in either September of October. From the point of adoption, you can expect 9 months to a year, depending on how quickly the Planning Board and developers can move, to create the highly detailed site plan. From there, firms are hired and the construction process begins. This will take years. 

All Gas Powered Leaf Blowers Are Banned Year Round

Dramatic, but necessary, we will now become the second municipality in New Jersey to completely ban these devices. This will cause disruption to your traditional lawn care services and I strongly encourage you to work with those companies to modify your service agreements as soon as possible. I suggest you have an honest conversation with your company about your expectations for how your property is maintained. Talk with them about mulch-mowing leaves, leaving some leaves, your level of comfort with some mess being left behind and much more. While many will need to invest in electric equipment, they will be saving on fuel costs. I hope most of Montclair will take the opportunity to reimagine lawn care overall.

Thank you to Sustainable Montclair, Quiet Montclair and my colleagues for all of their work. I know Councilor Russo — long a champion for this change would have voted for it if he could have been there last night.

We will be working to establish a $10,000 buy back fund to support homeowners who own electric equipment making the transition. More to come on that from Township Management. 

Lastly, please note that the start time for lawn care services in Montclair will remain 9am on weekdays and 10am on weekends.

Here’s a bulleted list of the other business we took care of last night:

  • Renewed of Ascend’s cannabis retail license
  • Approved the transfer of liquor license 0713-33-002-008 from Mont Clair 401, LLC. to MHG Morimoto MTC, LLC
  • Established a salary range for a newly created social worker position
  • Accepted over $200,000 in grants for lead pipe remediation with most dedicated via the Childhood Lead Program grant
  • Accepted over $400,000 for Climate Change Resilience work (TBD)
  • Awarder a three food truck contracts to operate by the high school to: Silantro Lime Tacos, Ann’s Catering, Mezoco
  • Approved fixing on-street parking regulations around Christopher, Label and Oxford Streets as well as Seymour Street
  • Allocated (some amounts are approximate, within $1K):
    • $800,000 to improve various municipal water distribution lines
    • $400,000 for water treatment and security upgrades
    • $375,000 for:
      • A water main project on Bloomfield Ave. near Upper Mountain
      • Upgrades to “manholes” that have structural and infiltration issues
      • Initiating work to eventually bring groundwater online at Rand Well thanks to a $2M grant that Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill obtained for us!
    • $35,000 towards MPD software/reporting systems
    • $300,000 to construct a garage facility for a water system flusher truck
    • $500,000 to refurbish lining and remove infiltration within our sanitary sewer system
    • $350,000 for general sanitary sewer system improvements
    • $40,000 for an emergency water main leak repair on Walnut St. 
    • $10,000 to repair a sink hole on Norwood near Glenwood
    • For Parking Facilities: $80,000 for cameras, lighting and security; $50,000 for acquisition and installation of meters and pay stations; $20,000 for EV chargers
    • Increased our contract with Cameron Animal Hospital by $40,000 due to both an increase in volume and costs
    • $90,000 to upgrade the safety of the stairwells at Town Hall
    • $35,000 for utility software upgrades

Thanks, everyone. Enjoy the balance of August.


Our mailing address is:
41 Watchung Plaza, Suite 318
Montclair, NJ 07042