Past Newsletters

Council Business and Other Updates

Good afternoon, everyone. I hope that you’re enjoying the beautiful weather.

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 25th, we have a Council Meeting at 7:00pm at Town Hall at 205 Claremont Ave. It can be attended in person, viewed on channel 34 or on our Township YouTube Live Streamhere. The very light agenda can be found here.

To manage expectations, we will not be voting on the budget, Lackawanna Plaza, Cannabis licenses, or taking action on the suspended Township Manager. Public comment should begin around 7:20pm after we adopt minutes and read a Proclamation recognizing the efforts of many who contributed to the new skatepark opening.

Below are some of things we’re addressing and some other updates that I wanted to provide.

First – Some Really Fun Community Events

From the AAPI Montclair Color Run to the Bike & Walk Montclair Climate Ride to the Out Montclair Spring Fling to the Montclair Little League Kick-Off, we’ve been having beautiful weather and I’ve been having a lot of fun. I hope you’re getting out and about and indulging in everything the Town has to offer. Soon I’ll be putting out a list of all of the upcoming festivals. You’re not going to want to leave Montclair this spring/summer/fall.

Okay, now onto more formal stuff…sorry…

Ordinance to Update Variance Application Fees – We have a simple Ordinance up for final passage which will raise development variance application fees from $250 to $500. 

Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance 

Following direction from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Preservation (NJDEP), all 553 municipalities in New Jersey, including Montclair, are required to update our Flood Damage Prevention Code. Failure to act on this and adopt this exact model Ordinance provided to us, would void our participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

From the Bureau of Flood Engineering:

A recent audit of New Jersey’s model ordinances by FEMA for conformance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations, 44 CFR Parts 59 and 60, resulted in a review of existing local flood damage prevention ordinances.  Based upon FEMA’s review, specific language related to NFIP regulations was not consistent.  Additionally, during Compliance Assistance Contacts with local floodplain administrators, it was determined that better coordination was needed between the three sets of regulations that regulate development and construction in the floodplain.  These regulations are: the NFIP implemented by local floodplain administrators, the New Jersey Flood Hazard Area Control Act (FHACA) implemented at the State level by the NJDEP, and the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) implemented by the local Construction Official.

Read our this new Ordinance here

Let’s Get Josh Weston into the New Jersey Hall of Fame

Montclair knows how to vote. Please take a moment to vote for our beloved, 94-year young Josh Weston, to be elected & inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJ HOF). We need hundreds of you to vote to ensure his election & induction. Everyone can vote once and voting runs until May 18th. 

Josh is the former CEO of ADP and an incredible philanthropist who has dedicated his life to education and human rights. Still, after the loss of his beloved wife Judy — known for her many good deeds in her own right; Josh is still at it leading the Judy Weston Awards for local public school teachers and  leading a session here in Montclair on Saturday on addressing the global water crisis. Please take a moment to cast your vote for Josh. Thank you.

Adopt-A-Mountie is Back! Can you help?

For the second year in a row, I’m teaming up with Aminah Toler and other leaders of Montclair Mutual Aid to raise funds to put together dorm room kits for some Montclair seniors heading off to college in the fall, who may not be able to afford some basic essentials. Like the class of 2022, the class of 2023 suffered an incredible interruption to their high school learning and social experiences and I want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make sure each young adult is set up for success as they move on to their next phase in their journey. Help us purchase, pack up and send these kids off with everything from towels and sheets to school supplies.

Please consider making a contribution to our efforts.

Controlling 5G Deployment in Montclair

Fun Fact: If your phone says 5G, it doesn’t mean that you’re on a 5G network. 

We are in the process of finalizing an Ordinance to put the Township in control over critical elements of how 5G apparatus is eventually installed in Montclair. This will ensure that the big companies can’t just come in and do what they want. Critically, we’re going to be dictating everything from the types of poles that can be used in specific zones and districts, to their height, to how far apart they must be and how the accompanying equipment must be contained and possibly concealed. We’ve taken a lot of time to get this right and I’m excited about ensuring there is order and standards for this deployment and it doesn’t become the wild west.

I will share a draft of this Ordinance in my next newsletter. 

Community Garage Sale!

From the organizers: Montclair residents it’s time for the first Town-Wide Garage Sale! May 20 & 21 from 10am –  3pm (your place). Clean out, declutter, recycle, reuse and make it fun for the family and community. You may find your treasure in the neighbor’s backyard! A garage permit is required, and a donation of $5 to the Montclair Human Needs Food Pantry is suggested.
Hurry, receive a yard sign while they last! Permit Deadline is May 10th. Follow us on  Facebook for updates.

We’re Planting Street Trees – Help Them Survive

Our street/curb trees have been facing more extreme storms and increased development, and are often threatened by insects and disease.

Often the soil around the base of the tree becomes compacted and oxygen can’t get to the roots. Root systems are less able to withstand drought and disturbance. While the lifespan of our backyard trees is well over 100 years, the life expectancy of our street trees is 7 to 15 years. So, here’s what we can do to help:

I love talking to people about local issues. I love it even more when people actually want to talk to me about local issues. I’m consistently hosting meet and greets (and some fundraisers) in living rooms all over Montclair. If you’re interested in hosting something for your network in town to come together and engage with me, please reach out and we’ll get it scheduled. 

If you know someone who might be interested in receiving these emails, please forward this to them. They can simply click this button and subscribe. On another note, if you don’t already, please consider following me on Instagram where I’m very active and trying to make local issues instagram-able (it’s fun watching me try).

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