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Getting Issues Off of Their Chest

Public Comments 10/12/16 Perth Amboy Council Meeting

PERTH AMBOY – Resident Stanley Sierakowski wanted to know who was paying for Ben Ruiz’s attorney fees for his recent trial. He wanted to know more about the settlement against Ruiz for $150,000. “Also, the Mayor got a tax abatement on her house. What was it for and was she qualified?”

Resident Susan Batista wanted to know who can sponsor getting a resolution on the agenda. In previous meetings, Batista complained that one was removed from the Zoning Board illegally. She said, “Elaine Jasko had put that Resolution on the agenda and Jasko is a private citizen. Jasko would have had to get 20% of signatures on the petition of how many people voted on the last General Election.”

Acting Law Director Rainone answered back, “There is no such thing as sponsoring a resolution. Only the Council can approve what’s on the agenda.”

Susan Batista responded back, “I got an email from the City Clerk about my removal from the Zoning Board.”

She also questioned the resolution R-424 authorizing CDBG funds to the Boys and Girls Club. “Is this money going to the one in Perth Amboy? They also have a club in Carteret. The one in Perth Amboy is a day-care.”

Council President Lisa Nanton responded to Batista questioning on who decided what goes on the agenda. Nanton said, “I have a meeting with the Business Administrator, the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and the City Clerk to decide what goes on the agenda.”

Resident Jeremy Baratta had a question to ask Acting Law Director Rainone, “I believe the maximum amount you can be fined in Municipal Court is $1,250.”

Rainone corrected, “Actually it’s $2000.” He then read him the stature where he could find the information.

Baratta had comments to make about handicapped spots on public streets. He mentioned that he is a member of the Handicapped Parking Committee. “If someone has a driveway, they should not be getting a handicapped spot on the street. If there is a driveway on a rental property, the landlord of that property cannot prohibit the tenant from parking there.”

Baratta had positive comments to make about the Intersect Fund Company. “I’ve met them at SBA (Small Business Administration) events and I believe they are legit.” He concluded by saying, “I thank Fernando Gonzalez about questioning the Sheltered Hearts Organization.”

PAHPC (Perth Amboy Historic Preservation Commission) Commissioner Anna Daily had concerns about the Thomas Mundy Peterson Property on the corner of High and Commerce Streets. “The City still owns that property. Before the property is deeded from City Ownership, please put a statue of Thomas Mundy Peterson on that corner. After people from out of state find out about the history of Thomas Mundy Peterson they were surprised. We want to get this to be nationally known. We need to get approval from Perth Amboy before soliciting for outside funds.”

Councilman Bill Petrick answered Daily’s concerns and stated, “We need a proposal first.”

Councilman Fernando Irizarry added, “We need more specifics such as parameters.”

Daily responded, “We will forward information. Suggestions are coming from other people.”

Sharon Hubberman came up to speak next. She talked about the busses parking at the train station. “An easement is needed to alleviate traffic at Amboy Avenue/Rte. 440. I think the Council should call the Attorney General’s Office to come to monitor each polling place during the General Election.”

City Clerk Elaine Jasko commented to Hubberman, “I’ve already done so.”

Hubberman continued, “We need a fair and democratic process and I’m asking for all the residents and all the Council to send letters to ask the Attorney General to have representatives at the polls.”

Alan Silber came up to speak next. He wanted to know, “Does the Boyd House pay property taxes. You (the Council) should have a criteria to read settlements that are on the Agenda with huge amounts. There are busses, vans and cars parked at the Public Safety Complex. What she (the Mayor) did at the last PARA Meeting was disrespectful. Who sent the representative from PARA to the Council to read that letter from the PARA Attorney. She talked after the vote was cast. There should have been another vote taken.”

Renee Skelton who is the Vice-President of the PAHPC came up to speak. She told the Council, “The HPC Commission is preparing a resolution regarding the Thomas Mundy Peterson Proposal and it should be coming to you in a few weeks with specifics.”

Enid Crespo who is running for City Council came up to speak. She wanted to know if an ordinance had been changed about the property behind the Wilentz School where the Dominican Festival has been held.

Business Administrator Adam Cruz have already submitted their application for the Festival for 2017.”

Madison Avenue Resident Mary Vera came up to speak and wanted to know, “Was it possible to change the Festival to Rudyk Park and enough is enough! She also wanted to know, “How much are the owner’s of the school busses at the train station paying to park their busses there?”

Vera also complained about all the handicapped parking and yellow lines on the streets. “People also have to go to South Amboy and Woodbridge because their station are handicapped accessible. An ordinance was passed in order to let theses busses park at our train station.”

Fernando Gonzalez responded, “This administration allowed this to happen and the bus companies are paying $55/Month per bus.”

Mary Vera concluded with following comment, “Perth Amboy is a dumping town. I’m sick and tired of it.”

Fernando Gonzalez added that he wanted to add this as a topic of discussion: the number of busses parked in the train station and the money the City has made so far from them.

Councilman Joel Pabon commented, “I saw a memo about parking at the train station, but that memo said nothing about school busses parking there.”

Council President Lisa Nanton asked for a list of the owners of those busses. “I heard that most of them are not owned by anyone who lives in Perth Amboy.”

Mel Knight came up to speak about the Thomas Mundy Peterson Monument. “Is there a timeline to address this issue? If the property is owned by the City, we don’t need permission from outside entities.”

Nanton responded to Knight. She updated Knight on what was said early at the Meeting regarding Thomas Mundy Peterson. “As soon as the Council gets the resolution, we can move forward with it. The resolution was not agreed by every HPC Member.”

Knight responded back, “There were enough votes from HPC Members to pass the resolution. The clock is ticking on that project.”

Councliman Joel Pabon responded, “It all depends on what kind of project (the HPC wants).”

Knight concluded with , “They need to know how much property they are getting  first.”

Councilman Fernando Gonzalez cautioned, “We can’t put the cart before the horse. We have a commitment to a project everyone can be proud of. Let the process go on.”

Councilman Bill Petrick says, “The administration controls this.”

The discussion continued about Thomas Mundy Peterson and Mayoral Candidate Sharon Hubberman suggested that the Thomas Mundy Peterson monument be placed at Caledonia Park and be renamed the Thomas Mundy Peterson Park.”

Council President Lisa Nanton spoke, “Since the time I’ve been Council President we’ve had three Business Administrators and three Law Directors in one-and-half years. The Acting Law Director just arrived and he is amending ordinances for us. The park that you are talking about is an International Park. If you want to make a change, you need to get a petition started.”

Councilman Ferando Irizarry said, “The Historic Preservation Commission wants the Thomas Mundy Peterson Monument on the site of his home. They don’t want the monument anywhere else.”

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. May 22

• City Council, Caucus, 4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. May 24

• City Council, Regular, 7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THUR. May 25

• Historic Preservation Commission, 7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

All Meetings are at City Hall, High Street unless otherwise noted.
Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!

South Amboy Calendar

WED. May 17

City Council, Regular, 7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. May 31

• Planning Board, 7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!