2/15/17 Council Meeting
SOUTH AMBOY – Business Administrator Camile Tooker was happy to report that due to surplus funds from the Broadway Façade Program, the South Amboy Historical Commission and the South Amboy Arts Commission will each be receiving $7,500 for their programs.
Tooker explained, “In the past 5 or 6 years, CDBG Funds were allocated for different City Projects. This included the Façade Programs on lower Broadway and Sidewalk and Façade for Residents who met the criteria. This also included residents’ sidewalks. $134,000 of CDBG Funds were allocated. We’re receiving $40,652 this year. $25,000 will be dedicated to sidewalks and façades.”
During the Public Portion, Mary Szaro, the President of the South Amboy Historical Society came up to speak to let the Council know how much their support means to them and thanked them for the contribution of the money.
B.A. Tooker also gave an explanation regarding Ordinance 1-2017: To exceed the Municipal Budget Appropriation Limits and to establish a Cap Bank. “This is done every year to allow us to use funds from previous years to use for years going forward without going over the Cap established by the State.”
During the Council Comments, Councilwoman Christine Noble congratulated the Administration on the great job they did with the Block Grants.”
Council President Mickey Gross congratulated the Committee for the great job they did. “You hit a home run in my book.”
Councilman Tom Reilly mentioned some of the arts programs that were coming up. He then turned his attention to Broadway, “The Zoning and Code Enforcement Departments should focus on cleaning up that street to move it in the right direction.” He also had a suggestion for the Planning Board and Redevelopment Agencies. “They should get together so that traffic is directed back into South Amboy. The Housing Project on lower Main Street should be a part of that focus.”
Councilman McLaughlin agreed with Reilly’s assessment of Broadway. McLaughlin also wanted to thank Emergency Services for the job they did after the recent snowstorm.
Council President Mickey Gross had additional comments. He thanked Public Works for the great job they did after the snowstorm and asked B.A. Tooker, “ Please, convey that to their staff. Emergency Management also does a great job. Gross who is also chair of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade reminded everyone about the events taking place leading up to the Parade. “On Saturday, March 18, 2017 there will be a Breakfast and Flag Raising and a full night of free entertainment to be paid for by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Sunday, March 19, 2017.”
Later in the evening, Council President Mickey Gross became very upset at a Perth Amboy Resident who has been recently shown up at Business and Regular Council Meetings. This Perth Amboy Resident often complained about problems that he said he’s having with a judge and police officers in Perth Amboy. When this resident started speaking about thos Perth Amboy individuals again, Council President Gross stopped him. Gross stated it was not appropriate for him to discuss any problems having to do with Perth Amboy personnel.
That resident then turned to South Amboy City Attorney John Lanza for advice. Lanza said, “I have to defer to Council President Mickey Gross. It’s his call.”
At this point, the Perth Amboy Resident said, “What is this – Russia?”
Council President Mickey Gross, who was visually upset after this remark answered him, “Stop comparing us to Russia. I take offense and you should be ashamed of yourself! We are a hardworking government.”
At this point, a South Amboy Police Officer who was at the Meeting came over to speak to the Perth Amboy Resident and politely told him to leave.