Springfield Week in Review

A look back at the notable goings on in the township in recent days.

The most recent Springfield Township Committee meeting coincided with the eleventh anniversary of  Springfield officials marked the anniversary by starting the Committee meeting with a prayer and a remembrance.  Minister Victoria Ney read a non denominational prayer asking God for healing and peace, saying "Give us peace, your Shalom."  Following the prayer, officials spoke on the significance of the day. Committee member Rich Huber, who spoke first, recounted his  of escaping from inside the World Trade Center during the attacks with his normally sonorous voice became shaky as he spoke. 

At the Sept. 11 Springfield Township Committee meeting, . Corea, a longtime member of the department who has taken an active role in community engagement, was promoted to Captain. In addition to his experiences ensuring public safety as a firefighter, Corea has been active with past Toys for Tots drives with the department. 

Springfield . Richard Rosell, who has for the last two years overseen Springfield’s  and  departments and the , is leaving the job. Rosell was the only one to hold the job and will not be replaced. Rosell told Patch that the end of his employment with Springfield was a expected, and that it was an inherent part of his agreement when he took the job.

In his , Springfield Mayor Ziad Shehady broke down property tax bills, saying that despite the township's lean budgeting, property tax bills are increasing because of obligations to the County and state. Also, he said that the largest increase in this year's municipal budget is from pension obligations deferred in 2009 by then-Mayor Bart Fraenkel and former Mayors Hugh Keffer and Ken Faigenbaum. Fraenkel chafed at this characterization of events, saying that Shehady was . 

BART FRAENKEL September 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM
The residents should also know that Mr. Shehady has eliminated the right to ask the TC members questions, during the public comments portion of the TC meetings. He tells people they can only make comments and that their time to speak is not for dialogue, unless he doesn't like their comments and then he chastises them. The public absolutely has the right to ask their elected officials to answer their specific questions on the record, where their response is recorded. According to the mayor he answers questions during his open office hours, but of course without his response being 'on the record' he can always say his answer was misunderstood. When one resident asked how to contact him, Mr. Shehady advised the resident his contact information is on a garbage can on Mountain Avenue, outside the bagel store. When I heard that, I thought I was listening to The Colbert Report.
Stan B September 16, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I've watched the TC meetings on cable and I am not impressed. The 'mayor' only gets to chair a meeting, not issue orders to the public or other TC members. Before we moved away the first time back around 1993, I was at TC meetings to ask about the town's affordable housing plan. During the public part, anyone was invited to speak on any subject and the TC was wiling to stay and listen to everyone. What happened? Why are the other TC members letting it happen? From what I see on TV, there are three members of the TC, Shehady, Amlen and Huber. Kraus and Fernandez are empty shells occupied by Shehady. How does Shehady's office hours let the public converse with anyone else?


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