Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Officials and members of the public applauded the return to the old form of health governance.
At the Springfield Township Committee meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, the Committee voted to re-form the township's autonomous Board of Health. With the vote, the board of health will once again be an appointed board of residents able to make recommendations and take actions indepently of the Township Committee. This marks a change from how the board operated in the later parts of 2012, when officials changed the Board of Health from an autonomous board to one composed of Township Committee members and residents. The change, which passed in June, 2012, followed a series of protracted and contentious discussions. The vote was split across party lines, with the Committees three Republicans voting in favor and the two Democrats voting against. …
Monday, October 8, 2012
Candidates urge residents to attend Wednesday's Board of Health meeting.
The following is a message from Democratic Candidates Margaret Bandrowski and David Barnett. ----------------------- The second meeting of the newly-constituted Board of Health, comprised of the members of the Township Committee and appointees, will meet this coming Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Ken Faigenbaum Meeting room at Town Hall. Please attend! At the first meeting of the new board, Marc Krauss was appointed Chairperson. By contrast, the Chair of the previous Board of Health is a doctor with years of public health experience. Unsurprisingly, the meeting was dominated by Mr. Shehady who ran most of the discussion. Reports were given by Megan Avallone, Health Officer of the Westfield Department of Health. Springfield has been …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Supporters of autonomous board clash with officials in rancorous meeting.
The health board ordinance did not go down quietly. The Township Committee meeting where the vote took place was punctuated by frustration and anger by officials, township volunteers and residents. Springfield Mayor Ziad Shehady repeatedly stopped the meeting to admonish spectators for heckling. The spectators bristled at officials’ statements, accusing them of rudeness and unprofessional behavior in comments and exclamations. Township Administrator Anthony Cancro started the public hearing on the ordinance with statement he said was intended to clear up confusion. He described the town’s health system as a “three legged stool” with its legs comprised of the health code professionals who enforce the rules in the health department, the …
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Township Committee will absorb functions of formerly autonomous board.
Following a protracted and contentious discussion, the Township Committee passed the ordinance overhauling Springfield’s Board of Health on Tuesday, June 26. The vote was split across party lines, with the Committees three Republicans voting in favor and the two Democrats voting against. With the vote, the Board of Health will be composed of the Township Committee members and two residents with expertise in public health. It replaces the seven-member autonomous board composed of volunteers that the township previously had in place. The matter has been fiercely debated in meetings, print and online publications and social media since the changes were first proposed in May. The tensions boiled over at a packed Committee meeting that was …
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Much-debated ordinance will decide if board remains autonomous body or if Township Committee absorbs its functions.
Springfield officials will decide the future of the Board of Health tonight. The Board, presently composed of seven residents appointed by the Township Committee, meets monthly and steers the Township’s health and safety regulations. Along with the Township Committee, it is one of two governmental bodies in Springfield that can pass ordinances. The Springfield Township Committee is considering dramatic changes to the township’s board of health. Under the proposed change to township ordinance, which is up for final vote tonight, that configuration would be replaced by a board of health made up of the Township Committee members and two residents with expertise in public health. While some officials tout the move as a cost-saving effort, …
Monday, June 25, 2012
Signs urging support for autonomous board are dotting homes throughout Springfield.
Supporters of the current Board of Health have put up lawn signs throughout Springfield calling for residents to help retain the autonomous board. The final vote on the proposed changes to the board is tomorrow, June 26.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
A look back at the notable goings on in the township in recent days.
The big story in Springfield this week was the reaction to the proposed changes to the township Board of Health. Under the proposed changes, the board, currently composed of seven volunteers appointed by the Township Committee, would be replaced by a board of health made up of Township Committee members and two residents with public health backgrounds. The issue took up the lion's share of Mayor Ziad Shehady's Message from the Mayor, where he argued that the board's autonomy was not an inherent virture. He said that having the Township Committee absorb the board's functions would streamline processes and create efficiencies. Springfield Board of Health Chair Dr. Samir Shah doesn’t think the whole story was presented in Shehady’s message. …
Friday, June 15, 2012
Board president says that there are distinct advantages for autonomous boards.
In response to the Springfield Township Committee's proposal to absorb the functions of the Board of Health, New Jersey Local Boards of Health Association President John Saccenti issued a press release expressing the need for Health Boards to remain independent. The statement identifies "distinct advantages" for autonomous boards, including the potential for having members with health expertise and their ability to dedicate significant time to municipal health matters. "It does not make sense, nor is it good government, for the locally elected governing body, as well-intentioned as they may be, to take over the roles of these community boards," Saccenti writes in the statement. In his Mayor's Message for June, Springfield Mayor Ziad …
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Residents argue for continuing the board of health as an autonomous body.
While the future of the Health Board won't be decided on until June 26, Springfield residents gathered at the June 12 Township Committee meeting to make made their feelings on the proposed changes known. Former officials, political candidates, board of health members and residents expressed dismay at the changes under consideration for the board during the meeting’s public comment section. Under the proposed changes, the board, currently composed of seven volunteers appointed by the Township Committee, would be replaced by a board of health made up of Township Committee members and two residents with public health backgrounds. Former Township Committee member and current Democratic candidate for the committee David Barnett spoke first. A …
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Samir Shah says Mayor Shehady's assertions about the Board of Health are false.
Springfield Board of Health Chair Dr. Samir Shah doesn’t think the whole story is presented in Ziad Shehady’s latest message from the Mayor. The message, printed here, is largely concerned with proposed changed to the board of health. The Board, presently composed of seven residents appointed by the Township Committee, meets monthly and steers the Township’s health and safety regulations. Along with the Township Committee, it is one of two governmental bodies in Springfield that can pass ordinances. Under the proposed change to township ordinance, that configuration would be replaced by a board of health made up of the Township Committee members and two residents with expertise in public health. While Shah took issue Shehady’s individual …