Fire Chief Recommends New Fire Alarm System
Also, township council hears concerns about the town's water supply and volunteer ambulance service.
Bloomfield Fire Chief Joseph McCarthy has recommended that the township install a new town-wide fire alarm system, because the one currently in use dates back to 1890.
"The infrastructure is worn out,” he said, noting that “a fair amount” of the boxes in town are not working.
“It presents an image of false protection in schools, churches or on the street,” he told Monday's township council meeting. “Realistically, we’ve reached a point where it’s not feasible to use them any more.”
The council supported McCarthy's proposal to install a new system. The aim is to install it by June or July of this year so "the kinks will be worked out in time for the start of school."
--Bloomfield resident Aurora Catanera questioned why the township did not telephone residents to inform them of the contaminants recently found in the town’s water supply.
Township Administrator Yoshi Manale responded that the situation was not an emergency. Had it been an emergency, he said, the township would have notified all residents by phone.
Catanera then asked whether there was any news regarding rent control in the township. The mayor replied simply, “no.”
--Bloomfield resident and BOE member Dr. Paula Zaccone protested the fact that the Bloomfield Volunteer Ambulance Squad charged her $810.50 for a ride of less than one mile to Clara Maas Hospital.
“My concern is that our ambulance squad is labeled ‘volunteer’ but I have in my hand a bill for the amount of $800, plus $10.50 for mileage charges, that goes to a post office box in Matawan, New Jersey,” she said.
-- Objections to the selection process of professional service contract awards were voiced by Councilmen Nicholas Joanow and Elias Chalet. Afterward, Councilman Bernard Hamilton discussed the importance of elected officials taking classes in subject areas like community relations, community policing, fire codes and understanding the bonding process and how it affects municipalities.
“Rutgers [University] offers a "Newly-Elected Officials" class,” he said. “People think, you get elected and then you know everything. But that’s not the case.”
Mayor McCarthy recommended that recently-elected Councilmen Elias Chalet and Carlos Bernard avail themselves of the opportunity to learn more about town governance.
“I would like you [both] to go to Trenton to learn,” he said, while Township Administrator Yoshi Manale added that the township has “allocated a certain amount of money for council members to take classes.”