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Bloomfield Stories to Watch in 2014

Patch's picks for stories to look for in the new year.

Military Leave Cops

Bloomfield patrol officers Michael McCracken and Hector Cartagena are accused of falsely claiming time taken off from their police jobs as time spent serving in the military as Air Force reservists. The officers have been suspended without pay since Dec. 4 in advance of hearings about their jobs. While Bloomfield residents have rallied around the officers through social media and organized action, the Bloomfield PBA and SOA have called the officers’ actions “unprofessional” and view them as “tarnishing reputations of their department and their fellow officers.” 

School Budgets

Bloomfield schools are coming off of a tumultuous year marked by prolonged debate over budget shortfalls. When the budget passed, school officials said the district was on sure financial footing. Since then, Bloomfield has welcomed a new Superintendent of Schools in Salvatore Goncalves and new leadership on the School Board, who may take a new approach to budgets and finance in the new year. 

New Leadership for the Bloomfield Council

For the first time in 12 years, Bloomfield swears in a new Mayor in 2014. The summer retirement of outgoing Democratic Mayor Raymond McCarthy cleared the way for the candidacy of his fellow party member Michael Venezia. Venezia will be joined on the council by freshman politicians in councilors elect Joseph Lopez, Wartyna Davis and Carlos Pomares. The new faces for town hall are sure to bring new ideas and change to the township.

Lion’s Gate

The Lion’s Gate Current plans for the Lion Gate-Scientific Glass project call for constructing 104 townhouse units at 8 Lionsgate Drive off Broad Street near Bay Avenue, at the old Scientific Glass site. Critics of the plan, notably including councilman Nick Joanow, believe the project entails serious risk of flooding and will contribute to overcrowding. An ordinance  will allow Bloomfield to acquire the property for use as a park and recreational space through eminent domain. 

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