Municipal Matters: April 2024

April 6, 2024

Safety and Security

Safety and security of township residents has continued to be a drumbeat in our community. At the March 12th meeting, the Township Committee passed a local ordinance focused on resident protection as well as resolution supporting NJ State Legislature Bill A-3806 and S2819 to create more consequence for auto theft and introduce a pilot $7 million-dollar two-year grant to address challenges of juveniles involved in auto theft.   The purpose of the pilot program is to reduce the incidence of motor vehicle thefts in this State by providing services to juveniles intended to prevent them from engaging or re-engaging with the criminal justice system.  Services are to be provided by pilot program service providers awarded grant monies pursuant to the pilot program.   I supported the township ordinance and resolution in particular after speaking with Assembly and Senate legislators on both sides of the aisle, and confirming there is bipartisan support to move one of several bills on this topic that have been introduced.  

Affordable Housing

On March 21st, Governor Phil Murphy signed a package of affordable housing bills including A-4/S-50, which overhauls the Fair Housing Act including the elimination of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH).  With the signing of A-4/S-50, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will now begin the process of calculating the statewide and regional affordable housing need, as well as the municipal obligations. The law provides that the DCA must complete these calculations within seven months of the bill’s signing, which sets the deadline as October 20, 2024. Municipalities may accept the DCA’s calculation of their fair share obligation or adopt their own using the methodology outlined within the law through binding resolution before January 31, 2025. Interested parties have until February 28, 2025, to challenge municipal determinations. 

The Township Committee will host an Affordable Housing session to provide updates on the new bills on Wednesday, May 29th, 7pm, Town Hall, Warren Craft Room.  Save the date with details to follow.

County and Community

Lastly—I am the Township Committee liaison to our Agricultural Advisory Committee. This past Friday, March 22, Bernards Township was selected as the municipality for the County’s in-person Agricultural Day event, including presentations from three farmers, including local farmer Carol English, at Liberty Corner and Oak Street Schools.  The presentation included a dairy farmer who brought Ingrid a dairy cow, and a vegetable farmer who gave the kids a lettuce plant for their home gardens. Needless to say, Ingrid stole the show.  We are hoping to bring more attention to our local retail farmers, and this was a good way to partner with the County to highlight our local farming resources.  I worked with County Planner Kate Katzer to bring this event to Bernards Township. Kristin Fox, Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum and instruction was also helpful in communicating the opportunity to our schools.  Notable, Commissioner Paul Drake and Mayor Jennifer Asay provided welcome remarks.

Please continue to consult the BTDC Beat Calendar (On the Docket) for meeting dates. I hope to see you soon!

Get In touch with any questions or concerns: (201) 306-0178

Email: Please note that all correspondence sent will be visible to the full Township Committee and Clerk.

Follow on Social Media:  Instagram Facebook

– Committeewoman Ana Duarte McCarthy

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