Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Middletown Council Meets- Pt. 1

Last night prior to the meeting there was a petition circulating regarding a bill to make a summer weekend tax holiday. This is being promoted by the Newport Chamber of Commerce & the Council's Prez Semonelli. It was recently put forth to be part of the supplemental budget (no-go, surprise, surprise) & now part of the upcoming budget.

I declined because I think it difficult to justify giving the State's rather dire economic state. Any lost tax monies would need to come from elsewhere or more cutting in the budget will result. But this will have to be another article.

The Consent Calendar passed through rather quickly. The proposed amendment regarding windmills will require further discussion, along with the proposed budget. The latter is supposedly available online (a ream of paper needed), but I don't readily see it.

Block grant apps which provide fed'l funding aimed at low income residents passed through rather quickly. Speakers were from Head Start and other agencies serving this population. Monies is also being used here for the Senior Ctr. bldg. Spending money on Berkeley-Peckham rather than originally building a new building has come back to slap us in the face many times.

Some discussion involved the killing of invasive grasses at Second Beach (carex kobomugi). This weed (Asiatic sand sledge) squeezes out the long-rooted dune grass which helps keep the barrier protecting dunes intact. The grass grows in colonies and so is relatively easy to kill. Three apps of "Roundup" will be used under the supervision of a town biologist. An easy approval of the expenditure resultsed.

There was extensive discussion regarding a new ordinance to prevent gun discharge at Second & Third Beaches. Evidently waterfowl hunting with birdshot is allowed at Sachuest Point & some hunters in their boats have ventured too close to the beach areas. Ironic, since this is a wildlife refuge. It must make for easy pickings. This also passed but there have to be public hearings before it becomes law. Beach Commission chair Rian Wilkerson spoke to this. There is also a new ordinance involving kite & wind surfing. This regulates dates, hours, & place. Hearings happen next for both, then they may be voted up or down.

The first hearing regarding the proposed ordinance to require a town vote should there be any proposal to transfer any interest for Second Beach elicited no comments. The same for dog licensing. Don't understand the latter. We have that now. It must be some kind of language update. Register your doggie this month!

Antone Viveiros did not publicly speak regarding his written proposal to keep the PAYT trash collection system self-sustainable. Manny Mello complained regarding the removal of playground equiment from the former Linden School. Town Administer Brown ("The Quiet Man") explained that the equipment needed repair & would hamper the demoltion. He also explained that the Council would shortly be receiving an expenditure request for new equipment.

The memorandum from "The Quiet Man" (although his mic worked well tonight after complaints from Manny Mello while a sound check was being made) regarding the salary freeze for non union employees (?dept. heads) was passed with everyone thanking those people- for not complaining, I guess.

Part II later. Council Silveira was not there due to recent hospitalization. No supporting video- darn! I'll check the library but it does seem to take awhile before it gets there. You can watch the meeting tonight about 7 on Cox.
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