GARWOOD — At its December 8 meeting, the Garwood Borough Council appointed Republican Rachel Herz to fill Councilman Louis Petruzzelli’s vacated seat after he resigned last month. Councilwoman Kimberly Salmon nominated Ms. Herz, stating that she is “a lifelong resident” who would be “a great asset to the council.”
“I would like to echo your sentiments,” Council President Jen Blumenstock said. “I’ve worked with Ms. Herz at the Education Foundation of Garwood and I have always found her to be hard-working, she brings new ideas to the table and [she has] a terrific work ethic.”
Ms. Herz’s seat on the council has been vacated twice in the past six months – first by Councilwoman Heather Loffredo, who stepped down in September, and then by Mr. Petruzelli, who resigned in November after attending only one meeting as an official member of the governing body. Ms. Herz will now occupy the seat for the remaining year of Ms. Loffredo’s original unexpired term. Garwood Board of Education member Salvatore Piarulli and former Garwood Council member James Mathieu were also listed on the council’s agenda as potential appointees.
Ms. Herz’s appointment was unanimously approved by the council. She was sworn in after taking the oath of office, administered by Deputy Clerk Kyle Harris.
“I’m eager to serve the borough. I’m honored,” Ms. Herz stated.
Officer Erick Schoenberger was also sworn in as a patrolman during Thursday night’s meeting. Mr. Harris administered the oath of allegiance.
Prior to joining the Garwood Police Department, Mr. Schoenberger served the Kean University Police Department for three years. Mr. Schoenberger is also a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves.
In other business, the council adopted an ordinance to amend the fire prevention chapter of the borough code, as recommended by the fire department. The changes incorporate minor language updates, including clarification that fire officials must be state-certified. In addition, the amendment allows fire officials to reassess inspection fees for noncompliance or missed appointments, and it also establishes adjustments to the inspection categories and fee schedule.
The council voted to amend the borough’s property maintenance regulations. Occupants now have 10 days to remove brush, weeds, grass, accumulated water and other debris from their properties after being served a notice to remedy the condition. Previously, the occupant had five days to remedy the condition.
Finally, the council introduced three ordinances, the first of which would add one additional patrolman to the permissible number of officers in such rank that may be hired by the borough. Currently, the borough may only employ 11 patrolmen.
“[T]he Borough has determined that increasing the number of Patrolmen employed by the Borough at a given time will likewise increase the Police Department’s ability to efficiently and effectively patrol the Borough and provide for the general welfare and safety of its residents,” a section introducing the ordinance reads.
The council also introduced an ordinance would establish a restricted parking ozone in front of 405 Willow Avenue, and the third ordinance would remove from the borough code non-statutory and non-officer job duty descriptions for positions with the borough. Rather, job descriptions would be determined by borough administration to ensure that the required qualifications and job duties remain current and up-to-date.