SCOTCHPLAINS—Mayor Joshua Losardo on Tuesday set out the township council’s 2024 agenda, which will include further progress on downtown redevelopment, more improvements to parks and recreation programs, continued attention to veterans residing in town, more environmental-related events and programs, and new crime-fighting tools for the police department.
At the governing body’s reorganization meeting, Mr. Losardo — starting his fourth year as mayor — said the planning phase for the sale and development of the public properties in the central business district is “well underway” and also includes, besides the various mixed-use buildings, a new facility for township emergency responders on Plainfield Avenue, a new library and municipal offices on Bartle Avenue.
He said a series of town-hall-style meetings will be held to update residents on the process and the plans.
The council is “committed to improving all municipal parks,” the mayor said. Kramer Manor and Haven Parks will be the focus of upgrades this year.
Saying that while Scotch Plains is a safe community, “we are not immune to crime,” the mayor directed Township Manager Al Mirabella and Police Chief Jeffrey Briel to identify tools and technology that can assist the police department “in keeping our town safe.”
Environmental and veterans issues and initiatives will be a focus for, respectively, Councilwoman Elizabeth Stamler and Councilman Roshan White.
At the start of the meeting, the council chose Ellen Zimmerman to serve as deputy mayor for a second year. She thanked her colleagues “for the trust you have in me” and, echoing remarks she made last month, told them she had “never met a more selfless group of people.”
James Pastor was sworn in as the new municipal judge. He replaces Kelly Waters, who was recently appointed a Superior Court judge after nearly eight years in Scotch Plains.
Mayor Losardo, speaking about the numerous appointments to various local boards, commissions and committees, said, “This town runs on its volunteers” and added, “We are grateful.”