MADISON, NJ – Council chambers were packed on Monday evening, Jan. 28, when the entire Madison Borough Police Force turned out for the appointment of Darren Dachisen as Chief of Police.
Dachisen commended his “brothers and sisters in blue – a great looking department” and said they are stewards and committed future leaders of Madison. “We are proud and eager to serve,” he said, recalling previous police chiefs he has served under during the last 21 years.
Also appointed were Joseph Cirella as lieutenant, Dennis Lam as lieutenant, Sean Plumstead as sergeant and Craig Perrelli as sergeant.
Former Governor Richard Codey and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey were present to award a New Jersey Green Acres grant of $1,267,000 for the borough to purchase 49 acres of open space.
A number of presentations were made during the evening. The Downtown Development Committee and the Madison Arts Council has proposed an arts banner program. They said 10 poles would be erected in the vicinity of Waverly and Lincoln Place to showcase 20 art works. The exhibits would be held from May Day through Bottle Hill Day and the poles removed and holes filled for the winter. They also suggested a pop-up gallery in a vacant downtown space. Maps would be distributed for walking tours. The idea, the representatives said, is to encourage visibility and vitality in downtown Madison. They are asking council for permission to proceed and perhaps display art in the Hartley Dodge building.
An update on the Madison Recreation Center funding plan was also given. The Madison Athletic Foundation update included results of the 50/50 raffle, with 1,600 tickets sold and a prize of $80,000 given to a resident of Long Valley. The MAF raised funding for the field house, with a kitchen hood provided by the Open Space Fund. A donor wall has been planned, with bronze plaques honoring donors.
The MAF has received $90,650 in pledges for the 2013 project. The organization is reaching out to local corporations for field signs - $1,000 for the first year and $500 for renewal. Next steps include a spring gala, corporate sponsorships, an annual appeal, user fees and reducing the principal. Donations forms are available on the MAF website.
The Community Garden volunteers have requested permission to install a sign, probably at the entrance on Ridgedale Avenue, no more than 2 feet by 3 feet. Councilman Ben Wolkowitz said the council should establish standards for consistent signage throughout the borough.
Borough Administrator Ray Codey brought up the issue of licensing commercial landscapers. Discussion centered on the private landscapers and additional demands on the Department of Public Works in terms of refuse and grass clippings. “It’s a work in progress,” Mayor Robert Conley said. He urged Codey to prepare a draft outlining procedures and guidelines.
Wolkowitz announced that a preliminary budget hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in borough hall. “We would like input from the public,” he said.