Lee Hale Remembered and New Jersey Residents for Action Speak at Westfield Town Council Meeting (Video)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • 9:37pm
WESTFIELD, N—At tonight’s Westfield Town Council Meeting, Acting Mayor Jo Ann Neylan called for a moment of silence to remember Lee Hale, who died Saturday.
Neylan praised Hale for his community support and service to Westfield. “We will greatly miss him,” she said.
“Westfield is a better town because of people like Lee Hale,” Councilman Frank Arena said later.
Former Westfield Councilman Kenneth MacRitchie said he was “Really sadded to hear of the passing of Lee Hale.”
MacRitchie went on to suggest that the budget work sessions of the town council (which are currently being held to determine the budget that will likely be adopted during April) could be open to the public.
“Only Westfield and Mountainside do it as a finance committee without the committee of the whole,” he noted. But even if the council chose to keep the meetings to only the finance committee members, the budget work sessions could be open to the public, he noted.
When he was a member of the council, MacRitchie said, “It was always open to the public.”
(Speaking in this video is Karen Egert. Members of the group later clarified that a representative of Mayor Bloomberg will come to Westfield.)
“We got no response from the mayor on how he stands on this issue,” said Karen Egert.
“We are here tonight to ask you as a council to ask the mayor to join us,” added Lori Bennett.
At one point Councilman David Haas noted, “I would love to see the mayor sign that,” and he said that New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg had a resolution regarding the issue on his website that he would like to share with the Westfield Town Council.
Resident Greg Kasko told the town council that he has emailed everyone on the council twice and contacted the Westfield Police Department regarding crossing guards directing traffic, as one guard was when two Edison School students were struck by a car as they were crossing in front of their school on Dec. 20.
“I believe this is a dangerous practice and it should be stopped,” said Kasko, who also said, “If it is authorized legally, I will back off.”
Town Administrator Jim Gildea responded that crossing guards are authorized to direct vehicular traffic by Title 39—which Kasko disputes.
Gildea also asked Kasko to stop filming the crossing guards as they worked, which he said was distracting.