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Westfield Town Council Asked to Oppose Closing of State-Run Developmental Centers

Jackie Lieberman

Friday, December 20, 2013 • 1:43pm

WESTFIELD, NJ — Joanne R St. Amand, president of the Woodbridge Developmental Center Parents Association, asked the Westfield Town Council to pass a resolution opposing the closing of the Woodbridge Development Center and the North Jersey Development Center at the council's regular meeting Dec. 17. The state-operated facilities serve people with profound intellectual disabilities.

Jenelle Blackmon, staff representative for CWA Local 1040, also spoke, telling the council that Westfield’s tax payers were asking for their help, and that the death rate would be 47 percent higher for these individuals if they were to be taken out of the centers.

“These centers are very important to our families,” said St. Amand, whose sister has lived at WDC for more than 37 years. She argued that closing the centers would shift the burden into the municipalities where these individuals would need to live in group homes that would not have the active treatment plans that the centers provide.

To read more about that town council meeting, click here.

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