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Livingston Residents Still Confused About Executive Session Agenda Items

Jason Cohen

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 • 6:56am

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Residents continued to voice their confusion as to why agenda items for executive session are not listed on the agenda at the Livingston Town Council meeting Monday night.

Nothing was debated or discussed at length among the council members besides being informed of a new insurance policy the town is receiving in 2013. The few people who attended the meeting questioned why the executive session only said personnel and why it does not specify what matters will be discussed.

Mayor Stephen Santola and fellow council members said they aren’t required to say more and a further description is available online, but residents did not agree. Bernard Searle, who has been attending Council meetings for 17 years, said he has asked several times for them to list what will be discussed in executive session on the agenda, but his efforts have been unnoticed. Searle said he is usually told it’s there or they will get to it.

“They ignore it,” he said.

In other news, resident Larry Kohn raised the issue of places in town that aren’t handicap accessible. On Saturday night, he went out for his wife’s birthday with several family members to Sweet Basil in town. They made a reservation, but when they arrived, his grandson, who is in a wheelchair could not enter the restaurant.

They left, but called Sweet Basil and were told to come back. Kohn said there also is a hole with rocks in front of the restaurant that needs to be filled with concrete.

“They told us it was accessible,” Kohn said.

Furthermore, neither the manager nor the owner was there, which didn’t help, he said. While the owner called him and apologized on Sunday, Kohn went to the Building Department on Monday and they said would look into it. The Building Department is not responsible for enforcing the federal Americans with Disabilities Act law.

He said he hopes the Council can look into fixing problems like this.

“The Livingston Town Center has what I consider major handicap-accessible problems,” he said.

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