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Cameras, Pay Raises, Cannabis at Mayor & Council Meeting Aug. 1, 2023

Aug 01, 2023
Harrison Town Hall Harrison NJ

The upcoming Mayor & Council meeting in Harrison, New Jersey, scheduled for Tuesday, August 1, 2023, at 6:30 p.m., via Zoom is set to discuss several significant issues that could have far-reaching implications for the town's governance and public safety infrastructure. The agenda includes two controversial ordinances for adoption, a proposed pay increase for the Mayor and Council members, amendments to the town's cannabis law, and resolutions concerning the Public Safety Video & Network System and the operation of the Harrison Parking Garage. 

Citizens can participate by Zoom by clicking here or by dialing in using the phone number (616) 931-3860 with the Webinar ID 845-1965-9227 and Passcode 479413. As stated above, the meetings starts at 6:30 p.m.

Pay Increases for Mayor & Council 

The first ordinance for adoption proposes a substantial pay increase for the Mayor and Council members. The proposed increase is over 300%, a move that has sparked debate among the town's residents. Critics argue that such a significant increase is unjustified, especially in the current economic climate. Supporters, however, maintain that the increase is necessary to attract and retain qualified individuals in these positions. 

Amending Cannabis Law 

The second ordinance for adoption pertains to the town's cannabis law, which has already been amended twice. The specifics of the proposed changes according to the Town Clerk of Harrison have to do with oversight of the 2% Town Sales Tax being imposed on sales further refining the town's ability to audit and enforce collection of the sales tax. Other changes were to the substance of the law but it was not clear from prior amendments whether the Mayor & Council were expanding the Town’s law to allow more retail and/or growing facilities in the Town of Harrison. 

More Expensive Cameras 

The meeting will also discuss resolutions authorizing the purchase of additional cameras as part of the Public Safety Video & Network System. The Mayor & Council previously allocated $1 million for this project, which included the purchase of 32 cameras at $3,375 each. The current resolution proposes the purchase of an additional 93 cameras for $690,000, which equates to $7,419.35 per camera. The significant increase in per-camera cost has raised questions, with no clear explanation provided by the Mayor & Council. 

No Bid Consultant for Harrison Parking Garage 

Finally, the Mayor & Council are set to hire Tom Calu Consulting LLC in a "Non-Fair and Open Contract" to operate the Harrison Parking Garage. This no-bid contract, valued at $5,000 per month, has raised eyebrows. The rationale behind hiring a consulting firm to operate the parking garage, especially one located next to the Harrison Path Station, remains unclear. 

The upcoming meeting promises to be a pivotal one, with decisions made that could significantly impact the town's future. As such, residents must stay informed and engaged, ensuring that their voices are heard in these important discussions. 

Let Us Know Your Thoughts on our Community Discussion Board.  If you have not signed up yet to participate you can Sign Up now.