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Tuesday Night: Ask The Mayor

May 14, 2022
Town of Harrison Eagle AD 1936 Front Door Town Hall

On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, it is Ask The Mayor Night starting at 6:30 pm on Zoom. Anyone who has a question about lack of Green Spaces, Hours of & Locked Playgrounds, Red Bulls game traffic and lack of access to apartment buildings, Town of Harrison Water Quality, PSE&G Gas Line Replacement Mayhem, Lack of Parking in Town, the Amount of Money Generated by Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs), Property Taxes and higher rents, and Flooding in SOHA has the opportunity to ask questions and make a public statement at the Town of Harrison Mayor & Council meeting during the Public Session.

The Agenda

Tuesday’s Agenda is available online and although it does not contain a line item for the Public Session by law there has to be a Public Session and it is merely an inadvertent error on the part of whoever typed up the Agenda.

The Meeting will start at 6:30 p.m.  Plan to be on time because Town of Harrison Mayor & Council meetings are usually quick.  There is usually very little discussion on items on the Agenda.  Listen for the announcement of the Public Session. More information on the Public Session is below.

The Mayor & Council Meeting is held over Zoom by using the following link, on your computer or smartphone. Link to Town of Harrison meeting

If you are using your Smartphone it is recommended that you download the Zoom app to Android or Apple to improve the quality of the session.

You can also dial in using any telephone by dialing 1 646 876 9923 and putting in when prompted the Webinar ID 845-1965-9227 and Passcode: 479413

You can also go to Zoom’s website and put in the above Webinar Id and Passcode to gain access to the meeting.

Public Session

During the public comment portion of the Mayor & Council meeting, anyone wishing to ask a question or comment may do so by using your computer or Zoom app the “raise hand” feature.  Those using Zoom’s telephone feature have to enter *9 on their phone.  Those unfamiliar with Zoom, please note that the “raise hand” button is usually out of view at the bottom of your computer screen and you must scroll down the area at the bottom of the screen for it to be revealed and clicked on.  All microphones of anyone participating as a public member are muted.  So if you can’t find the “raise hand” button or dial *9 on your phone, you cannot get anyone’s attention that you are having an issue with the Zoom program.

If you are on your computer, you may be able to raise your hand before the announcement so you are not left out.  It is recommended to check to make sure your hand is raised once the Public Session announcement has been made.

Only one person can speak from the public at a time and you must listen for your name so that you can address the Mayor after being unmuted.  The Mayor & Council have a five-minute maximum time to speak per individual at the Public Session. You can get a lot of information if you ask questions in five minutes although other towns have 10-minute maximums.  The Town Clerk who runs the meeting can mute you after the 5 minutes but rarely is that done. Mayor Fife can extend your time so do not let the 5 minute time limitation be an excuse for you not to participate in the Public Session.  Also, note that there is no Video of citizens who are speaking at the meeting only audio.  So you can ask your questions from anywhere that does not have a lot of background noise.  No worries about your hair being a mess.

Lastly, if you know that you can’t make the meeting or will make an excuse not to attend the meeting despite having a question, you can email your question and/or comment to the Harrison Town Attorney & Town Clerk Paul Zarbetski at [email protected] or dust off your typewriter to type a letter and send it to Paul J. Zarbetski, Town Clerk, 318 Harrison Avenue, Harrison NJ 07029.  You need to submit the question or comment at least 2 hours before the scheduled meeting time.

The Agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is available here Agenda for May 17, 2022.  The highlights: A Contract to update the Library Park Basketball Court for $130,760; changing the Table of Organization for the Police Department temporarily; Refunding a Developer the amount of $84,351.34 due to refinancing of 2012 bonds in March of this year; and a Resolution for Handicap Parking Spaces.   If you want any details or documents related to anything on the Agenda you can email Paul Zarbetski in his role as Town Clerk to obtain those more detailed documents.

Remember, The quality of democracy depends upon the degree of public participation. Democracy survives if you participate in it starting in your local community.

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