Township taking steps to update meeting recordings

For some residents, watching the video recordings of council meetings is their only way of keeping up-to-date with town happenings.

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Recently, an issue with these recordings was brought to the attention of councilwoman Katherine Falcone and municipal clerk Aileen Chiselko.

When the directors speak and give their reports at meetings, they aren’t facing the camera and at times their reports are inaudible. This is cause for concern for the residents who rely on the televised meetings.

“So many people watch this, this is their only way of hearing what’s going on,” Falcone said during the Nov. 12 council work session. “You can’t hear, you can’t see, you don’t know who’s who.”

“I did speak to the camera guy after the meeting and he’s going to try to go between me and the table of directors and try that view for the next meeting,” Chiselko said.

Ensuring audible, clear recordings is important to the members of council and will be rectified in the near future. They plan to work with the camera operator to get the best angle possible, whether it’s the angle Chiselko suggested or by setting up in the center of the court room.

In other news:

• During public discussion, resident Glenn Groves discussed the alleged illegal actions of his neighbor, Steve Smith, owner of Peach Country Tractor, Inc. Groves sent members of council a drone video outlining the continued violations of Smith’s business.

“We know the township has sent letters to cease these violations. From what we see Peach Country has not. They have taken no action from what we can see from directly across the street. We, again, respectfully request you to proceed with enforcement promptly,” Groves said.

“Do we want a dozen or two dozen of these renegade businesses that do not abide by the law and do a great, great negative impact to the community?” he questioned. “Following the news and knowing what’s going on in the community, we know our Master Plan is a bit outdated and the township is looking at the Master Plan after 15 years.”

Groves is alleging Peach Country illegally operates on 40 acres of land when they only received permission to operate on 10 acres. He added the drone video shows 19 tractor-trailer-sized storage containers on the property, without taking into consideration smaller storage units.

With a new Master Plan on the horizon, Groves acknowledged that the township will look to be open for business. He warned them about having the reputation of being easy going, as it could attract “renegade businesses.”

“We’re moving forward with the enforcement aspect and we’ve had meetings,” township solicitor John Trimble said. “We’re taking appropriate steps.”

• Council Vice President Joe Marino polled council to set the reorganization meeting on Jan. 6.

• Councilman Cody Miller spoke about the recent election and thanked the residents of Monroe Township for electing him to fill the unexpired term for Ward 2.

“I’d like to commend Jay Reed on a well-fought campaign,” Miller said, “I know we’re going to do some great things and we’re going to continue to hold the line on property taxes here in the municipality and work to bring in businesses so people have places they can enjoy so we can bring additional revenue to support our initiatives.”

• The next council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 25. A work session starts at 7 p.m. with the regular meeting following at 8 p.m. Both sessions will take place at the municipal building and are open to the public.

Anthony is a graduate of Rowan University and a proud freelance contributor for 08108 magazine. He has past bylines in The Sun Newspapers and the Burlington County Times.
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