HomeMt Laurel NewsMt. Laurel council designates June as Pride Month

Mt. Laurel council designates June as Pride Month

Members also cite Girl Scouts and a township volunteer

Before reading through item agendas, Mt. Laurel council announced three resolutions to kick off its June 14 virtual session, one of which was to officially proclaim June as Pride Month.

The township’s recognition of Pride Month marks the first time it has acknowledged and celebrated contributions the LGBTQ+ community has made to America’s history and culture. 

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June also marks the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riots, spontaneous demonstrations by the gay community in response to police raids at Manhatten’s Stonewall Inn. The riots eventually resulted in Pride events every June.

“This governing body recognized Pride Month and hope it becomes an annual tradition that we continue to do,” said Mayor Stephen Steglik about council’s resolution. 

Steglik also cited the efforts of five Mt. Laurell Girl Scouts from Troop 21904 whose Blue Bird service project emphasized the importance of the creatures to the environment: They eat insects and mosquitoes known to destroy crops.

With the bird’s population in decline, the Scouts agreed to install six Blue Bird boxes in town, including near the Mt. Laurel community garden and on the walking path of Laurel Oak Park. The creatures were monitored weekly by the troops during nesting season to avoid unwanted twigs or predators, and as a result, many of the birds laid eggs in the boxes. 

“It is the desire of the mayor, township council and township manager to recognize Emma Moroski, Katherine Pappas, Katie Quinn, Annamarie Rodier and Devin Roskoph for their hard work on this project,” Steglik noted.

Council then expressed its gratitude to Timothy Stokes for his outstanding service in the community. A Mt. Laurel resident for 30 years, Stokes is known for helping his neighbors with lawn work or errands. After retiring from his job, he spent time working with students with disabilities and teaching them career skills. 

While the pandemic put a halt to that work, Stokes frequently walked the length of Larchmont Boulevard and several side streets to clean up litter. On average, he walks two to four miles and collects three to five bags of trash per day. 

“I hope more people step up to the plate and start taking care of their community as well,” the mayor told Stokes. “It’s a team effort to clean our community and to keep things clean. Thank you for everything you’re doing, not just in cleaning our streets, but in your volunteer work as well.” 

In other news:

  • Council authorized the Sustainable Jersey Grant application. 
  • Members also approved police body cameras in the 2021 municipal budget with NJ Statutes Annotated (NJSA).
  • Council granted tax relief to veterans with disabilities at block 808.01, Lot 3, and block 1601, Lot 18.
  • An ordinance was read at the meeting amending further standards for senior affordable housing. The public hearing date is July 12.
  • Second reading and public hearing were completed on an ordinance amending provisions on marketing of cannabis businesses in town. The mayor also addressed distance issues for cannabis sellers. 

“We move forward with a map that keeps cannabis 1,000 feet from residential schools, churches,” Steglik explained. “This is also similar and identical to our medical marijuana ordinance that was already in the books.” 

The next council meeting is July 12 at the municipal courtroom, 100 Mount Laurel Road, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be in person.


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