Tuesday night's Westfield Town Council meeting commenced with a proclamation opposing human trafficking presented to Martin Schwartz and Ruby Glassel of the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
Human Trafficking, the trafficking of persons for sexual or laborious purposes for money or one’s personal gain, is considered by the government to be the equivalent of modern-day slavery, according to Mayor Skibitsky who presented Schwartz and Glassel with the proclamation.
The Coalition is one of the first non-profit organizations whose goal it is to end human trafficking through educating the public and raising community awareness.
“In an effort to recognize and prevent the consequences of human trafficking” the mayor proclaimed Jan. 11 to be Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the town of Westfield.
Glassel thanked Westfield for “working with us to help fight this scourge of human trafficking” and Schwartz invited citizens to join the state-wide awareness day on Jan. 11 in Trenton on the steps of the State House. Call 1-877-986-7534 for more information.
Skibitsky proclaimed the month of November to be Pancreatic Cancer Month and presented a proclamation to Jeanne Gladis of Westfield, who accepted it on behalf of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN.) According to Skibitsky, more than 43,000 people in NJ are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year and more than 37,000 die of it—70 percent of patients in the first year after being diagnosed, and 90 percent of patients within the first five years of diagnosis.
With no cure and no improvement in death rates, the North Jersey Affiliates of the PANCAN aim to raise money to support patients and their families and find a cure. Having lost her father to the disease in 2008, Gladis stated: “Thank you to the town of Westfield for their support for fighting pancreatic cancer… it affects not just me and my family, but members of the community… [the cancer is] like a tropical storm… though we can make preparations, we can never really be prepared… [we are] able to support patients and their families and raise money for treatment.” For more information access: www.pancan.org
During the public comment portion of the meeting, John Dausend of Scotch Plains complained of insufficient signage around parking lots in Westfield—specifically across from the post office. Mayor Skibitsky stated that he will provide the Public Safety, Transportation and Parking Committee with the pictures given to him by Dausend.
Councilman Sam Della Fera noted that regarding General Ordinance No. 1996 An Ordinance To Amend The Code of The Town of Westfield, Chapter 20 residents will continue to pay sewer fees in 2013 but a portion of the sewer fee will be subsidized by the Town and fees for Westfield taxpayers will remain the same as they were for 2012. The fee for a single or multi-family home will be $170 for the year. Owners of townhomes or condominiums will be billed $135 per unit. Industrial and commercial building owners will pay $315 and owners of apartment buildings will be charged a fee of $100 per apartment. Residents can expect to receive their 2013 sewer bills by late February. Payment is due no later than April 1, 2013.
While the fee for 2012 was expected to generate more than $1.3 million, it accounts for less than half of the $3,548,584 bill the Town receives from the Rahway Valley Sewer Authority (RVSA). The Town expects that bill to increase for 2013.