MICKLETON– — At their meeting on Jan. 12, the East Greenwich Township Committee passed a resolution hiring Patrolman First Class Michael Robostello for the community’s police department. Another approved resolution added K-9 Kilo to the local force.
East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer remembered a time when the town’s police department was dealing with layoffs. “Three years ago at this time was my first Committee meeting,” Archer recalled. “We laid off police officers that night because we were facing a $450,000 budget deficit.”
Robostello resigned that evening to save another officer’s job, according to Archer. “Mike had over five years of service in East Greenwich before he left,” commented the mayor. “It is a 100 percent honor to reinstate Officer Robostello.”
“I’ve heard great things about his dedication, professionalism, and work ethic,” added Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin. “I’m glad we had the opportunity to bring him back.”
In his police report, East Greenwich Deputy Chief Chris Everwine listed 15,829 calls to service by the department in 2015, with 3,045 motor vehicle summonses, 17 DWI’s, and 229 accidents.
Also, installation of car cameras for the department has begun, and Archer said that the East Greenwich Police would be equipped with body cameras this year.
In Municipal Alliance and Shared Services, Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri reported that East Greenwich courts received an award for transitioning from a single court into a shared service. “We hear nothing but good words from Woodbury,” observed Bottiglieri.
“Both Woodbury and East Greenwich Committees have given high praise to Committeeman Bottiglieri for his oversight, hard work and handling of the transition,” Archer added.
In Finance, Committeeman Richard Schober reported that budget workshops were underway, and the Committee expected to be on time with their submission. Archer credited Schober and Bottiglieri for their efforts, saying, “People don’t see the behind the scenes work that goes on with them.”
The mayor noted that East Greenwich started 2014 with less than $16,000 as its surplus, while they begin 2016 at over $750,000.
Elsewhere, the Committee approved the submission of a federal grant application for 32 sets of protective equipment for community firefighters. If approved, the grant would be worth $83,200 to East Greenwich.
And Archer touted the economic development in East Greenwich. “These are very exciting times,” pointed out the mayor. “In 2015 we welcomed new business such as Power Train, Vivian’s Nail Salon, Excell Hydraulics, Think Pavers, and the expansion of Botto’s Sausage.”
Archer also mentioned that a local resident would be opening a brewpub known as “Dead Fox Inn” on Whiskey Mill Road during 2016.
And Bottiglieri noted that the Committee plans to take steps regarding state funding of the local school districts. The Committeeman pointed out that New Jersey funds all districts at an average rate of 85 percent, but the State Department of Education provides only 49 percent of the funding constitutionally required by the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 for the Samuel Mickle and Jeffrey Clark Schools.
“Your tax dollars are subsidizing school districts that are over-funded by the state,” Bottiglieri explained. “Those districts include Harrison Township, Washington Township and Clearview Regional that receive over 130 percent of the allocated funding from the state.”
“It’s not fair,” stated Archer. “We’re not asking for anything additional, we just want to be fairly unfunded.”