MICKLETON — At their meeting on Sept. 12, the East Greenwich Township Committee made an addition to their local police force with the swearing in of Patrolman James DiMarco.
East Greenwich has been steadily rebuilding their police department since a series of layoffs that took place four years ago due to budget constraints that cut back the numbers.
“One of the characteristics that jumped out at me about Officer DiMarco was his integrity,” commented Township Mayor Dale Archer. “Without integrity there is no leadership.”
“It’s always a special moment when we get to bolster our police department,” Archer added.
Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin offered his own congratulations to DiMarco and his family. “I was very impressed with your level of maturity and experience to get to where you are now,” he said.
Later, the Committee aided the community’s police department in a resolution by authorizing advertisements for the hiring of Special Law Enforcement Officers, and discussed promoting a local department candidate to sergeant.
Elsewhere in other resolutions, the Committee authorized Archer to execute an agreement with Gloucester County for joining the Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. They also memorialized the base bid to Ronald Janney Electrical Contractor for Thompson Family Park Athletic Field lighting for the soccer fields in the amount of $147,900.
Another resolution authorized the hiring of Rae Hoglen as a crossing guard.
During the public portion of the meeting, Michael Skowronski of Mickleton repeated his concerns about children’s safety in walking to school due to the elimination of bus transportation for some in the East Greenwich School District. He mentioned a New Jersey statute which read, “A school district shall work in conjunction with municipal officials in determining the criteria necessary for the designation of a hazardous route.”
Archer has said that the school system controls the bus scheduling. Solicitor Mark Shoemaker noted, “The Committee can voice their opinion, but have no power to take action.”
“If it were up to me, I would tear that school budget apart,” commented Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri. “But there are a lot of different factors involved.”
“When it comes to the safety of our children, we should cross every T and dot every I,” Skowronski insisted.
He says children of 12 families on seven streets are effected by the elimination of bussing.
Skowronski asserts there are no sidewalks, blind curves, hills with inadequate sight lines, and cut-through traffic on their path to school.
East Greenwich Township has made safety improvements by adding signage, striping, and lighted crosswalk signs on Kings Highway.
by Robert Holt