Bucking the bureaucracy

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    Committee continues despite being ignored by the Town Council WEST MILFORD-Although speculation is that the Open Space Committee won't be reinstated by the Township Council, it continues to meet, albeit on an ad hoc basis with too few members to even have a quorum. The status of the committee is still questionable but that failed to stop it from holding its first meeting in five months. "This may or may not be a legal meeting depending on which council we listen to," said Byrne. "But we intend to do the work for which our committee was established by public referendum." Celeste Byrne, one of the four committee members reinstated by the council in January, was voted chairwoman by Michael Yumas, another appointee. Curiously, although the committee is meeting despite the Township Council's failure to appoint members, two council members attended the committee's meeting. Councilman Dennis Kirwan and Councilwoman Patricia Lotz-Moore were present. Whatever hopes their attendance may have caused, are probably false. A source close to the issue says the council has no plans of reinstating the 15-member committee. The Open Space Committee has been crossed off the Township Administrative Code as it is now posted on the official township Website. A public hearing on the code is scheduled for June 2. The committee received a presentation by Ross Kushner, member of the Pequannock River Coalition, who cited the latest data from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Watershed Management Area #3, the Charlottesburg area. The Pequannock is a Category One river, mandating the highest protection priority. The river runs from Charlottesburg Reservoir, through several towns down to Kinnelon. It includes 98 miles of watershed property. Kushner would like to see portions of land along the river acquired for open space. The land could then be used as stopping off points for canoeing. Byrne agrees, and says canoeing along the river would be a great family outing because the water is not deep and the scenery is beautiful.