New councilman seated Glen Soules replaces Dawn Fantasia until Dec. 31, 2019
PHOTO BY ANNA ROSSGlen Soules is sworn in as the newest Frankin Borough Council member.
By anna ross
FRANKLIN — Glen Soules took his seat on Tuesday night as the newest remember of the Franklin Borough Council on Jan. 22, replacing former Council President Dawn Fantasia, who resigned after being elected to the county Board of Chosen Freeholders. Three names were given to council for consideration to fill the vacancy created when President Fantasia resigned. Two potential candidates were present and given an opportunity to speak with Council. Ultimately, Municipal Clerk Darlene Tremont administered the oath of Office to Soules, who has been a borough resident since 1991. "The path we are on is a good one, and the future will be even better," Soules said. He took a seat with the rest of council immediately after taking the oath of office. Soules will serve until Dec. 31, 2019. The nomination process wasn't completely smooth as a couple of residents voiced concern of transparancy to the process during the public portion of the meeting. FinancingCouncilman Stephan Zydon, Jr., asked for a review of a couple of checks before payment distribution, discussion ensued about an additional bill from Blue Diamond Recycling services, SCUMA services, and even the difference between having a Recreation Committee versus a Recreation Commission seemed to boil down to money, with Council Member John Postas saying, “This has to do with how money is handled and being more transparent to the public.” Mayor Nick Giordano said the bill from Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCUMA) is a “substantial bill for flow rates.” Mayor Giordano indicated the flow rate averaged 28 percent higher in 2018 than over previous years. Borough Attorney Ursin called November’s flow rate “particularly alarming at 744,000, compared to 400,000 in previous years.” Council and public speculated as to why the follow rates were so high, and mostly centered on the amount of rain and snow this past year. Attorney Ursin recommended Council meet with SCUMA to understand how the bills are calculated and understand more about the process. Ursin said, “Probably a good time to go and discuss the causes of this, how to prepare for the future and understand the genesis of this. You will learn a lot from them. Get educated on what they look at.” The council passed an ordinance allowing the weight of 1 commercial vehicle in a residential zone be raised to no greater than 19,500 pounds gross vehicle weight. Part of the ordinance read, “Not more than one commercial vehicle not greater than 19,500 pounds gross vehicle weight shall be kept, placed or stored in any residence zone.” Previously, the allowed limit was less than half of 19,500 which according to Mayor Giordano, “…is less than a Ford F250 truck.” Also noted, “the provision shall not be deemed to limit the use of a commercial vehicle in connection with farming operations.” Councilman Joseph Limon shared various event dates to remember including Feb. 8 movie night at the Senior Center, April 27, Senior Spring Fling Dance, May 25, opening of the Pond, June 22nd Franklin Day, Carnival in September. Giordano reminded the council that in order to make those dates work, “We need to start planning now for these events.” Nick Giordano asked the council to allow the Borough Municipal Building to be a drop off point for food for Father John’s Animal House. He said, “Let’s do a good thing for our furry friends.” Mayor Giordano also indicated that he would love to see ice skating and sleigh riding at the pond. Ursin advised Giordano to reach out to the insurance company to “discuss rules and protocols with Risk Management.” Presentation was given by Tamaras Contreras from Forward Franklin Alliance, promoting a volunteer program called, “Snow Angels.” Volunteers would help elderly or disabled to remove snow from their cars. Contreras said, “Sometimes they have no funds or family or friends to help them.” The council suggested she contact the Franklin Borough Board of Education. “This is a great opportunity to teach kids about service and community,” Councilman John Postas said. Information on how to volunteer will be forthcoming.