At its meeting on Tuesday, January 17, West Windsor Town Council approved the following:
— The administration’s recommendation to re-hire an affordable housing consultant from Princeton-based Piazza & Associates at a cost of $17,000, or $1,100 a month plus expenses, explained Business Administrator Robert Hary.
— A recommendation for a shared services agreement with Hopewell township for emergency coverage in municipal court sessions. Hary explained: “We would share court staff in the event of illness or any emergencies where people could not make it to work. We would either go over there or they would come here. This would be more of an exchange of labor rather than an exchange of dollars,” he said.
Hary says similar agreements existed in the form of mutual aid with fire and emergency services going out to assist other towns as a prime example. Hary said unless overtime is involved, the agreement calls for Hopewell to pick up the regular cost of West Windsor’s personnel and vice versa.
— Council approved a request for a 48 percent reduction of performance guarantees for the Princeton Theological Seminary’s replacement housing project. Hary said that the reduction would still leave $2.5 million in cash and bonds for the township.
— BL Companies had also requested a 30 percent reduction of performance guarantees for the new Rite Aid on Princeton-Hightstown Road, which council also agreed to. Hary said that $85,000 would still be left in the account.
— One ordinance introduced will make it mandatory for taxicabs and other vehicles for hire operating in the township to have their taxi numbers painted on the vehicle and have a medallion or placard indicating which township they service visible from the outside. The ordinance would update West Windsor Township Code to reflect new state statutes.
— A public hearing will be held on an ordinance for a salary and wage plan that Hary described as a follow-up. In December the township came to multi-year agreements with the police, Communication Workers of America, and municipal unions so it must set forth new pay scales for each,
“Now that we have our contracts with most of our employees settled, in order to provide the increases that were negotiated we need to modify our salary and wage ordinance based upon new salaries,” Hary said. Hary said this is a mandatory procedural matter when new agreements are ratified. He also clarified that changes made by the ordinance would not include West Windsor firefighters because an agreement has not been finalized yet.
Council members Bryan Maher and Linda Geevers wondered whether the timing of this measure, ahead of any budget review by council, was putting the cart before the horse.
“I don’t know how the rest of council feels but perhaps the changes to those salaries should be put in at a later date. My personal preference would be to have budget discussions first and then have the ordinance reflect the changes,” Geevers said.
The public hearings on both ordinances will take place at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, January 30 at 7 p.m.
West Windsor Police Promote Two, Add Two. Due to the retirement of two members of the West Windsor Police Department, minor organizational changes were made and two new patrolmen have joined the force. Bill Bastedo, a 24-year veteran of the West Windsor Police, was promoted to Lieutenant while Lee Evans, a 20-year member of the force, was promoted to sergeant.
The two new patrolmen, who both hail from Hamilton, are Brian Jany and Daniel Latham.
Latham, 28, graduated from Hamilton West High School and spent time in the Navy afterwards, eventually going through the Navy Seals training program. He completed police academy training at Mercer County Community College in 2009 and worked as an officer in Trenton for two years. Last September Latham was among more than 100 Trenton cops who were laid off due to budget cuts.
The 22-year-old Jany is the nephew of longtime West Windsor Agricultural Advisory Committee member Steve Jany. His father, Frank Jany, is Steve’s brother and a fellow farmer at the family’s Rustin Farms at 1234 Windsor-Edinburg Road.
Councilman George Borek offered some advice for the two new recruits. “Listen to these older gentlemen who are before you. They’ve gone through the ropes, they understand everything, and they will teach you well,” he said.