Mayor speaks of plans and projects for the coming year

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia met with his municipal department directors on Wednesday, Nov. 9, following his victory in the elections. Venezia won 72 percent of the vote and his council running mates, incumbent Councilwoman Wartyna Davis, challenger Ted Gamble and incumbent Councilman Carlos Pomares, won 70 percent of the total votes for council seats.

“I thanked everyone for being as good as they were, for getting me re-elected,” Venezia said in a brief telephone interview earlier this week. “I asked them to come up with what they lacked in 2016 and their goals for 2017.”

Venezia plans a community meeting on Nov. 29. He anticipates he and Township Administrator Matthew Watkins will sit down with each director.
“We’re in very good shape,” he said. “I want to add more technology to every department and put more on the website.”

Venezia said he is going to focus on being more engaged with the community and having more town hall meetings in order to get a sense of what the community wants.

He also wants monthly spending reports posted on the township website so residents know how their money is being used.

On Grove Street, where the Department of Public Works and Parks headquarters are located, the mayor hopes to have the unused buildings taken down “sooner than later.” He said the department would remain on Grove Street or be moved to another site.

He also had an idea for what he thought would save money.
“It’s what I saw Paramus doing,” he said. “We’re spending money on sending cars to auto body and mechanic shops.”

The mayor said he would like to see Bloomfield have a repair shop for its municipal autos.

“We need the lifts to get the cars up,” he said.
The Recreation Department is doing a great job, he said, and the Engineering Department would stay as it is. He expects more bike racks to be installed around town and at the train station, by the Department of Health. He said he would like to find out how extending the Monday evening hours to 6:30 p.m. of certain municipal departments is working out. The departments affected are tax collection, construction code, clerk, engineering and health. But his main goal, Venezia said, was on reaching more residents through people-friendly technology.