Town Engineer Retires As Council Opens New Year

By on January 14, 2018

Verona Town CouncilThe Verona Town Council appointed a new township engineer on Monday, January 8, after Jim Helb retired from the position he had held for more than three decades. 

“Jim played a significant role in a number of the projects that have taken place in Verona over the years,” said Mayor Kevin Ryan, “like the building of the community center. I know that Jim was very proud that he tapped into the Verona water wells up on the hills, the design and overseeing the town turf fields–Centennial, Liberty and Freedom–the refurbishing of the water tanks, the re-lining of the water mains in town, the upgrade of the water meters. He was involved in the renovation of the library that is currently underway. Hopefully, Jim’s legacy will live on in those projects.” The new engineer will be Glenn Beckmeyer of Beckmeyer Engineering PC in Rutherford.

Helb’s was not the only retirement of note on Monday. Ryan announced that Bill Trafton has retired from the Verona Public Library after 34 years. “He was a fixture and a mainstay at the circulation desk,” said Ryan, “and he’s seen many changes at the library over the years. Bill goes back to the days of the card catalog, long before computers became a fixture in the library. He’s watched generations of Verona families grow and is a good friend to many in our community.”

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The Council also announced the appointment of Verona Police Department Captain Christopher Kiernan to be the VPD’s acting chief. Kiernan is a Verona native and 1987 graduate of Verona High School who joined the Verona Police Department in April 1990.

In other action, the Council meeting once again simmered with discord between Council members Michael Nochimson and Ted Giblin. Nochimson requested that the Council add to the minutes of its December 4 and 21 meetings transcripts of remarks made about him by Giblin. Council members remarks, as part of their meeting reports or otherwise, are typically not included in the bare-bones minutes. The Council approved the request, with Giblin voting no.

In Nochimson’s report to Monday’s meeting, he asked for the addition of a snow blower attachment to town snow removal equipment. Town Manager Matthew Cavallo demonstrated that that would not be cost effective. Giblin noted that there is a bill before the New Jersey state legislature that could allow more Verona restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages. Giblin said that the Verona Park boathouse could also apply for one of the new licenses if the state approves the measure. And there was a lengthy back-and-forth between Council members over whether the town’s sewage fee should be based on water consumption.

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The full agenda is here and all approved resolutions are here.

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