MANCHESTER – Earlier this year, the governing body approved a rent leveling ordinance that impacts several senior communities. Residents of those groups were grateful for that action but some feel it needs to be expanded to other developments as well.
Sal Delgato, a resident of Silverwoods, came before the Council to strongly urge the officials to expand rent control to include other senior communities in the township.
Speaking in regards to his development and rental increases experienced there, Delgato said, “these people are senior citizens. They threatened them if they wouldn’t take the 18-month lease with a $400 raise or they would get a $700 raise.”
Mayor Robert Arace said he was scheduled to meet with residents of the Silverwoods development.
“I am asking you people to please do something. Come up with something. You came up with a 2% (cap) for those people, do it again for the rest of the people. I’m fighting for these people because they can’t come here and fight for themselves,” Delgato added.
In other news, Mayor Arace noted that he and council members Roxy Conniff, James Vaccaro and Michele Zolezi attended the school district’s strategic planning public forum held at Manchester High School.
“It was a very interesting way to gather feedback from the community. It was very interactive. A lot of parents and residents sat across from one another and were asked questions. (They) received input on Post-its and read them out loud, about what the district’s weaknesses, strengths and opportunities were. It was actually a really cool activity,” the mayor said.
He also reported on visiting the Whiting Firehouse for their bingo activity.
He and Council President Conniff visited the township’s community garden in Whiting. “It is very interesting and as soon as a plot opens up, I want to get one. It is $15 a year and you get a 20 by 20 and you get to grow your own garden.”
“It is peaceful, it’s beautiful and you get close to nature and get your hands in the dirt. It is a hidden gem in Manchester,” the mayor added.
He said he spoke to residents of Crestwood Village I and attended Coffee with a Cop at Allstar Bagel and visited the township’s emergency services building and watched the fire company conduct a joint training operation.
During the session Mayor Arace recognized National Library Week that will run from April 23 to April 29. Librarian Gwen Lareau represented the Manchester branch of the Ocean County Library system. The proclamation that he read noted that libraries are accessible and inclusive places that foster a sense of belonging and community and connect people to technology by providing broadband internet, computers and training that are critical for accessing education and employment opportunities.
Joseph Rucci, Jr. from the Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Committee accepted a proclamation for National Vietnam Veterans Day during the meeting. Mayor Arace read the proclamation that recognizes the Vietnam War, a conflict that was fought in Vietnam from 1961 to 1975 and acknowledges the completion of the United States Armed Forces’ withdrawal of combat troops on March 29, 1973.
“We acknowledge the divisive nature of the Vietnam War and recognize the brave and faithful service members who returned home to be caught in the middle of a public debate about the United States’ involvement in the war. We mourn the loss of more than 50,000 members of the United States Armed Forces,” the proclamation stated.