Essex County, Municipalities Partner for Bloomfield Avenue Safety Campaign

BY  |  Wednesday, May 10, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Mayor Venezia helps kickoff campaign outside Bloomfield Town Hall on Tuesday.

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) is partnering with Essex County and six municipalities to launch a multi-town Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign along Bloomfield Avenue.

Bloomfield Avenue is one of the busiest corridors in Essex County, which creates serious pedestrian safety concerns. From 2011 through 2015 there were 256 pedestrians involved in crashes, resulting in 3 fatalities and 226 injuries. Continue Reading

Bloomfield Councilman Elias Chalet Pleads Guilty To Soliciting, Taking $15,000 Bribe

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 2:50pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bloomfield Township Councilman Elias N. Chalet pleaded guilty today to soliciting and accepting a bribe of $15,000 from a business owner, promising the owner that he would use his position on the council to ensure that the township went ahead with its planned purchase of the man’s commercial property.

Chalet, 55, of Bloomfield, N.J., who is the councilman for Bloomfield’s First Ward, pleaded guilty today to a second-degree charge of bribery in official and political matters before Superior Court Judge Martin G. Cronin in Essex County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Chalet be sentenced to five years in state prison, including two years of parole ineligibility under New Jersey’s Anti-Corruption Statute. He must forfeit $15,000 in funds, representing the bribe payments he accepted. He also must forfeit his public position and will be permanently barred from elected office and public employment in New Jersey. Chalet was arrested on Nov. 16, 2015. The bribery charge was contained in a Jan. 29, 2016 state grand jury indictment. Continue Reading

Bloomfield Teen Joins Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

BY  |  Sunday, May 07, 2017 1:41pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Sandy Hook Ride on Washington (SHROW) is in its 5th year of raising awareness about gun violence and pointing a spotlight on the inaction of the US Congress regarding sensible firearm legislation. This year, Benjamin Douglas of Bloomfield, NJ joined the #Team26 riders who are symbolically turning their backs on Washington D.C.’s inaction and riding from the U.S. Capitol to Newtown. This year, the team is focusing especially on the Campaign to Keep Guns of College Campuses.

The 400 mile ride began Thursday May 4th, 2017 in D.C. and finishes on Sunday, May 7th in Newtown, CT with a Welcome Home rally. At 15 years old, Montclair Bikery’s Benjamin is the youngest rider, but it hasn’t slowed him down one bit. Benjamin is the latest bicyclist associated with the Montclair Bikery to join the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington. Herb Jimenez rode with the team more than once, and owner, Dave Adornato, rode with Team 26 last year. This year, in addition to Benjamin Douglas, Montclair Bikery member Bill Brunner of Fairfield, NJ joined the ride. Continue Reading

Bloomfield Council Adopts 2017 Budget, Hires Planning Director

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017 7:29am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Bloomfield Council voted 6-0 to adopt the 2017 Municipal Budget at Monday evening’s council meeting.

The resolution adopting the $80m budget was passed unanimously by the council members present. Prior to the vote, the floor was opened for a public hearing. No members of the audience spoke. Councilman Carlos Bernard was absent.

Municipal Clerk Louise Palagano read into the record the first paragraph of Section 2 of the adopting resolution, which stated that the budget includes $58,845,456.08 for municipal purposes, $311,717.68 in the open space, recreation, farmland and historic preservation trust fund levy, and $1,447,929.22 for the minimum library levy.

The mayor and council also passed a resolution appointing Bonnie Flynn to the new position of Planning Director for the Township. According to her profile on the American Planning Association website, Flynn received her Masters of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and is a member of the New Jersey Association of Planning & Zoning Administrators, the Affordable Housing Professionals of New Jersey and the NJ Association of Floodplain Management. She is a Professional Planner and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Her previous position was Director of Community Development in Stafford Township, NJ, where she had broad responsibilities pertaining to planning and zoning, CDBG grants, affordable housing, and more. Flynn will officially begin her new position on May 15, 2017 at a salary of $96k.

During the public comment period, Susan Hebert of Greener Bloomfield thanked the mayor and council for supporting their organization and working with the group to renew the township’s bronze certification with Sustainable Jersey. She also provided an update on the recent Brookside Park Cleanup/flower planting sponsored by Greener Bloomfield. She thanked the High School Key Club, the Scouts, Hot Bagels Abroad and O’Boyle/Brookside Garden Center for their support.

Heather Nolan also thanked the council for its continued support of Greener Bloomfield, and said they hoped to hear soon about a grant they had partnered with the town to submit, which would help increase composting in the town and fund a feasibility study.

Michele Mickle, accompanied by her two young grandchildren, spoke about her son, Quenzelle Mickle, who was murdered two years ago, and urged the town not to forget about his unsolved homicide. “Where there is no justice there is no peace,” she said. She asked that anyone who has any information to call 1-877-847-7432 and ask for Jessica Mazzola.


  • Municipal Judge Vincent A. Pirone was reappointed to his position.
  • Thomas Heaney and Mike Salinas were appointed to the Bloomfield Parking Authority.
  • Flint Kinkade was appointed as an alternate to the Environmental Commission.
  • Damaris Hicks was sworn in as a member of the Rent Leveling Board.

Damaris Hicks is sworn in.

Continue Reading

R.I.P. Tom Fleming, Montclair Kimberley Track Coach and Hall of Fame Marathon Runner

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 8:27am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Tom Fleming, running legend who won both the 1973 and 1975 New York City Marathons and beloved track and field coach at Montclair Kimberley Academy, died suddenly yesterday while coaching at the SEC Track and Field meet in Verona. Fleming collapsed after taking a break from the cold in his car, from an apparent heart attack.

Fleming, a longtime resident of Bloomfield, also coached and founded the three-time USA National Cross Country Champions Nike Running Room in Bloomfield. He also opened the Running Room store in Bloomfield which served runners until from 1978-1999.

Fleming was 65.

Montclair Kimberley closed its Middle School today due to the loss. The school released this statement:

It is with deep sadness that Montclair Kimberley Academy announces the sudden and tragic loss of Tom Fleming, beloved teacher and coach. Tom died of an apparent heart attack while coaching his team at a meet on Wednesday, April 19 in Verona. He was 65. An integral part of our school’s community, Tom had been at MKA for 18 years, most recently holding the position of fourth grade teacher and the varsity boys and girls Head Coach in cross-country and track and field.
Continue Reading

Bloomfield Police Looking For Third Suspect in Robbery at Wendy’s

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 1:41pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bloomfield Police have arrested Ahmari Gilmore, 21, and Bobby Reed, 23, both of Newark, on charges of robbery and conspiracy, but they continue to look for a third suspect, shown in this photo taken by a witness.

Police were dispatched at 4:13pm on April 17 on a reported robbery occurring in the parking lot of Wendy’s located on Bloomfield Avenue. Witnesses observed 3 males attack the victim. The victim was punched and kicked while on the ground. The victim a 41 year old male was robbed of his Nike sneakers valued at $500.00 dollars. Several witnesses were able to provide descriptions of the suspects. Officers responding located two suspects walking in the area of Bloomfield Avenue and Watsessing Avenue. The two males were found to be in possession of one of the victim’s sneaker and a hat.

The third suspect (pictured) is still at large. The 41 year old male victim sustained cuts and facial bruising as a result of the attack. A witness was able to capture a picture of the third suspect running from the scene. Police are actively attempting to identify and locate the third suspect. Anyone having information regarding this individual please contact Bloomfield Police @ 973-680-4100.

Bloomfield Crime: Robbery, Theft From Parked Vehicles

Monday, Apr 17, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Theft from Auto
04/03/2017- The owner of (2) vans reported several tools valued at $2,900.00 dollars were stolen from his vehicles. The suspects gained entry by punching out the door locks. The vans were parked on Broad Street on Saturday 04/01. The owner discovered the theft on 04/03.

04/04/2017- A commercial work van was broken into over the weekend. The vehicle was parked in front of the employee’s residence on Corsi Road. Several power tools were reported missing.

04/05/2017- Two vehicles parked in a driveway on Warren Street were entered by unknown person(s). The vehicle doors were unlocked with the owner reporting a wallet and money missing from the vehicles. The theft is believed to have occurred overnight. Continue Reading

Bloomfield Crime: Stolen Car, Shoplifting, Burglary, Drug Arrest

BY  |  Monday, Apr 10, 2017 11:45am  |  COMMENTS (0)


The week in Bloomfield crime from Officer Ralph Marotti, Bloomfield Police Department:


03/27/2017- The owner of a 2014 Toyota SUV reported the headlights from his vehicle were stolen while parked on Linden Avenue. The theft is believed to have occurred overnight.

03/27/2017- Donovan Tharp age 32 of Nutley was arrested at 5:35pm and charged with Shoplifting. Police were dispatched to the Super Fresh Food Market on a shoplifter inside the store. Mr. Tharp attempted to exit the store with several boxes of toothpaste. He was issued a summons and released with a pending court date.

03/28/2017- The registered owner of a 2015 BMW X5 reported that unknown person(s) entered her parked vehicle and stole a wallet and loose change. The vehicle doors were unlocked. The theft occurred overnight on Carol Place.

03/28/2017- A package was stolen from a residence on Memorial Parkway. The package was confirmed delivered on Saturday by FedEx. The package is valued at $35.00 dollars.

03/29/2017- A cell phone was reported stolen from the Bloomfield Public Library. The owner left his IPhone 5 with a backup battery charging on a shelf inside the library. The owner returned from the bathroom to retrieve his phone and discovered it missing. Police are actively investigating incident. Continue Reading

Petitions Filed for Bloomfield Council Seats

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 05, 2017 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

bloomfield council

According to Bloomfield’s Municipal Clerk’s Office, the following petitions were filed for the ward level seats on the Bloomfield Council:

  • Jenny Mundell – Democrat – First Ward Council Seat
  • Nicholas Joanow – Democrat – Second Ward Council Seat
  • Sarah Cruz – Democrat – Third Ward Council Seat
  • David G. Tucker – Republican – First Ward Council Seat
  • Ciro A. Spina III – Republican – Second Ward Council Seat
  • Pedro Taveras, Jr. – Republican – Third Ward Council Seat

Carlos Pomares, Bloomfield’s councilor-at-large, is running for Freeholder for the 5th District for the Democrats. Currently, there is no opposition for Freeholder spot for primary or  general election.

Independents have until June 6 to file. The primaries will take place on June 6, the General Election will take place in November.



Bloomfield Council Unveils $80m Budget for 2017

BY  |  Monday, Apr 03, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Bloomfield council unanimously approved a resolution introducing the 2017 budget at their March 27th council meeting.

Prior to the vote, Township Administrator Matt Watkins described the budget as “financially flat” at approximately $80 million. He said the amount was just 0.25% higher than the previous year, resulting in a tax increase of less than 0.5%. Watkins stated that operating expenses will be down -6%. He said that the utility budget included funds for improvements being made to the water system, including water looping, cleaning lines, and exercising hydrants and gate valves in order to ensure good water quality.

Mayor Venezia added that the tax increase would translate into an annual tax increase of just $15.96 for the average homeowner, just under the increase for the previous year. The public hearing and adoption of the budget will take place on April 24, 2017.

Venezia also said there will be a PowerPoint presentation of the budget at the upcoming April 3rd conference meeting, which will be broadcast on Channel 35. In a Facebook post the following day, the mayor reminded residents that the Municipal budget accounts for 38% of residents’ tax bill (County and Board of Education taxes make up the remainder).

The meeting began with the appointment of Firefighter Duncan Arlett, who was sworn in by Mayor Venezia.

Firefighter Duncan Arlett is sworn in.

The mayor and council also issued a proclamation honoring Benjamin Contella for over 40 years of volunteer service in Bloomfield, including 28 years on the Bloomfield Recreation Board of Commissioners. He was presented with a key to the Municipal Park System.

The governing body also issued three other proclamations, declaring the month of April as Autism Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and the week of April 9-15, 2017 as National Library Week.

Alicia DeLia was appointed to the Civil Rights Commission, and Jody Polidoro to the Board of Health. Damaris Hicks and Suzanne Rogacki were appointed to the Rent Leveling Board.

Alicia DeLia is sworn in to the Civil Rights Commission.

The governing body passed a number of parking and traffic ordinances on first reading.

The council also passed an ordinance on meeting decorum sponsored by Councilwoman Wartyna Davis, which she said would ensure that both the members of the council and the public conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. The rules prohibit exceeding the 5-minute limit for public comment, slanderous or rude remarks, personal attacks, profanity, electioneering for candidates, or generally interfering with “orderly and dignified conduct” of the meeting.

The council also passed on first reading a revision to the Civil Rights Commission ordinance, redefining the membership to nine people in total, with seven voting citizens and two non-voting liaisons, one from the council and one from the Police Department.

Ordinances passed on second reading included the adoption of titles and salary ranges for various positions and a number of parking/traffic regulations.

Featured Comment

Stopped by on opening day to take out a dozen empanadas. Very welcoming space, especially with the storefront glass open on a warm spring day and sidewalk tables available; and, the staff were warm and engaged. The empanadas are soft and pastry-like, rather than the harder crisper type. They got a thumbs up from the Morales family, who loves them a good empanada!

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