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Hurricane Sandy, Dog Parks and More Discussed at Oakland Council Meeting

The council covered Hurricane Sandy response, the town budget, and the end of the world.

The Oakland council met on Dec. 5 to discuss a variety of issues, many having to do with the aftermath of Sandy. 

Mayor Linda Schwager gave a formal “thank-you” was given to Georgia Power for their assistance after the storm, and a letter of recognition was sent to the company from the borough.

Mayor Schwager also thanked the Public Events committee for the town holiday lighting ceremony, where a Chanukah menorah and Christmas tree were lit simultaneously. The town Christmas tree was donated by Brian Papaccioli of Paps Landscaping after the original tree was damaged in Sandy.

Mayor Schwager was in positive spirits about the lighting ceremony, especially after the hardships that the hurricane caused. 

“It’s so wonderful how the town comes together in times of need," she said. "And here we are, it’s the holiday season and we’ve all come together regardless of your religion, regardless of your gender, regardless of your beliefs. We all come together.”

The State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will have hearings starting this month to discuss the preparedness and responsiveness of public service companies during and after Hurricane Sandy. The purpose of the hearings is to solicite public comments and to receive feedback. 

Rockland Electric will hold the first hearing on Dec. 12 in the auditorium of Ramsey High School from 4 to 7 p.m.  A representative from the company will make a presentation, and residents who live within the service territory where the hearing is held will be allowed to speak first. The public is encouraged to attend.

When the council meeting opened the floor to the public, a few residents voiced concerns and made announcements. 

Ryan Schwertfeger announced that he is selling pins with the Oakland seal on them to raise money for a dog park in Oakland. Pins cost $5. Contact dogrun4oakland@yahoo.com for more info.

Peter Kikot, who ran for the council a month ago, stood up and thanked all the voters for a spirited campaign and election season. 

“Sadly, I lost and as a result the world is going to end on Dec. 21,” he joked, adding that the Oakland Business Association created an end of the world party. Visit ThinkOakland.org for more info.

One resident voiced his concern over the use of Public Events money towards the upkeep of the Van Allen house and Conservancy in town.

The council approved a contract with the conservancy for the total sum to not exceed $12 thousand, which will be paid quarterly. 

The council also approved the purchase of two Chevy Tahoe vehichles for the police. They will cost $25,831 per vehicle.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

OaklandGuy December 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM
A dog park in Oakland? Is that really necessary? How about a park for families? There's no where in town to go to take the kids on swings, etc. Neighboring towns (FL, Wyckoff, Pompton) all have nice parks to take kids. How do we make a list of "best places to live" without a public swingset!?
Tom Latch December 11, 2012 at 04:29 PM
There are two swing sets in Oakland. The first is part of the big playground next to the Danny D'elia building, the second is at the Mullins Park, located in the colony section of Oakland. The Mullins Park has two types of swings, one for infants and one for bigger kids. There is a third playground in Oakland, which can be found next to the roller hockey rink which is for younger kids. You can also find playgrounds at each of the three elementary schools. If you don't know, ask people in Oakland they'll be more than happy to help you.
Ryan Schwertfeger December 11, 2012 at 08:15 PM
OaklandGuy, I believe a dog park in Oakland is needed as currently, according to the Borough Clerk when I asked in July, there were 1,215 dogs residing in the Borough (this number is probably a little higher now since several months have passed since). According to the NJ Department of Education, there are "751+ pupils" in town. (http://www.nj.gov/cgi-bin/education/csg/12/csg.pl?string=dist_code3760&maxhits=650)

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