Morristown council goes paperless; approves bar, tax leniency, and parking changes at Lackawanna Place
Morristown’s Democratic administration and the town council’s sole Republican, Alison Deeb, don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.
So it was noteworthy when Mayor Tim Dougherty tossed kudos at the councilwoman during Tuesday’s council meeting.
The occasion was Samsung’s donation of seven Galaxy Note tablet computers to the council.
While the donation was arranged by the town’s Office of Sustainability and Abby Gallo, a former MorristownGreen.com blogger who works in environmental affairs for Samsung, the Mayor acknowledged that Alison Deeb has advocated for paperless operations in town hall for a long while.
“The councilwoman pushed us to go paperless,” the Mayor said.
These tablet computers are WiFi-only, so no mobile charges will be incurred. Three more donated units coming this spring will be 3G-enabled, so municipal inspectors can access information easily from anywhere in town, said Paul Miller, coordinator of the town sustainability office.
“These are the kind of public-private partnerships that allow governments and businesses to improve efficiency and creativity,” he said.
In other business, the council approved a new bar on South Street, the Gran Cantina. The council voted 5-1 last month to approve a liquor license extension from the Iron Bar next door to the space formerly occupied by Zebu Forno.
Tuesday’s identical vote (Raline Smith-Reid voted no; Alison Deeb recused herself) memorialized that action, which imposes limits on the size of the Gran Cantina bar and its hours of operation, among other conditions.
At the Mayor’s urging, the council also extended a grace period for payment of fourth-quarter taxes, because of Hurricane Sandy. Residents will have until Dec. 10 to pay up.
And the council unanimously approved changing metered parking limits on Lackawanna Place. Nine meters that had allowed parking for up to 12 hours now only will allow 90 minutes.
Street parking will be free across town from Dec. 15-24 for the convenience of holiday shoppers, said Jennifer Wehring of the Morristown Partnership. The Partnership also is offering discounted gift certificates, while supplies last, accepted by 180 downtown businesses. For every $50 of certificates you buy, the Partnership will throw in $10 more. The Partnership office at 14 Maple Ave. will stay open on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm to sell these certificates.
On Sunday, Nov. 25, at 6:30 pm, Santa Claus returns to the Morristown Green, where he will stay on weekends until Christmas as part of the annual Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green.
The Masterwork Chorus, meanwhile, was honored for a Yuletide milestone: Dec. 23 will mark the chorus’ 250 performance of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall since 1961.
That breaks down to three music directors, 1,500 chorus members, hundreds of soloists . . . “and two million ‘Hallelujahs,’” Chorus Vice President Donald MacGowan told the council.