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Sandy Aftermath Tops Hopatcong Meeting Agenda

Borough Council meeting may get moved to fire station if resident turnout is too large.

The Hopatcong Borough Council will meet for the first time since Superstorm Sandy on Wednesday, after last week's meeting was postponed because of the storm.

Mayor Sylvia Petillo said the council members will provide a report on Sandy in addition to the scheduled town business.

Lt. Thomas Kmetz said he, Capt. Tina Kraus and Officer Robert Haffner will all talk about the storm response and updates. He said Haffner, the OEM coordinator, will speak about the experience at the high school shelter.

Kmetz said he is unsure of the number of residents expected to come, but said if the room is too crowded, the meeting will be moved across the street to the Hopatcong Fire House Co. No. 3.  

Many residents have expressed on the Hopatcong-Sparta Patch Facebook page that they plan on going to the meeting hoping to get some answers about the long-awaited power restorations and lack of communication throughout the storm's aftermath.

Some have implied they think the Municipal Building won't be enough room to house all of the residents.

"I recommend that the meeting be moved to a larger venue as many concerned citizens would like to express concerns regarding recent handling of Sandy," resident Cindy Scully Cahn wrote on the Borough Facebook page.

Others suggested having the meeting at the high school or St. Jude's to accomodate all of the citizens.

Resident Brenda Rossi Breheny said on the Hopatcong-Spart Patch Facebook page that she thinks there should be a seperate meeting devoted to the storm itself in addition to a larger venue.

Petillo released a statement Tuesday saying the borough is almost fully restored with power, more than two weeks after the storm shut down the whole borough.

"The Borough of Hopatcong is almost 100 percent restored," she said. "JCP&L is working on restoring the few homes still without power. Our efforts will continue as there is still much work to be done around the Borough, clearing trees, poles, and debris from roads and property."

The meeting will begin at the Municipal Building at 7:30 p.m.

Brian November 14, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Sounds like the meeting is packed with speakers so the residents won't have time to speak. Another example of inefficiency: having 3 different police officers speak of their experiences, instead of having one representative give a summary. Well played mayor.
Frazure November 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM
School board, council meetings, etc. anticipating large crowds, which I am sure this will draw, should just automatically be moved to the HS auditorium or gym. For most attendees, it will be their opportunity to vent and unfortunately for most of them, it will be the first and last town council meeting they ever attend. Hopefully, some of them will come with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and suggestions - it really is not the time nor place for personal angry venting - find another avenue for that.
Michele Guttenberger November 14, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I agree that the meeting could use a larger room. However, these meetings need to be recorded. Hopatcong history has shown that we missed proper record keeping of the Meeting Minutes when the venue was changed to the High School such as the time Hopatcong voted to privatize its garbage collection. I believe a well attended meeting should be well documented too. I and others have advocated that Hopatcong invest in video equipment like some towns in Sussex Cty that both record and provide live streaming video feeds over the internet. Many of our residents could benefit from this technology since we have a pop of retired folks who like to spend their winters else where but need to keep in touch with their hometown gov. We also have many disabled folks who like to attend Town Meetings but find it hard too . The core issue here is Hopatcong's lack of communication to the public. This has been a on going problem that has finally come to a head . Lack of Communication from officials has taken its toll causing negative impact & damage to everyone. There has been a growing gap from our leaders with an "Us versus Them" attitude and disclosed Info becomes sanitized, obscure or ambiguous content doled out to the public that's sifted between the lines from other press releases. The poor communication from Hopatcong leadership is a systemic problem not a one time storm event. Let's talk about total open broadcasting by our leaders on EVERYTHING not only storm info.
STATE PARK November 14, 2012 at 03:51 PM
DON'T GO PATTING YOURSELF ON THE BACK MAYOR YOU AND YOUR GANG BLEW IT.
Stevie November 14, 2012 at 05:14 PM
MANDATORY COMPENSATION CUTS FOR ALL ELECTED BORO OFFICIALS AND MANAGERS: That should be on the agenda for discussion tonight. While a good portion of New Jersey residents, including Hopatcong residents, have seen salaries cut, bonuses disappear, and record unemployment, our municipal government has done none of the belt-tightening on which the rest of us have been forced. In the boro residents’ frustration at the lack of emergency planning and execution, some critical issues have surfaced. Others will follow. And what about the emergency supplies of ice and drinking water that were supposed to be distributed for Boro residents’ use as of the day after the storm (per JCP&L’s published statements)? Will someone speak about THAT small detail at tonight’s meeting? This storm took a terrible toll on the people here. Some of us lost two weeks of work, significant loss of property, and financial expenses that no insurance or government grants will replace. Our collective Boro administrators’ lack of consideration and perhaps worse, deserves serious corrective action now.
Lawrence Galante November 14, 2012 at 11:50 PM
The only time elected officials listen is when you vote them out.
Maryann Edwards November 15, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I couldn't agree with you more.
Jean Burk-Ujvary November 15, 2012 at 02:55 AM
How many were at the meeting tonight that made comments on this post? Just wondering? What was your thoghts on the meeting? I have mine because I was there. Where you?
Jean Burk-Ujvary November 15, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Opps "Were you/"

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