UPDATE FROM NOVEMBER 16, 2020 COUNCIL MEETING
This letter was not placed on the agenda. I did not ask for an explanation. Without elaborating, Mayor Morgan said that enforcement of all Executive Orders from the Governor are enforced by law enforcement. This is in agreement with my discussions with the Attorney General’s office regarding the issue.
Those were the words of Mayor Al Morgan when asked who is responsible for monitoring compliance for outdoor dining. Below is my letter to the Mayor and Council
Mayor and Borough Council New Providence
360 Elkwood Ave.
New Providence, NJ 07974
Dear Mayor and Council,
At the October 26th Council meeting I asked about who was responsible for monitoring compliance of the rules related to outdoor dining. I was taken aback that the response from Mayor Morgan was he”imagined the Health Department.”
This response is concerning for several reasons. First, the rules exist to protect the citizens against exposure to a deadly disease. How is it that not one person at the meeting could answer that question? Second, how can you ask owners of establishments subject to the Covid-19 rules to submittheir plans for the town’s approval when you don’t know how compliance is determined? How canthe town approve a plan, when they don’t even know who to tell the owner of the establish will monitor their activities?
Councilman Robinson stated that the owners know the rules and will follow them. i guarantee you this is not the case. It only takes a drive around local communities to see outdoor dining locations that are not in compliance.
There is a reason the state has determined that specific criteria must be met prior to proceeding with any number of activities during this pandemic. If no one knows how to assure the criteria are met, the citizens are subject to serious consequences. The patrons dining at an outdoor dining establishment should not be allowed to fall into a false sense of security that their health will not be compromised, when it very well may be.
The issues related to this pandemic and how best to protect citizens are complex and at times confusing. That being the case, the responsibility should fall to you, the leaders responsible for protecting the health and well-being of those you represent, to keep them informed. You, having that responsibility, should have the answer to this question at your fingertips. The fact that you did not have this information, should be of great concern to the citizens you represent.
I urge you to clear this issue up immediately.
cc. Doug Marvin, Borough Administrator