Certainly like and admire a lot of things the Atlantic Highlands Council does, and if the truth be known, also admire the Highlands mayor on some of her actions and her deliberate means of getting things done... But it looks like the Highlands Mayor had the upper hand over her neighboring town at tonight’s Atlantic Highlands council meeting when the governing body was all set apparently, to go along with what she and her Highlands council wanted without doing any further research or cost adjustments or alternatives or anything on their own.
It was Mark Fisher who first alerted the public, both those in the borough hall and those watching on ZOOM, that the governing body had tossed in another resolution nobody apparently saw before.
This one was to agree with Highlands that each would pay $7500 a month to JFK Hospital to provide ambulance and emergency service 12 hours a day, not sure if it’s five or seven days a week for Atlantic Highlands, but five days a week in Highlands. Mark began asking how come the resolution came up at the last minute, how come the expensive agreement was apparently being made, and how come the folks weren't told anything about it earlier or even knew whether any research had been done.
NO doubt about it. Mark Fisher not only cares about his town, but he does a lot of research to ensure he knows what council is doing with it.
And soon after Regina Keelan also certainly made all members of council think a little smarter about whether the borough should really sign up with the plan Highlands negotiated, apparently without any input from the neighboring governing body, on how to be sure to take care of borough residents in need of critical care during the daylight hours where volunteers aren’t always available.
Certainly not saying it’s a bad idea, nor that something has to be done if you want emergency service available for everybody every day at any time of day. But Mark pointed out the borough council didn’t even put the idea on the agenda until the last minute; they had not looked or thought about any alternatives, even though they’ve known about the problem that certainly wasn’t getting any better for months. Last night all of a sudden, it’s a major issue that must be decided right now because Highlands has already agreed and the new idea is supposed to start Jan. 1. and will be in place for a year.
It does make me wonder what Atlantic Highlands would have done, or was planning to do, if anything, if Highlands had not come along with the action they took? They didn’t look like they had any idea in place and Highlands just came in and saved them, price and input be damned.
And just to keep Highlands folks thinking I really don’t like that town..did you ever hear anything so ridiculous….
I must admit I’m not positive they approved the resolution Nov. 10. Like Atlantic Highlands, they haven’t done anything to enable the blind to attend meetings either. In fact, unlike Atlantic Highlands, they don’t even make meetings available online for people to attend if not speak. Thanks only to Claudette D’Arrigo’s attempts on Facebook to accomplish at least a good part of the meeting. Atlantic Highlands does at least enable the blind to hear the meetings at home and allow those who can at least partially see but can’t drive at night to see meetings at home. They just cannot participate like non handicapped residents. Nor has either town done any thing about it over the more than half a year since it’s been brought to their attention.
There was a lot of talk at the Atlantic Highlands meeting tonight about how to accomplish it, how much it would cost, what it would involve, how much work it would mean for some people. Strange, I had not heard any of those problems when they did actually provided that service as a state mandate for more than a year, without a whimper, without a discussion, simply by getting it done. When the mandate passed, whoosh, so did the service to the public. Now all of a sudden, it’s a terribly difficult, expensive, time consuming thing that hasn’t been able to be duplicated in all these months, the blind be damned..
Even if they are in the process of making the less than perfect system better for the future, why can’t they simply keep it on for now. It’s better than nothing for people who are handicapped. Do you wonder why I wonder?