Playing to empty seats
With one resident in attendance, Guttenberg Council holds quiet meeting
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Dec 02, 2012 | 2670 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EMPTY CHAMBERS – The Guttenberg Council tried to make light of the lackluster attendance that occurred during the Monday, Nov. 26 meeting.
EMPTY CHAMBERS – The Guttenberg Council tried to make light of the lackluster attendance that occurred during the Monday, Nov. 26 meeting.

Was it due to Cyber Monday, or did everybody just have something else to do? A grand total of one resident was in the audience for the Town Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 26, causing Mayor Gerald Drasheff to joke afterward that attendance was probably low because there were no police promotions, which usually draw a crowd of well-wishers. Ordinarily, lacking promotions or any controversy, at least a handful of residents attend to watch their governing body in action.

But the lack of public participation meant the only sound that was heard during the public hearing portions of certain measures was the chuckling of some council members.

One is the loneliest number

Only Ann Smith, a long time resident who rarely misses a council meeting, showed up and made her voice heard during the public portion of the meeting.

Smith made an issue of her Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) bills, which she said seem to be arriving back to back in resident’s mailboxes. She asked Mayor Drasheff if he had attended the most recent MUA meeting, and he admitted he had not.

Councilwoman Donna Florio said that she personally called the MUA to find out why so many bills at once were sent to residents. Florio said she was told by MUA personnel that the bills received in November were for July, August, and September. She went on to say that the MUA bill due to arrive on Dec. 27 will be for service in October, November and December.


“They don’t know what they’re doing.” – Ann Smith


Smith said she believes the MUA personnel are not aware of the concern that their billing practices are causing residents.

“They don’t know what they’re doing,” said Smith.

On the agenda

A resolution was passed to pay Florio Bros Plumbing & Heating for repairs to the municipal building’s boiler, costs not to exceed $508.

An ordinance was introduced and adopted to amend “Chapter 19 Streets and Sidewalks” which will not allow a permit for new streets to be constructed for the next five years.

A resolution was passed awarding a contract to Prime Uniform Supply Inc. of West New York for uniform services. The company will provide new uniforms to municipal employees, and clean and repair them. The contract is in the amount of $7.50 per week per employee with a total of $7,410 yearly. It will begin Dec. 1 and end on Nov. 30, 2013.

A $12,500 contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, Max Adamo Construction, Inc. of Ridgefield for repairs to the wall located at 300-302 68 Street in Guttenberg.

A resolution was passed to increase the contract amount for certified municipal engineers Boswell Engineering Company. For the remaining months of November and December, the contract increases the contract amount by $30,000.

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at

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