By Elise Fisch
Village of Warwick Justice Jeanine Wadeson appeared before the Village Board of Trustees on Tues., Sept. 8 to discuss and propose the allowance for “plea by mail” in the village, along with the institution of a Village Prosecutor to handle the written pleas.
The Village Prosecutor would be an employee of the Village rather than of the courts and would be mostly in charge of assessing traffic violations and parking citations. The Village Prosecutor would also review the charges issued and the driver abstract, in the case of a traffic citation, and make a plea recommendation based on their review of this information. The defendant would then have the option to accept the plea deal or go to trial in court.
Plea By Mail
Allowing defendants the option to send their plea by mail for certain traffic and parking citations, Wadeson explained, would be of great benefit to Warwick both in the immediate and in the long term. It would help establish a more consistent procedure for traffic related infractions in court by assigning the Village Prosecutor to those cases, rather than various officers carrying out prosecution. It would also cut down on the number of inconsistencies related to having to schedule police officers to appear in court and would not require as many defendants to be present in a courtroom.
The change was inspired by an effort to minimize in-person appearances in court in the wake of COVID-19 and Wadeson believes such a change would also allow for the court to cut out one full day of conducting in-person business. Even without the backdrop of COVID-19, many other towns have successfully utilized this system for years, and Wadeson predicts at least fifty percent of traffic and parking citations would be handled by mail were Warwick to allow for the procedure.
Warwick Grove Requests Storage
The president of the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) at Warwick Grove has put in a request to the Board that the housing development be allowed to store snow removal equipment in the parking lot off McFarland Dr. The HOA explained that Warwick Grove has very limited space in terms of storage and that there is no allotment of space nor area within the Warwick Grove neighborhood that would be able to safely accommodate this essential equipment. They are requesting use of the space during the winter season, in order that their equipment would be near enough to use in case of a snowstorm. The equipment would take up no more than four parking spaces in the McFarland lot.
Pump Track Proposed
The Warwick Lions Club has offered to donate the funding for a pump track to be built in the Village. After visiting another locally popular pump track in West Milford, NJ, Trustee and member of the Lions Club, George McManus, was inspired to bring the same attraction to Warwick.
A “pump track,” for cyclists, is described as a “circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping” – generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedaling or pushing.”
Similar to the one in West Milford, Warwick’s would be a dirt track, and would require only enough maintenance for a single volunteer to handle once the project is complete. McManus and DPW Supervisor Michael Moser will be scouting the areas around Veterans Memorial Park and near the Albert Wisner Public Library to find a space sufficient for hosting the new public attraction.
The next meeting of the Village of Warwick Board of Trustees will take place on Mon., Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. A work session will precede the regular meeting and begin at 7 p.m. The meetings will be held via Facebook Live, in accordance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order regarding municipal meetings.