I hope you get a chance to pick up today's Observer-Tribune, which provides a detailed update on our work to expand the municipal court we already share with Mendham Township (at a savings of $30,000 per year) to also include Chester Borough. This is important work that not only reduces costs and thus saves taxpayer dollars, but also provides greater efficiencies for our municipal staff and shared Chester Police Department. Click below for the full article.
Tri-court combination takes a step forward
One municipal court to serve the Chesters and Mendham Township came a step further to reality at Tuesday’s Township Council meeting. The council unanimously approved a resolution to create a court that would serve three municipalities. Mendham Township is expected to consider the plan next Tuesday. Chester Borough officials said they want to discuss the proposal further before voting on it.
The shared municipal court would be convened in Chester Township but each court retains its own identity. It provides for shared court staff including court administrators, prosecutors and security personnel. Along with the added savings, township officials said it is a positive move, especially because the township and borough share a police force.
“We are optimistic there will be savings,’’ said Council President Michael Inganamort. “On top of the cost, what is important are the efficiencies afforded to our police department. We have one police department serving two municipalities and two municipal courts. Now they would be responsible to one municipal court and it is 15 feet away. They can schedule cases when police are on duty and we won’t have any excessive overtime.’’
Voting for the plan were Mayor Marcia Asdal and Council members Inganamort, Brian Curley and Tim Drag. Councilman Derek Moore did not attend what would have been his last meeting on the council. Moore tendered his resignation two weeks ago.
The Chester Township Republican Committee has 15 days from Sept. 3 to submit three names to the council to name someone to complete Moore’s term in office through December 2020. His replacement is expected to be selected during the next meeting on Sept. 17. The council chose Inganamort as the new council president.