Township of Mahwah, NJ
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April 1, 2004

The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Health of the Township of Mahwah, held at the Municipal Offices, 475 Corporate Drive, Mahwah NJ, was called to order at 8:03 PM by President, Wendy DeSilva. The Opening Statement was read according to the Sunshine Law and was followed by Roll Call.

PRESENT: Mrs. DeSilva

Mr. LaMontagne

Mrs. Spiech

Mrs. Tracey

ABSENT: Mr. Ackerman

Mr. Harris

Mr. Wasson


Mr. Romans, Attorney

Mr. Hopper, Health Officer

Mrs. Diane Homler, REHS

Mrs. Campbell, Acting Secretary


Moved by Mrs. Tracey, seconded by Mrs. Spiech that the minutes of the regular meeting of March 4, 2004 be approved.

There being no questions or discussion, the minutes were approved by all present.


Moved by Mr. LaMontagne, seconded by Mrs. Tracey that the Health

Activities Report be approved.

Mrs. Tracey questioned the exposure figures for rabies with Mrs. Homler confirming there were (2) separate incidents.

Mrs. Spiech asked if cause of death was noted on a death certificate. Mr. Hopper explained that it was, but we do not track these statistics for our monthly report.

Mrs. DeSilva questioned if the (2) Tobacco Age of Sale Enforcement offenses were the first for each establishment. Mr. Hopper said he believed they were. Mrs. Homler stated that one location had a


young, untrained employee; the other indicated he was too busy with other tasks and customers to verify the age of the purchaser.

Mrs. Tracey asked what role the police had in the operation. Mrs. Homler explained that the police officer would accompany the inspector back into the establishment if the minor succeeded in purchasing tobacco. The minor did not return to the building.

Mr. LaMontagne requested information regarding the abatement notice issued to Mannie’s Vending. Mrs. Homler detailed the unsanitary conditions of their machines (at Dial America).

Mr. Romans asked for additional information on the conditionally satisfactory ratings issued. Mrs. Homler stated those establish-ments receiving conditional ratings were all serving (only) pre-packaged food items and detailed the types of violations observed.

There being no further discussion or questions, the Health

Activities Report was unanimously approved by all present.


Moved by Mrs. Spiech, seconded by Mrs. Tracey that the Health Officer’s Report be approved.

Mr. Hopper addressed a question from Mr. LaMontagne regarding a complaint of fireplace smoke and odor. He explained that if a C.O. is issued for a fireplace that has been built to code, the Health Department’s role is limited to ensuring that only clean fuel is burned in it. Discussion broadened to cover smoke/odors emanating from outdoor chimeneas. Courtesy should prevail.

Mr. Hopper commented on a very successful Health Fair and the cooperative effort of the different agencies involved, i.e. Bergen County Senior Services, Pascack Valley Hospital, Bergen Community Health Care, etc. He commended the vendors and volunteers and noted how well it was received by the participants.

Mrs. DeSilva asked how Mahwah was chosen to host the event; Mr. Hopper credited Mrs. Susanne Small, Mahwah’s Senior Coordinator who has worked with Bergen County Senior Services in the past.

Mrs. Tracey asked if the various screenings identified any new problems and what follow up (if any) took place. Mr. Hopper confirmed that he was supplied with the screening results and had directed our public health nurses to contact those individuals whose results indicated the need for follow-up.


Mrs. Tracey requested further information on an incident

involving a minor’s need for a tetanus vaccine. Mr. Hopper

explained that cost was an issue for the family and arrangements had been made to provide a free vaccine.

There being no further discussion or questions, the Health Officer’s Report was unanimously approved.


Moved by Mr. LaMontagne, seconded by Mrs. Tracey, the bills for February/March were unanimously approved.


Mrs. Speich received and read a card from Gerry Hallissey in thanks for the flowers and well-wishes sent by the Sunshine Committee.


No report.

Mr. Romans inquired about the legality of same sex marriages. Mr. Hopper replied that the State Attorney General has deemed same sex marriages to be illegal, and that any license or certificate issued for same was void. Further, the Domestic Partnership Act signed into law in January will become effective in July. We are awaiting guidelines, forms and a fee schedule from the State Registrar.


1) 3/11/04 email, Dave Richardson, NJ Health Officer’s Assoc.

Re: 5/22/04 NJ Local Boards of Health educational conference

Mrs. Tracey reported she found last year’s conference to be of great value. Mr. Hopper encouraged all Board Members to attend.


2) 3/17/04, Michael A. Chagares, West Bergen Mental Healthcare

Re: 2004 Annual Community Service Report

3) 3/31/04, Philip E. Wilson, West Bergen Mental Healthcare

Re: 2004 Annual Student Assistance Program Report

Mrs. Spiech asked for confirmation that only one township employee had utilized the service. Mr. Hopper replied that more

may have taken advantage without disclosing the township as his/her employer. Mrs. Spiech noted that confidentiality concerns still prevent people from seeking help.

Mrs. Tracey asked for clarification of who was eligible for services offered by WBMH (all Mahwah residents). Mrs. DeSilva asked Mrs. Homler if she felt residents/employees were aware that the service was available. Mrs. Homler replied that she felt she was aware only because of her position in the Health Department. Agreed that availability of the service might be better promoted.

Mr. Hopper noted that the Township Council had approved the renewals of both agreements for 2004.


Mrs. Homler reported on action taken regarding concerns of Mssrs. Ackerman, Harris and Wasserman at a prior meeting regarding school lunch offerings. As a result of communication with Pomptonian (the Board of Education’s food service provider), menu changes have been affected at several township schools. Also, educational materials were purchased and provided to the library and Child Health Conference for distribution.

Mrs. Homler related her experience attending the New Jersey Environmental Health Association’s annual conference and displayed the President’s Award which was conferred upon her at the conference. Only 2 such awards were made. Mrs. DeSilva commended her on the accomplishment and congratulations were offered by all present.



As there were no further comments and no further business, a motion to adjourn at 8:50 PM was made by Mr. LaMontagne, seconded by Mrs. Spiech, and agreed by all present.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 6, 2004.

Respectfully submitted,

Marianne Campbell for

G. Hallissey, Secretary

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