Franklin Lakes November 18, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 9 Council decides against library lot restrictions by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Council has decided not to restrict the use of the library parking lot to patrons during the hours the library is open. The restrictions were contained in a new ordinance that was introduced by the council in October, but when it was listed on the council’s agenda for adoption last week, the council voted 4-2 against adopting the ordinance. Library Director Gerry McMahon was surprised to learn of the council’s action. She reacted, saying, “I am very disappointed and I know that the library board of trustees will be disappointed also.” At the council meeting, a motion to adopt the ordinance was made by Councilwoman Paulette Ramsey. But before a vote was taken, Councilman Michael Friscia voiced concern about the ordinance. “It’s not something I want to do,” Friscia said. “I don’t want residents who are attending games at the Tommy John Field (which is behind the library) subject to tickets, and so I am not in favor of this ordinance.” Councilman Steve Marcus supported Friscia’s position, explaining that he understands that the borough’s senior citizens want the parking lot available to them, but that the field is town property and it would not be fair to restrict the use of the lot because the borough’s taxpayers are paying for it. “Mike has a point,” Marcus said in regard to restricting the lot to library patrons. “Is it fair considering that the taxpayers are paying for it? Who are we really trying to serve: the library patrons or the residents?” Councilwoman Leslie Greer also voiced concern about the ordinance. “I’ve been grappling with it myself because it would make kids cross the street, and I’m uncomfortable with that.” Franklin Lakes Borough Administrator Gregory Hart also explained that, under this ordinance, anyone who contacts the police about illegal parking in the library parking lot might have to come to municipal court to testify as a witness. Friscia added that, if the ordinance were adopted, the police could come to the lot and issue summonses. Ramsey pointed out that the ordinance was intended to address the safety concerns of the library, but she acknowledged the concerns expressed by the other council members that it is a municipal parking lot. She added, however, that the library has been trying to solve this parking problem for four years, and a lot of non-residents use the field and park in the library lot. She voiced the opinion that these objections should have been raised when the ordinance was introduced. Following the discussion, Friscia, Greer, Marcus, and Councilwoman Nathalie Lota voted against adopting the ordinance, while Ramsey and Councilman Brian Trava voted in favor of its adoption. The ordinance would have given library patrons priority in using the library parking lot when during regular library hours: Monday through Thursday from 10 to 9, Friday from 10 to 6, Saturday from 10 to 5, and Sundays from September to June from 1 to 5. The issue of parking in the library lot was brought to the council in October by Library Director McMahon and Twinkie Polizzi, president of the library board of trustees, who explained to the governing body at that time that the new parking lot across the street from the library has made it feasible to restrict the parking in the library lot to patrons. They claimed that non-residents use the Tommy John Field because it is often rented to out of town teams and programs, which results in the library parking spaces being filled forcing the borough’s senior citizens who want to use the library to park across the street. They also pointed out that there are a lot of programs, lectures, and concerts at the library, and senior citizens can’t find a parking space during the day if a children’s program is scheduled for that day. Other people also park in the library lot while visiting the playground behind the municipal building and, with the increase in circulation at the library, the parking problem exists all week. Polizzi and McMahon said library staff members often have to deal with the complaints of patrons who cannot find a parking space in the library lot. They also told the council the new parking spaces in the parking area across DeKorte Drive could serve those who attend ball games at the field, but, without an ordinance in place, they cannot require people to park there. Ramapo Class of ‘79 sets 30 year reunion Ramapo High School’s Class of 1979 will have a 30th reunion on Friday, Nov. 27 at The Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes. To receive an invitation, email Allyson at or Gail at No walk-ins please. ����������� ��������������������� ��������� ��������� ��������������� Hair Care � ���������������� �������������� ������������������� ����������������������������������� �������������� ��������������������� ���������������������� ® Christmas Tree Lot Balsam & Frasier & Firs Wreaths • Greens • Roping • Fruit Cakes Proceeds benefit YMCA Good Works Programs Friday 5-9pm Saturday 9am-8pm Sunday 10am-5pm Ridgewood YMCA HOURS 112 Oak Street • Ridgewood 201-444-5600, ext. 320 11-18-09 Kathy from JanineRidgewoodYChristmas