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January 17, 2006 > Newark City Council Meeting

Newark City Council Meeting

Thursday, January 12, 2006

by Susana Nuñez

Presentations and Proclamations
The first meeting of the New Year began with the proclamation of Volunteer Blood Donor Month in Newark. A representative from the American Red Cross Blood Services, Northern California Region, was present to accept the proclamation. Next, the Farmers and Farmerettes Square Dance Club gave a presentation. This group does exhibition and entertainment square dancing and is also involved with local charities. The Farmers and Farmerettes raised $790 each for D.A.R.E., Meals on Wheels, Graffiti Abatement, and the Canine group; a total of $3,160 the group is giving back to the community.

Council Matters
The Council welcomed new City Manager, John Becker, who will be the sixth city manager in the history of Newark. Councilmember Johnson also spoke about the Safely Surrendered Baby Law, in light of the recent event in which a baby was abandoned and died in Newark. The confidential, no-questions-asked law went into effect in 2001 and Johnson asked for community support in getting information out about the law to prevent future tragedies. The Council adjourned in memory of Charles Cummings, who passed away prior to Christmas, and was a Newark, New Jersey resident. Cummings had participated in Newarks of the World reunions and Mayor Smith described him as a man who "immersed himself in his city's history and culture." Councilmember Apodaca reminded the community that although Martin Luther King Jr. Day may be a day off from work, it is a day to remember his contributions and message.

Oral Communications
Newark resident Gary Copsey expressed his disappointment in the City's decision to allow the establishment of a Home Depot on Thornton Avenue. Residents of his neighborhood, located behind the site of the new Home Depot, were invited to a Council meeting on May 26, 2005, and spoke in opposition to the project. He stated that he thought that they "were invited because their quality of life mattered." Copsey complained of noise due to demolition and inquired about a sound wall. City Manager John Becker stated that there will be a sound wall, but it will not be built prior to the construction of Home Depot.

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