Participation Budgeting Voting Through May 31, 2019

joan_crystal

As I hope most Maplewood residents know by now, there will be a vote by ballot, on-line or in person at locations to be announced, to determine how the town should spend $50,000 on capital projects this year.  Projects have been proposed by local community groups and individuals.  Voting will begin on May 15th.  Each resident will be able to vote for up to two projects.  The projects receiving the most votes will be completed.

If you are interested in pedestrian safety, I hope you will vote for my proposal to add a sidewalk in front of the Senior Center at 106 Burnett Avenue so that seniors can safely access the building that provides so much of their programming.  At present, there is no sidewalk in front of the building making it dangerous for persons walking between the DeHart Community Center and the Senior Center or parking in the DeHart Center parking lot to walk safely between the two buildings.  Access from across the street is even more dangerous since the Senior Center is located at the intersection of Tuscan Street, Lexington Avenue,and Burnett Avenue with its poor sight lines for drivers and pedestrians and speeding traffic on Burnett Avenue.  Safest crossing is opposite the DeHart Community Center, thus the added need for the sidewalk at that location.  

If you prefer other projects, please post the information here so we can all make the most informed vote possible.




STANV

This has not been well publicized. Do we vote at our usual Polling places? Will we be receiving sample ballots?


joan_crystal

According to the email blast, voting will mostly be done on-line.  Hard copy ballots will be available for those who do not use a computer or prefer a paper ballot.

ETA:  See post below for information on where paper ballots will be available.  Paper ballots can be cast in person at town hall or either of the town's libraries or cast by mail to town hall.


jamie

Ballot Finalists Below

  • Dog Park or Run: Create a dog park or run in Maplewood
  • Ping Pong Tables: Construct 2 to 4 permanent ping pong tables in Maplewood parks
  • Street Name Signage Replacement: Replace and upgrade street name signage on major roadways in the Township
  • Improvements to Borden Park: Install American with Disabilities Act compliant changing tables, picnic tables, and trash cans in Borden Park
  • Improve the Safety and Curb Appeal of Elmwood Arts District: Purchase and install planters outside the shops on the corner of Elmwood and Orchard allowing for outdoor seating and pedestrian safety
  • Improvements to Maplewood's Local History Center: Create an archive for preserving and studying Maplewood’s historically important documents, maps, photos, and other artifacts
  • Map Placards for Bike Path: Install map placards for the existing bike path on Parker Ave and Hudson
  • Bring Pickle ball to Maplewood: Construct a pickle ball court in a community park
  • Maplewood Pollinator Project: Plant a pollinator garden in each of the Maplewood’s parks
  • Restoration of Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Restore the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Memorial Park
  • Community Labyrinth: Design and construct a community labyrinth in Maplecrest Park
  • Neighborhood WiFi Pilot: Bridge the digital divide with infrastructure to allow broadband access to residents who lack meaningful access to broadband internet
  • Beautify Dehart Community Center: Purchase and install large flower pots to beautify the Dehart Community Center
  • Welcome to Hilton Neighborhood Signage: Install signage for various locations in the Hilton Neighborhood
  • Sidewalk at the Senior Center: Install a pedestrian sidewalk outside the Maplewood Senior Center at 106 Burnett Ave
  • Smart TV and Projector for Dehart Community Center: Purchase and install a smart TV and projector at the Maplewood Community Center

weirdbeard
joan_crystal said:
According to the email blast, voting will mostly be done on-line.  Hard copy ballots will be available for those who do not use a computer or prefer a paper ballot.

 When and how does the Township intend to inform the residents about this vote?  This is the first I've heard of it.


jamie

What's the status of street sign replacement currently - seems like half the town has new signs.  This one seems to be for street sign on major roadways.

Also - it would cost $50,000 to build 2-4 ping pong tables?


Sweetsnuggles

It would be helpful to know the estimated cost for each of the proposed projects prior to voting.  Is this information available? 


joan_crystal
weirdbeard said:


joan_crystal said:
According to the email blast, voting will mostly be done on-line.  Hard copy ballots will be available for those who do not use a computer or prefer a paper ballot.
 When and how does the Township intend to inform the residents about this vote?  This is the first I've heard of it.

 I received an email blast on this subject this morning and saw the information on the town website.  Village Green had a story on this a few days ago.


joan_crystal
jamie said:
What's the status of street sign replacement currently - seems like half the town has new signs.  This one seems to be for street sign on major roadways.
Also - it would cost $50,000 to build 2-4 ping pong tables?

 Status of street sign replacement is a question for the township.  

Requirement was that each nominated project not exceed a cost of $50,000.  From what I can tell, many of the proposed projects would cost substantially less that $50,000.  Again a question for the township.  I would hope that the town would go in order of popularity with as many projects as could be done within the $50,000 cap.


joan_crystal
Sweetsnuggles said:
It would be helpful to know the estimated cost for each of the proposed projects prior to voting.  Is this information available? 

The initial nomination form asked for estimated cost.  That said, I would be very surprised if most of the persons nominating projects had any idea of what the project would cost.  I know I left that section blank in my sidewalk proposal.


Sweetsnuggles
joan_crystal said:
The initial nomination form asked for estimated cost.  That said, I would be very surprised if most of the persons nominating projects had any idea of what the project would cost.  I know I left that section blank in my sidewalk proposal.

 Thank you Joan!  


Robert_Casotto

My vote goes to Ping Pong tables.  


The Vietnam Memorial project makes too much sense and I don't know what the hell Pickleball is, but it sounds painful.


author

Sounds like the whole thing is a project of the Ministry of silly walks


krnl

I will likely vote for the sidewalk at the senior center because this is a safety issue that should be addressed quickly as possible. (I didn't submit a proposal, but I pondered several relating to sidewalk issues). 


Two others I like are the pollinator project (although not in every park due to ongoing maintenance costs) (I give this idea a star because it is creative and a new idea for the TC to think about) and restoration of the Vietnam veterans memorial (I suspect that this is really a deferred maintenance issue and one reason approval of capital projects should always consider the ongoing maintenance costs).


joan_crystal

I just received an email stating that a link to on-line voting would be available tomorrow on the town website and that paper ballots would be available tomorrow at Town Hall, both libraries, the Senior Center, and DeHart Community Center.  Paper ballots can be handed in at town hall or either library or can be returned by mail.  Please get a copy of the ballot, read the list of proposed projects, and vote for whichever projects (no more than two) that you would like to see happen.  Voters must be at least 14 years of age and sign an affidavit stating that the voter is a resident of Maplewood.  Only one ballot per voter is permitted.


joan_crystal

Reminder: Voting starts this morning.  See post immediately above for how and where to obtain/cast your ballot.  I have been told in addition to the above locations that paper ballots will be available at Winchester Gardens and the senior housing on Irvington Avenue for residents at those locations.  Not sure they will be there for 9 am start though.


Formerlyjerseyjack

Where is the local history center?


Jaytee
Formerlyjerseyjack said:
Where is the local history center?

 Durand Hedden 


joan_crystal

The local history center archives are currently located at the Hilton Branch Library.


yahooyahoo

Who is checking/counting the paper ballots?


joan_crystal
krnl said:
I will likely vote for the sidewalk at the senior center because this is a safety issue that should be addressed quickly as possible. (I didn't submit a proposal, but I pondered several relating to sidewalk issues). 



 I considered several sidewalk issues as well, especially the need for a sidewalk on the east side of Valley Street between Baker and Tuscan.  Unfortunately, these did not meet the criteria for selection since they all involved private property.  Since the Senior Center and DeHart Community Center are both owned by the town, this limitation did not apply.


Robert_Casotto

may go with ping pong over dog run.   maybe next time we can do dog ping pong.


yahooyahoo

I wish some of the proposals were more specific.  Constructing a dog run "in Maplewood" is way too vague.  I can't vote for that based on how it's written.


Robert_Casotto

wherever it is, if it prevents even a few of the dheads who let their dogs run off leash in our parks it’s worth it.


joan_crystal

Maplewood already has a dog park.  It is located in South Mountain Reservation. 

My problem with this and a number of other items on the ballot is that there is no back up statement indicating the need for the proposal or where the requested project would actually be located.  Thus, in most cases, including my own proposal for a sidewalk in front of the Senior Center connecting it with the DeHart Community Center, the prospective voter does not have a clear understanding of what they would be voting for if only the topic sentence is made available to voters.


krnl

Agree with yahooyahoo and Joan about the lack of specifics relating to the need for most of these projects or where they might be located.


I also believe that many of the projects don't meet the the criteria for a "one time expense" capital project. A dog run, for example, likely will require ongoing maintenance and related expenses ( not to mention that there already is one in South Mountain Reservation that you can walk to from Maplewood).


nohero
krnl said:

I also believe that many of the projects don't meet the the criteria for a "one time expense" capital project. A dog run, for example, likely will require ongoing maintenance and related expenses ...

 I agree.  "Ongoing expenses" is going to be my criterion for a first pass on winnowing out projects to consider.




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