Township to celebrate 307th birthday

Council meeting set for 8 p.m. Tuesday.

By: Lea Kahn
   Township Council has planned a pair of back-to-back meetings Tuesday night — one to celebrate Lawrence Township’s 307th birthday and another one to conduct business.
   Lawrence’s annual birthday party is set for 7 p.m. in the Township Council meeting room on the main floor of the Municipal Building. It will be followed by the council’s regular business meeting at 8 p.m.
   Re-enactors who belong to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment — a historically black unit — will explain the role of blacks in the American Revolutionary War, said Steven Groeger, township superintendent of Recreation. This includes free blacks, slaves and Tories.
   It is especially appropriate to invite the Trenton-based 1st Rhode Island Regiment to take part in the township’s birthday party because February is Black History Month, Mr. Groeger said. The re-enactors took part in the annual celebration of Col. Edward Hand’s delaying tactics last month.
   In other business, Township Council plans to hold a public hearing on the "pay-to-play" campaign finance reform ordinance. The ordinance would restrict the amount of money that a professional or professional firm could contribute to a municipal campaign.
   The pay-to-play ordinance would affect attorneys, engineers, architects and planners, whose contracts are awarded by Township Council without the need to seek competitive bids. The issue of such an ordinance was raised by the Republican Party candidates for Township Council last fall.
   Also on the agenda is a public hearing on an ordinance that would dissolve the Cultural and Heritage Advisory Committee. There has been dwindling interest in the 11-member committee, which has five vacancies and only one resident seeking appointment to the board.
   And finally, Township Council plans to introduce an ordinance that would allow the police to hold persons charged with drunken driving or who are under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance or drug. That person would be held until his or her blood alcohol content is less than .05 percent, or he or she is no longer under the influence of a drug.