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Letter to the Editor: 'Town Government Needs Better Emergency Response'

The following is a letter to the editor from Township Commissioner Ed O'Malley.

To the Editor:

Cranford’s emergency responders came up big in the early days after the storm as they usually do.  Since Thursday however, town actions and communication have not been appropriate to the scale of the ongoing emergency needs of large numbers of citizens still without power and heat.  As we approach next week, temperatures have begun to drop and there’s a Nor’easter in the forecast.

The Police Department has communicated effectively, the town has not.  I understand that a large part of the issue stems from a lack of information from and coordination with PSE&G and higher government jurisdictions are addressing that issue.  Many still lack phone and internet service.  Nevertheless, the town can offer much more help with the resources available.  We need to set up an emergency response desk with responsibility for ongoing coordination and to constantly update people on the changing situation with respect to blocked streets and down wires, where gas is available, access to emergency supplies, available generators, the status of schools and voting places.  We should host townwide conference calls as Westfield has done for those without internet or TV and, yes, we should shamelessly steal such good ideas from other towns.  We should provide a central point for volunteer and donation coordination.  I have conveyed more specific proposals to the Township Committee and other officials.  We need to act immediately.

Coming as this message does three days before an election some may dismiss its urgency as partisan.  All I can say is that I act out of genuine concern and a sense of urgency that we are not doing enough within town government at this critical time.  I wish everyone the best with respect to the storm aftermath and will continue to work for better service delivery.

Ed O’Malley

Commissioner, Township of Cranford

Pcisme77 November 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I TOTALLY agree with this statement!!!! Where was/is the Mayor? And the Deputy Mayor was not very good either. I find it all an outrage. When the going got tough, the Committee disappeared and for Mr. O'Malley to fire off such a missive is incredible and at the very best, ludicrous.
Pcisme77 November 08, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Both of your e-mails are indicative of people disappointed by their government. I was diappointed too in the Committee members, several of whom had electricity and lacked any sense of urgency of helping those who did not help. In particular, the Deputy Mayor, also known as Clueless Kallins, had electricity and wasted oxygen reporting nothing on Channel 35 toe the 5 people who could watch Verizon FIOS. There were no volunteers handing out literature or anyone from the Committee going door to door to look after the citizens.
Pcisme77 November 08, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Jennifer is right. Unbeknownst to her, I wrote a very similar direct e-mail to the Committee and got ZERO responses.
Pcisme77 November 08, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I respectfully disagree with Mr. O'Malley. He is a Committee member and besides firing off nasty missives with mediocre recommendations timied to an election and telling everybody else what to do, he did nothing. As someone who is a communications professional, I have been very impressed by how the Cranford Police Department has communicated via Nixle, FaceBook and Twitter. The Police Department's efforts, led by Lt. Wozniak and Mr. von Bergen, have been exceptional and with the Committee disappearing for 6 days before even saying nothing, the Cranford Police Department did all that it could to fill the gap of no informaiton. Through Nixle, the Police Department was even knocking down rumors regarding Elizabethtown Water. Mr. O'Malley, the Cranford Police Department were great. But as The Who would say, "Where were you? I really want to know." As for Channel 35, Mr. Davenport and crew did their best and are to be commended. Channel 35 had its Comcast cables cut by some vandal. It is ashame. But Channel 35 is the messenger and not the message. The message should have been both the Committeee and the Cranford Police Department. The Police Department held up their side of the deal, but you and the Committe did not. Shame on you!! I voted against Mayor Robinson this year and if all you can offer are empty missives, then I will vote against you too.
Donald November 10, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Some "communications professional": "I respectfully disagree with Mr. O'Malley. He is a Committee member and besides firing off nasty missives with mediocre recommendations timied [sic, "timed"] to an election and telling everybody else what to do, he did nothing. As someone who is a communications professional, I have been very impressed by how the Cranford Police Department has communicated via Nixle, FaceBook [sic, "Facebook"] and Twitter. The Police Department's efforts, led by Lt. Wozniak and Mr. von Bergen [sic, "Van Bergen"], have been exceptional and with the Committee disappearing for 6 days before even saying nothing [sic, "anything"], the Cranford Police Department did all that it could to fill the gap of no informaiton. Through Nixle, the Police Department was even knocking down rumors regarding Elizabethtown [sic, "New Jersey American"] Water. Mr. O'Malley, the Cranford Police Department were ["was," as used supra] great. But as The Who would say, "Where were you? I really want to know." [sic, "Who are you? . . . I really wanna know."] As for Channel 35, Mr. Davenport and crew did their best and are to be commended. Channel 35 had its Comcast cables cut by some vandal. It is ashame [sic]. But Channel 35 is the messenger and not the message. The message should have been both the Committeee [sic] and the Cranford Police Department [sic, makes no sense]. The Police Department held up their [sic] side of the deal, but you and the Committe [sic] did not."

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