The township council has approved the creation of a Montclair State University Community Committee designed to foster dialogue between the school and the town.
The resolution to create the committee was presented at the council's Tuesday night meeting by First Ward Councilor William Hurlock.
"We will work together to find common interests. There's a lot more that we can be doing together," Hurlock said. "We could work on projects from an economic development standpoint and also foster communication between the nearby residents and MSU.
"I've had several communications with MSU and they are very open to this idea," he said.
Hurlock said he was amazed to learn from MSU President Susan Cole that no Montclair businesses sell MSU t-shirts, sweatshirts, or other products.
"You see a lot of college towns that are inundated with this kind of stuff," Hurlock said. "There are a lot of things we could explore that would be win-win situations for both the school and the town."
The committee, which will initially meet once a month, will be made up of Mayor Robert Jackson, Hurlock, two MSU representatives, and two local residents appointed by the council.
Deputy Mayor Bob Russo called the creation of the committee a positive step.
In the past "there was always this problem of people from the community and people from MSU not communicating," he said. "Hopefuly this will allow us, as well as everyone, to have their voices heard by those at MSU."
The move also won praise from resident Andrew Povich.
"It is so nice to see a council working together for the good of the township," he said at Tuesday night's meeting.
Councilor Renee Baskerville asked Hurlock to specify exactly how residents would be chosen for a three-year term on the committee.
“They should contact the council and give us their information, and their level of interest, and we’ll take that into consideration," Hurlock said. "I welcome emails. They can contact me through the township email.”
Hurlock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specifically, the new committee will be asked to:
—Recommend programs, policies, and legislation that further the programs between the Township Montclair and Montclair State University (“MSU”).
—Assist in identifying and developing joint programs between the Township and MSU.
—Facilitate a dialogue and process to resolve disputes between residents of Montclair and MSU.
—Identify areas of potential joint economic development projects between the Township of Montclair and MSU.
—Assist the Township of Montclair and MSU identify and implement shared service agreements between the town and MSU.
—Maximize publicity identifying the unique relationship between the Township of Montclair and MSU.
What do you think of the creation of the committee? Let us know in the comments section below.