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Traffic issues, right to carry resolution among topics discussed during Warren County Commissioners meeting

WARREN COUNTY, NJ – The Warren County Board of County Commissioners had a busy night at its first regularly scheduled meeting of October.

The meeting began with Hope Township Mayor Tim McDonough and the entire Hope Township Committee thanking the Commissioners for considering a resolution authorizing the Warren County Engineer’s Office to solicit traffic engineering services to “review and evaluate traffic control and calming measures” for implementation on County Routes 519 and 521 and surrounding areas, with an emphasis on the Hope Township region.

The resolution documents a timeline of various measures taken by the Commissioners in a concerted effort to address concerns dating back more than two years.

“Warren County is committed to addressing issues with the safe flow of traffic throughout all of Warren County,” Commissioner Director Jason J. Sarnoski said.

“The NJDOT came up with several alternatives to our request to divert truck traffic from the center of Hope, and I am in full support of an engineering analysis to review their suggestions and find others so that we can ensure the safe travel of our residents on our roads,” Commissioner Deputy Director Lori Ciesla said.

“Warren County is dedicated to developing a plan that keeps trucks on state and federal highways. Our current county infrastructure is not designed to handle large tractor-trailers,” Commissioner James Kern III said.

“Perceived benefits from industrial and commercial ratables will be negated by road and bridge deterioration,” Kern said. “We look forward to partnering with the NJDOT to create a plan that utilizes existing state and federal roadways that can support increased truck traffic.”

Precision Agriculture

Another topic of note discussed during the meeting was precision agriculture (PA), an endeavor to utilize new technologies to increase crop yields and profitability while decreasing reliance on traditional needs (land, water, fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides) to grow crops. Farmers utilizing precision agriculture are using less to grow more.

“Using technology to improve results for our farmers, and help them sustain their agribusinesses, is literally the perfect application of technology,” Ciesla said. “There is no food without farms, and we are dedicated to seeing our Warren County farms thrive for generations to come.”

“Farming is an important part of Warren County’s economy,” Kern said. “These exciting new methods have the ability to produce more crops while reducing impacts on our shared environment.”

“Precision agriculture will help us combine technology and agriculture to support our farms of the future,” Sarnoski said. “This is a program that has funding through the USDA, as well as partnership opportunities with nearby counties and Warren County Community College. I am excited to pursue this opportunity.”

Right to Carry Resolution

The Commissioners voted to advocate for citizens’ rights to carry firearms in public.

“Our Second Amendment rights are constantly under attack in this state, but we will do everything in our power to make sure they are respected in Warren County,” Sarnoski said.

The Board’s unanimous action, in the form of a resolution, was an effort to spur action on a backlog of hundreds of applications by law-abiding residents seeking public-carry firearms permits. On June 24, 2022, New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin issued Law Enforcement Directive No. 2022-07 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority decision handed down the day before, ruling that Americans have the right to carry arms outside the home and in public.

Prior to that decision, New Jersey law had required applicants demonstrate a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun, and the directive clarified that the Supreme Court’s decision nullified that prerequisite.

“The Supreme Court recently upheld public carry being a constitutional right under the Second Amendment,” Ciesla said. “We realize that this caused New Jersey to have to undo its prohibition, but we ask that they have our law-abiding citizens’ applications reviewed in a timely manner.”

While the initial responsibility for reviewing public-carry applications falls on local law enforcement, the ultimate decision lies with Superior Court of New Jersey. The resolution, to be forwarded to Governor Phil Murphy and the NJ State Legislature, urges the Administrative Director of NJ Superior Court to “set forth procedures and policy immediately to process ad approve” public-carry firearms permit applications.

“Residents are entitled to a fair and open process with respect to purchasing firearms,” Kern said. “These lags and lack of information must be addressed immediately.”

“The delays due to the Courts for legal gun owners to carry are unacceptable. I am asking the Governor and Attorney General to step up and fix any issues with the system holding the process up,” Sarnoski said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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