‘Citizen’s Committee’ For Peace And Non-Violence Memorial Re-Do Put On Hold

Mayor Phil Kramer said at the Oct. 9 Township Council meeting that discussions about forming a citizen’s committee on a peace and non-violence memorial may be held in the future.

It appears that the idea to form a citizen’s committee to rework an idea for a “Peace and Non-Violence” memorial is on ice, at least for now.

There were no takers at the Oct. 9 Township Council meeting when Mayor Phil Kramer asked for comments from the council, after giving his opinion that it would be difficult to discuss “what should happen with a citizen’s committee.”

He said that’s because most of the donated money was being returned, and the remaining $14,000 or so is “in flux.”

“I’m going to be looking for input in the future from people about that,” Kramer said. “Someone said council should not be involved at all in it, it should be generic and come from the public. So those are the things that have come my way.”

“I’m not going to into this, and I’m looking for any other council comments on this,” he said.

No one offered a comment.

Kramer said he only brought it up because “we said we were going to do it and I wanted to be true to my word.”

The Franklin Township Community Foundation has been holding the donated money for about a decade. The foundation’s Board of Trustees met on Oct. 2 and decided to honor a request made by Dr. Naresh Sharma, who asked that his $65,000 donation be returned.

There was some discussion among trustees about what to do with the remaining money, with ideas offered to return it to the original donors or donate it to another non-profit organization that would further the goal of promoting peace and non-violence.

Township Councilman Rajiv Prasad, also a foundation trustee, suggested the Woodbridge-based Gandhian Society.

The question of returning any of the money was temporarily put on hold until after the issue of a $5,000 invoice from Najaian Associates was dealt with.

Prasad revealed the invoice at the trustee meeting. After a short executive session on it, Prasad said he would ask the owner to drop the invoice.

That happened the next day, Kramer said.

“We received an email the next day,” he said. He said that Sharma picked up his check on Oct 10.

As far as the fate of the remainder of the donations, Kramer said, “my assumption is the community foundation will decide that sometime in the future.”

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