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Brick Council Revives B-MAC Organization

Restored program will be volunteer-driven and won't cost taxpayers, council member says

Patch File Photo: Daniel Nee
Patch File Photo: Daniel Nee
The Brick Township mayor and council have restored a township anti-substance abuse organization, the status of which was changed under a previous mayor and council.

The Brick Municipal Alliance Committee, also known as B-MAC, had long been an active community organization that was funded by the state and conformed to state regulations. The primary mission of municipal alliance committees is to promote substance abuse awareness and prevention statewide through such local organizations.

Under the administration of former Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis and, at the time, an all-Republican council, the decision was made to make the organization independently run in Brick Township, giving up state funding for more local control as costs grew larger with a full-time staff. But the current council is restoring the program in such a way where it is staffed by volunteers and will act as a support base for other local groups, said Councilwoman Andrea Zapcic, who spearheaded the effort to bring B-MAC back to Brick.

The township council unanimously passed an ordinance this week that will bring back state resources to the program in order to combat the heroin epidemic – among other substance abuse issues – in Brick, officials said.

Under the old program, former council member and current council candidate Domenick Brando said, the township was spending about $200,000 on four employees who ran the organization, with only about $50,000 coming in from the state. By eliminating the state funding, the employees who had to be dedicated solely to B-MAC were used elsewhere in township government.

"In the beginning, every year those people’s salaries would be covered, but they kept cutting back," said Brando, as to why the program was changed.

Zapcic said the restored B-MAC will not cost taxpayers, however, because there will be no paid employees running the organization.

"It’s not a requirement of the grant" to have paid employees, said Zapcic, who co-chairs Rahway's municipal alliance committee as part of her regular job as recreation superintendent there. "We work with a lot of groups that are already doing substance abuse work in the municipality and we support them to enhance their efforts. There are ways to do this program without costing the taxpayers money."
J.JONES July 10, 2014 at 07:20 PM
B-MAC Is a pretty big program where does the money go that the parents pay to have there children play in that program ?? Isn't that part of the $200k ?? Someone explain .
Sean Conneamhe July 11, 2014 at 05:28 AM
"Good work, Andrea."

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