Mayor’s Update October 2017
The Mayor and Council have been busy working for you!
Borough Administrator Rick Merkt has retired as of October 1, 2017. I would like to thank Rick for his service to the Borough over the last three years. The Mayor and Council have engaged The Canning Group, a well-known municipal consulting group, to conduct a search for our next Borough Administrator. This is an opportunity for us to locate an individual to serve us while identifying new efficiencies within our municipal organization that will help us continue to serve you at a very high service level. The search is expected to take three months to complete.
The amendment to the promotional ordinance for the office of Chief of Police has been adopted. The Mayor and Council will engage with a police consultant to assist us in administering the test. As is the case with the administrator, it is important to conduct a deliberate process to make sure the correct person is selected for the positon.
Councilman Brad Badal, our DPW liaison, continues to put a strong effort into completing our 2018 DOT grant for road re-surfacing as well as working with DPW Superintendent Jeff Cooper and Water Reclamation Superintendent Doug Wright to update our snow removal plan which will integrate members of our sewer department into the snow removal process. This needs to done so all available employees are out with trucks and plows assisting in the removal of snow.
Councilman John Andrews, the liaison to our public safety agencies, has worked diligently with Police Officer in Charge John Camoia to identify shared services with the neighboring Police Department in Mendham Township. The two police departments have started to work together to identify community services they can perform together to enhance our collective communities. This is a first step in a process that will help us build on a positive relationship between the two departments that quite frankly, hasn’t existed due to historically different leadership styles in the respective departments.
Councilman Andrus has provided an update to the Mayor and Council on the status of our debt service. Our collective debt is $2.0 million and we are three years away from achieving our goal of “pay as you go” on capital projects. Once this goal is secured, we can avoid future borrowing and payment of interest rates. A job well done by Councilman Andrus and his finance committee!
Councilwoman Glassner and her personnel committee will be assessing staff salaries this fall to compare how each individual position stacks up against similar positions throughout the county.
Councilman Witczak has led a very successful recreation program this year and is currently assessing new programs we can add to our repertoire, including the possibility of bringing a food truck festival into the Borough in 2017.
Councilman Sharkey is working with DPW Superintendent Jeff Cooper to implement an aggressive tree replacement program within the Borough.
I have met with my fellow Mayors from Mendham Township, Chester Borough and Chester Township to discuss programs to enhance new shared service ideas. On tap is to assess how we may join forces to provide a high quality regional recreation program that will give us the ability to provide even better recreation services.
The Mayor and Council remain committed to serving you. If you have anything you want to discuss with us, please contact us through Borough Clerk Margot Kaye at the Phoenix House.
Mayor Neil Henry