Mayor’s Update February 2018
Mayor’s Message to the Citizens of Mendham Borough-January 4, 2018 Reorganization Meeting
Tonight marks the debut of our new Borough Administrator, Joyce Bushman. Joyce, who officially starts her employment with the Borough this coming Monday, comes to the Borough from the Columbus, Ohio area where she spent 20 years in municipal administration as the City Manager in Pinkerington, Ohio and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Internal Operations in the Columbus, Ohio mayor’s office. A graduate of Ohio State University, Joyce holds Master Degrees in Public Administration and Regional Planning from OSU. I feel very lucky to have secured Joyce as our next administrator as I feel her strong, extensive experience and fresh perspective from outside New Jersey will greatly benefit Mendham Borough. Joyce resides in Mendham Borough with her husband Mike and looks forward to serving the town where she lives.
2017 will be known as a year centered on rebuilding our Borough staff. In February, our DPW Superintendent of 10 years left to join a bigger town. We were fortunate enough to have hired Jeff Cooper as our new DPW Superintendent. Jeff has fit in well and quickly earned the respect of the Mayor and Council as well as his staff at the DPW. Our former administrator announced his retirement in September and a search was started to find his replacement. As previously mentioned, the search resulted in Joyce Bushman, a very qualified municipal manager from the Columbus, Ohio area. I am happy to announce that after the completion of successful medical examinations, I will be appointing Sgt. John Camoia to become the next Chief of Police for the Borough of Mendham. John successfully finished on top in the examination process and has truly displayed his leadership ability while serving as our Officer in Charge since February. John has earned the right to be our next Chief and is the right person to lead our police department. In December, our former Borough Clerk made a sudden departure for a similar position in Morristown. Councilwoman Glassner and her personnel committee have screened resumes and have commenced the search process for our new clerk. Several promising resumes have been received and it is my hope to have a new clerk in place by the end of February. All of our staff and members of the Borough Council have pulled together to pick up the slack created by vacancies in key positions, and for this, I am truly thankful. Additionally, our town planner announced his move into a full-time job with the Township of Mount Olive and a replacement for him will need to be located and appointed during Q1 of 2018. With these personnel changes, I believe a solid foundation has been built to move the Borough into the future.
2018 will have its challenges. Councilwoman Serrano-Glassner and her Economic Development team will be busy identifying opportunities for our local businesses, and a balanced budget will need to be drafted, introduced, adopted, and recommended by Councilman Andrus and his finance committee. Councilman Badal and his DPW Committee will work closely with Mr. Cooper to maximize our road paving program and Councilman Andrews will be busy working closely with Administrator Bushman and Police Chief Camoia to continue to explore shared police services with neighboring communities. Councilman Sharkey will serve as liaison to the Planning Board and will have an active role in the potential hearing of an application for a new Dunkin Donuts on Main Street, and Councilman Witczak will be working on the planning of a food truck festival to be held in Borough Park this summer. As your Mayor, I will be working with Administrator Bushman to identify and prepare implementation on key efficiency improvement programs to assist in our day to day operations. These will include, but not be limited to, assessing inter-department software which can automate all aspects of a municipal operation, software that will automate the tracking of Vacation, Sick and Personal Time, outside management of Special Police Details, and the identification of additional shared services with our neighboring communities.
In closing, I would like to say that a Mayor is only as good as the people he surrounds himself with. I would like to acknowledge all our staff and many volunteers for the time they give to make Mendham Borough the fine community for which it is known.
A special thanks to Borough Attorney Fred Semrau for his years of loyal service to me as Mayor. Fred has helped me navigate the Borough through, and eliminate, many legal challenges we faced over the last two years. Unless you’re the guy who has complete responsibility of an organization, which a Mayor has, it is difficult to appreciate the time and effort that goes into providing balanced, effective and impartial leadership that is critical in leading a municipal government and a governing body through some of these tough legal spots. In this case, they were very unique to the Borough of Mendham but not necessarily to many municipalities throughout the state. Fred helped me hold a steady and sensible approach to solving these issues, which potentially saved the taxpayers a significant amount of tax dollars.
The state of Mendham Borough is in good hands and we are poised to have another successful year in all areas of our local government.
Happy New Year!
Mayor Neil Henry