Mayor’s Reorganization Address
Posted: January 2, 2014
Mayor James Loveys addressed attendees at Randolph’s January 1, 2014 reorganization meeting. The following is the text of his speech.
I’d like to thank all of you for attending today and I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe new year.
Special thanks to my wife Karen and our children Chelsea, Anna, James and Abby for being here and sharing this day with me. A commitment to public service places demands on family life and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your continued support and understanding.
It’s difficult to express how honored I feel to serve this community as its mayor and I thank my council colleagues for their much appreciated support. I’d like to thank outgoing Mayor Tom MacArthur for his leadership this past year. I feel privileged to have served as your deputy. I love this town in which my wife and I chose to live and raise our family 22 years ago and thank the many volunteers, past and present township council members, and past and present township staff whose tireless efforts have truly created, in the words of former Mayor Ed Tamm, “a place where life is worth living.”
The Council-Manager Plan E of the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under which our township is governed, vests in the township council not only all legislative powers and the determination of all policy matters, but also charges it with the responsibility to appoint the township manager, our chief executive and administrative officer. This responsibility is not taken lightly as the manager oversees all of the various departments and day to day activities of the township. With the best interests of Randolph Township and its residents in mind, it is a top council priority for 2014. The search process began nearly a year in advance of our manager’s retirement with the establishment of a search committee by Councilman MacArthur, as mayor, comprised of him, Councilwoman Carey and myself. A search firm was retained to assist with the recruitment effort and I am happy to report that we have received several quality candidate resumes. The search process will proceed with interviews during the next six weeks and will culminate with the council’s goal of announcing an appointment toward the end of February.
We seek a strong, skilled leader capable of administering our service based municipal organization of 121 full time and 42 part time employees to best serve the nearly 26,000 residents in our community of approximately 22 square miles; a professional with local government experience and expertise who not only will continue the sound fiscal strategies that have earned our township a rare triple A bond rating, but will also possess the ability to manage ongoing and future infrastructure and capital improvement projects so critical to our town. We are interested in an individual who will preserve Randolph’s reputation as a highly desirable community in which to live, and preferably one who will choose to make Randolph their home, and thereby, become a stakeholder in Randolph’s future.
Certainly, with the departure of both our manager and chief financial officer, 2014 will be a year of transition. Fortunately, the township hired a highly qualified CFO in Darren Maloney several weeks ago providing him the opportunity to familiarize himself with his surroundings, get to know his staff, and work with Mike Soccio prior to his retirement. We welcome Darren and wish him a long tenure in Randolph. Change in personnel is inevitable and there surely will be some bumps in the road, but I have the utmost confidence that our team of high quality department heads, township staff, and this council will rise to the occasion and work together in an effort to make the transition to new leadership as seamless as possible.
We optimistically look forward to 2014 and increased economic activity in Randolph with anticipation of several new developments and ongoing infrastructure improvements that will pave the way for future development and re-development. We should see the long awaited county alignment of West Hanover Avenue with Brookside Road at Sussex Turnpike, a signalized intersection, and associated improvements further west on Sussex begin by mid to late summer, bringing some relief to that traffic congested area. As directed by the Morris County Board of Taxation, this year our township will embark on a two year project to update our tax maps, followed by a town-wide revaluation that must be completed by the fall of 2016 with updated property assessments in place for the 2017 tax year. Financially, this is a significant project for which we must begin to plan as part of our 2014 municipal budget.
Earlier I mentioned that I love this town. I do so for several reasons. We have so many committed and passionate volunteers who truly help make this town tick, willing to dedicate their time and expertise to our various advisory committees, commissions and boards; our senior citizen services, recreation programs, civic organizations and animal pound; and of course the members of our first aid squad and four fire department battalions, who are always there to answer in our times of need.
Our service based organization provides services beyond those deemed essential ranging from public safety and emergency management to recreation to infrastructure maintenance and repair, leaf and branch pick up, to animal control, low cost immunizations and more. This year we look to continue to enhance the efficiency of these services by combining construction departments with neighboring Roxbury.
Without question our parks, trails, recreational facilities and open space are second to none and we must continue to be good stewards of these valuable assets. It is with these assets in mind and the fact that people today are more in tune with the importance of fitness and a healthy balanced lifestyle that, as mayor, this year I would like to promote the Mayor’s Wellness Program in Randolph Township. Whether you are a serious athlete or one who simply prefers a casual walk, our public facilities have much to offer. There is much available in our business community as well. Our town is home to several fitness facilities, spas, wellness centers, rehabilitation practices, and places where healthy foods are found. This year I would like to hold a series of wellness fairs at our community center and/or municipal building as well as host walks on our incredible trails. I invite you all to join me and take part in a healthier 2014.
I continue to be thankful for the opportunity to serve my community and all of our residents. I look forward to working with my fellow colleagues in 2014, all of whom I admire and respect, and will continue to be guided in my decision making by what is in the best interest of Randolph Township.
Thank you, and again, have a safe, happy, and healthy new year.
Mayor James Loveys
January 1, 2014