Mayor’s Reorganization Address
Posted: January 2, 2015
Mayor Joanne Veech addressed attendees at Randolph’s January 1, 2015 reorganization meeting. The following is the text of her speech.
Thank you all for coming today. This day is a very special one, as our township in 1969 selected a council - manager form of government under the Faulkner Act, whereas the state mandates we meet to select a new mayor on this very day every year. I am honored to serve as the 46th mayor and 8th woman mayor of Randolph. Thank you, colleagues, for your support; again, I’m honored to serve.
Today, I’d like to share with you five events on the horizon and a few thoughts as we embark on a new year.
First up, our parks and recreation master plan—more than 700 acres of parkland have been set aside for active and passive recreation uses, most of which are interconnected by a 16-mile trail system that traverses five parks, the Clyde Potts Reservoir watershed and 2,000 acres of pristine open space. Two months ago we selected a premier firm to draft a parks and recreation master plan that will help guide this township over the next 10 to 15 years in meeting our citizens’ needs. The last one in 1998 envisioned Freedom Park. Residents will have the greatest input to the plan, in addition to current and future trends, number of children and adults expected to live in Randolph, etc., all while taking into account what we already have. I’m hoping our residents will voice their need for a community garden—a place where adults can meet, grow their own food, and food for local food pantries. It’s a great opportunity to educate our residents on gardening.
Second, we were mandated by the Morris County Board of Taxation to go through a township revaluation which will go on the books in 2017. Our last revaluation was completed in 2000. The firm to do the revaluation has been selected and they will be starting the process shortly. All residents will receive notification prior to anyone attempting to survey property. Township communications about the process will begin during the first quarter of 2015.
Third, you’ve all heard “shop local.” We should keep that in the front of our mind this year as we need to keep our commercial tax ratables here in Randolph, and we do that by keeping our retail space filled, and we do that by shopping here in Randolph. As an example, last week I purchased a bike in town which I probably could have purchased online or elsewhere but I want that bike store with its great service to stay in our town and be successful. Each of us needs to do our part to keep our merchants here as it will benefit all of us in the long run.
Let’s not forget our three working farms in town…why not support them and buy local fruits and veggies from them? One day I envision community “farm to fork” dinners focusing on their produce and our local chefs in town. I believe we all want to keep our farms thriving for our children and grandchildren. It’s part of Randolph’s history to be preserved.
Fourth, staying with the green theme, our recycling has gone to single stream collection. That means paper, cardboard, bottles, cartons and cans can all be placed in the same container for collection at curbside and at our recycling center. We can recycle all plastic except those marked with #3 or #6. Check out our quarterly for more useful recycling information.
Fifth, we are seeing new development with the independent and assisted living complex on Quaker Church, with 125 units, as well 31 new adult townhomes on Calais. We look forward to the development of 105 luxury townhomes, with many first floor master bedrooms, on Brookside, as well as a new regional animal control facility. We also will see the re-alignment of Sussex and Hanover, bringing sewer to that area, as well as new businesses and new ratables.
And lastly, our township employees and citizen volunteers—we thank you for all you do. From our town hall staff, our DPW workers, the staff at our community center, to our volunteer rescue squad and our volunteer firemen (God bless you!), and our citizen volunteers. They are all the best at what they do.
And to our police department, I sleep well at night knowing you are there to protect and serve us. Join me in thanking them, our staff, and all our volunteers that make this town a place where life is worth living. Thank you and God Bless America.
Mayor Joanne Veech
January 1, 2015