SOMERSET HILLS, NJ _ More mayors are joining Somerset Hills mayors, from Bernards Township, Bedminster, Bernardsville and Far Hills, as part of a “Main Street” Alliance of mayors from three counties who will advocate for a swift and safe reopening of businesses within their communities, the alliance announced on Thursday.
The Somerset Hills area mayors who are members of the alliance include Mayor Larry Jacobs (Bedminster), Mayor James Baldassare (Bernards), Mayor Mary Jane Canose (Bernardsville), Mayor Matthew Moench (Bridgewater), Mayor Paul Vallone (Far Hills), according to the alliance, which also includes representatives from Morris and Middlesex counties.
'Direct outreach' to governor's office and other officials to 'do more' for businesses and residents
The alliance has goal of making direct outreach to Governor Phil Murphy's office for immediate action, as well as asking county, state and federal officials, representing their residents to do more for the businesses and residents' suffering, the announcement said.
The Alliance will also coordinate local policies when appropriate, share ideas from their communities, and work together to a comprehensive regional approach to economic success of their local businesses.
"The reaction to the Alliance has been overwhelmingly positive, and we're glad to see mayors not just from Somerset County, but from our neighboring communities join together to protect our residents and local businesses," said Bernards Mayor James Baldassare.
The mayors for "Main Street" Alliance on Thursday announced the addition of seven more mayors to join the business advocacy movement. The new mayors join representatives from Somerset, Middlesex, and Morris County.
The new mayors joining as of Thursday include:
Mayor Zachery Bray, Raritan Borough, Somerset County
Mayor Richard Onderko, Manville Borough, Somerset County
Mayor Doug Tomson, Hillsborough Township, Somerset County
Mayor Michael "Mick" Marion, Warren Township, Somerset County
Mayor Jason Cilento, Dunellen Borough, Middlesex County
Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner, Mendham Borough
Mayor Sarah Neibart, Mendham Township
"We are excited to add another dynamic and passionate group of mayors to this growing initiative," said Mayor Matthew Moench of Bridgewater Township. "I expect that our ranks will continue to grow in the coming days and weeks as elected officials, like us, hear more and more from the struggling business owners and out of work residents in our communities who are demanding action. We can open many facets of our economy in a safe way and help the mental and financial struggles of so many."
"This is not a Somerset County problem or a Middlesex County problem. This is a statewide issue that will impact residents and our economy even after restrictions are lifted," said Dunellen Mayor Jason Cilento.
Not advocating for 100 percent opening
Cileinto said he doesn't believe that any of the Alliance members are advocating for a "100 percent opening, but something that sustains our Mom and Pop shops is what we are after."
He said that if officials don't combine into acting f we don't act now, as a group, many of our local businesses may not be around next year. "We can do this gradually and do it with the public’s welfare as top priority."