Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am honored to have received the recent endorsement of the Chatham Courier and I want to thank the residents of Chatham Township for their continued support. I remain grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of Chatham Township, first as their Deputy Mayor in 2014 and 2015, and now as their Mayor.
Over my tenure on the Committee I have helped spearhead many new initiatives, from communications, to public safety and public health, to community involvement. These initiatives have been designed to further improve the quality of life of our residents and ensure that Chatham Township remains a great place to live and raise a family. You can learn more at www.CurtForChatham.com.
A Commitment to Communications
I established our Township's social media presence on Facebook and Twitter; created our new bi-monthly e-newsletter, which remains one of the most visited pages on our Township website, spearheaded the rebranding of our community and emergency alert platform to Alert ChathamTownship (ACT Now) to ensure residents are registered for this free community and emergency alert system. In 2015 alone we saw a 15 percent increase in registrations and we now have more than 4,100 subscribers. In addition, we now post videos of our meetings online, and include links to the resolutions and ordinances discussed at Committee meetings. More recently, we launched Chatham Township Perspectives, a series of Q&A-style videos with key Township employees and volunteers and will soon launch a newly designed Township website that is designed to improve usability, content, and navigation for residents.
Ensuring the Public’s Safety
While Chatham Township has been recognized as one of the safest places to live in America we strive to ensure that it remains a safe place to live and raise a family, in doing so I helped launch our new Neighborhood Watch program, which is a nationally recognized program that brings neighbors together as a community so that they can assist our Police to ensure that Chatham Township remains one of the safest towns in America. In fact, Chatham Township Police Chief Hennelly credited our Neighborhood Watch with helping to make an arrest. If you would like to learn more please call Officer Bloom at 377-0100. In addition, I led our efforts to promote bear safety through a Black Bear awareness seminar with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. I also coordinated community-based presentations on Suicide Prevention, the Zika Virus and Domestic Violence. I was also a proponent of establishing four way stop signs on Sandy Hill, restricting parking on Spring Street and lowering the speed limit on Lafayette in an effort to ensure the safety of our children. In an ongoing effort to stop the Pilgrim Pipeline I signed Resolution 2016-96, which authorized Chatham Township to join the Municipal Pipeline Group, a group of municipalities who are collectively fighting the proposed pipeline.
A Focus on Fiscal Discipline
Ensuring that your tax dollars are being prudently spent remains of utmost importance and I continue to take pride in the Committee's efforts to prudently manage expenses while increasing awareness of the budget process so all residents understand how their tax dollars are being spent. In 2015 and again in 2016, we cut local taxes reflecting the lowest local purpose tax rate in more than 10 years! Few, if any municipalities in NJ can tout this significant accomplishment.
Building a Stronger Community
Whether it's my involvement as the Founder and President of The Chatham Turkey Trot, my efforts to rebrand and promote The Colony Pool Club, or my efforts to organize the first annual American Foundation for Suicide Prevention "Out of the Darkness Walk," I have always focused on building a greater sense of community and pride in Chatham Township. As a result, The Chatham Turkey Trot experienced its most successful year ever with more than 950 runners and raising more than $24,000 for the Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department, the Diabetes Research Institute and the Chatham Emergency Squad. This past year, our rebranding and marketing efforts around The Colony Pool Club met with much success as we saw an increase in membership of more than 7 percent following my efforts to build a new a website, and launch a comprehensive marketing campaign. This September we hosted the first annual "Out of the Darkness Walk" at the Chatham High School and raised more than $65,000 among more than 500 participants from Chatham Township and surrounding communities.
While these are a few of the many accomplishments, there are still opportunities that lie ahead for Chatham Township. This November 8th I ask for your continued support and for your vote. I hope that I can count on you to join me as we work together, as one community, to continue to Build a Better Chatham.
Curt Ritter, Mayor Chatham Township