HAMILTON, NJ -- Before a standing room only crowd on New Year’s Day at Stone Terrace, Hamiltonians, local and county officials, friends and family came together for the inauguration of the Township’s new elected leader – Mayor Jeff Martin.
In addressing the crowd, Martin began by noting the appropriateness of the beginning of a new year and new decade as “an opportunity to start a new chapter, a chance to clean the slate and move forward.”
“Hamilton is presented with many challenges, but with each challenge comes an opportunity to improve. Together, on this day, we have the chance to unite and move Hamilton forward; to correct the errors of the past while working to ensure they are not repeated in the future.
“Here in Hamilton, just as during my time in the Air Force, we will always: Aim High,” said Martin.
During his speech, Martin laid out his key priorities for his administration’s plans for Hamilton Township.
“As we begin this new chapter, the challenges we are presented with are formidable, but not insurmountable," he said, listing the assurance of clean and safe drinking water; completing consolidation of Hamilton's fire districts; and re-developing blighted and abandoned properties across the township as focal points of his nascent administration.
Martin went on to highlight the need to transform the much maligned Hamilton Animal Shelter into "a community asset we can all be proud of” and call for improved communications with Hamilton’s senior citizens, particularly those facing financial hardships. He also committed to promoting Hamilton as an arts destination for visitors as well as attracting and supporting the business community.
With Reed Gusciora in the audience, Martin commended the Trenton's mayor for making “great strides in righting the ship” at Trenton Water Works. But, Martin promised, he will “use all the weight and power of the mayor's office to ensure that Hamilton residents can trust that the water supplied to us is safe; nothing less is acceptable.”
In a rebuke to critics who suggest that officials outside of Trenton do not interfere with the operations of Trenton Water Works, Martin said “we will not stay in our lane.”
“There is more to do, and we will not flinch in holding Trenton Water Works accountable. No resident should have to worry about whether their water is safe and clean to drink,” Martin added.
The new mayor, who campaigned with a heavy focus on consolidating Hamilton’s Fire Districts, said that it is “long past time to bring to an end the delayed fire district consolidation process.”
“This will eliminate the inefficiencies of the past while also reducing costs. More importantly, it will provide a fire service that is safer for our firefighters and all of you,” said Martin, seemingly directing the comment to all residents.
Martin said that his administration will partner with federal, state, county, and non-governmental organizations to redevelop blighted and abandoned properties.
“When any town is allowed to become run down, it conveys a lack of civic pride, it lowers property values, it adversely affects the quality of life, and it sends a wrong message to prospective businesses and homebuyers,” Martin said. “By converting these blighted properties into occupied and maintained ones, all of Hamilton wins.”
With mayors and county officials from throughout Mercer County in attendance, including neighboring Robbinsville Mayor David Fried, Martin said that he plans to build bridges without regard to politics or party and work in collaboration for “all to rise together.”
In closing, Martin called for “the multitude of great and diverse neighborhoods that make up Hamilton Township” to come together “for our families and for the future of our children and grandchildren.”
“This unity is our strength and something we should be proud of. We must look to the common goals we want and work together as neighbors,” said Martin. “It is in that common mission, as fellow Hamiltonians, we can lift this town back to its rightful place. No neighborhood ignored, no neighborhood forgotten, one great hometown, Hamilton Proud.
“We are truly America’s Favorite Hometown with an even better future waiting for us if we are willing to work together, as one unified community,” said Martin. “I ask each of you to resolve, along with me, to join together in common cause, as we begin to write this next chapter for Hamilton. We are in this together and together is how we will achieve the best results.”
To watch Martin’s entire speech as well as remarks by new Council members Nancy Phillips and Pat Papero, log on to TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville’s live stream of the inauguration ceremony.
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