Mayor Bob Conley, with the April 17 update on Madison’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most recent reporting from the State, has over 78,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey, 3,800 are in Morris County, including 73 cases in Madison.

Today I need to cover two topics slightly off the direct subject of the pandemic.

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First is a reminder that during all of this, the once every ten years census is underway. As we see how relief from Washington is being distributed it is a strong reminder how important counting every resident is; from support to schools, highways to the emergency relief that we desperately need now, is all based on the count of our census. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill has been fighting for us in Congress just as all twelve New Jersey House of Representatives have been working hard for their constituents. New Jersey once had fifteen representatives, we’re down to twelve and we can’t afford to lose any more, all must be counted. If you haven’t responded to the census make it your goal this weekend. And don’t worry, all individual responses are confidential and can’t be shared, even with other government departments. Go to 2020Census.gov to do your part.

The other topic has to do with something we rarely think about, our sanitary sewer system. For the most part we take our showers, do our dishes and flush our toilets without a thought. But of course these are not normal times. With the paper product aisles often empty, we may have to be resourceful, which has led to a strain on our sewer system. Parts of town rely on pump stations, which have to push the sewerage up from low points so that gravity can get it to the processing plant on the Passaic River in Chatham. These pumps and the processing plant are being overwhelmed with wipes and things that could shut down the system or even cause a very inconvenient backup in your home. Please flush only toilet paper and remember that despite the label, there is no such thing as a flushable wipe.

Lastly and the reason, I’m wearing this cap, is that tomorrow would have been the annual Little League and Girls Softball parade. While practices would have been going on for several weeks, the parade would have been the official kickoff to the season.

Hundreds of children and the many volunteer coaches would have marched through town cheered on by parents, grandparents and spectators. This is a different time and that will not happen. But please take time this weekend to have a backyard catch with your children and go for a socially distanced walk using your best parade wave to greet others from afar.

Also take lessons from baseball and softball. The game is won or lost on how well the whole team works together. While the last inning may stand out, to succeed we have to be on our game from the first pitch to the last out. Once we get through this, just like the end of the game we will look back at the lessons learned; what we did well and where we fell short. In the meantime let’s keep doing what we’re doing, it looks like it will be extra innings but we can beat this pandemic.

Don’t forget to check for updates on Rosenet.org on a regular basis. Thank you for your time, take care of yourself, your loved ones and others through social distancing and personal protection measures.

For the census Be Counted and for all Be Home, Be well.