MONTVILLE, NJ – Residents were honored and thanked for their combined 179 years of volunteering to the benefit of Montville Township residents at the Jan. 1 Montville Township Committee reorganization meeting.
Two residents had spent 32 and 24 years volunteering for the town.
Ralph Avallone, Sr. served on the Housing Committee for 32 years and was chair for ten years.
“We will miss you and we’re delighted you and your wife made it here today,” Committee Member Nielson said. “You are Morris County Treasures and we are privileged to have had you as part of the Montville Township volunteer community for all these years.”
Robert “Doc” Purnell was honored for his 24 years of service.
“It is my distinct honor to present this plaque – also with a tinge of sadness,” said Nielson, “because that means this individual is stepping down. This is the second-longest serving individual that we’re honoring here today. [Doc] served on the Open Space Committee for 24 years. He started the Open Space Committee. He is affectionately known as the ‘Father of Open Space.’ He was one of the initiators of the open space tax that we have in town, and I’m proud to say that Montville Township, with his leadership and others’, has preserved 25% of this municipality in perpetuity. In addition, we have spent more than $30 million to purchase these properties in partnership with local, state, and county funds. [Doc] was also a mayor for three years, and served with distinction as a Montville Township committee member for 24 years.”
Michael O’Brien was thanked for his 18 years on the Historic Preservation Review Commission.
“The HPRC is close to my heart,” said Committee Member Richard Conklin. “You’ve done a wonderful job.”
Shawn Ruby was thanked for his seven years and Tracy Schuly for her five years on the Historic Preservation Review Commission.
Stuart Rothman was honored for his time on the Board of Health.
“He served with distinction for 17 years but has moved out of town,” said Nielson.
Michael Muralo was thanked for his three years with the Drug Awareness-Municipal Alliance.
“He brought much to the table and we wish him well,” said Nielson.
Monica Mianecki served on the Environmental Commission.
“They’re not highly recognized but they do a lot of work and they take a lot of interest in Montville Township,” said Conklin. “Thank you, Monica, for your seven years of service.”
Ellen Dreskin was thanked for her four years and Lawrence Oberman was thanked for his three years on both the Housing Committee and the Design Review Committee.
Nielson said the Housing committee doesn’t meet often but deals with important issues pertaining to low and moderate income housing.
Library Board of Trustees
“I recruited Larry D’Oench to the Library Board of Trustees because I thought he was level headed and always invested in Montville, and he served with distinction,” said Sandham. “I appreciate your efforts.” D’Oench served for three years on the board.
Cesar Correa was also thanked for his three years serving on the Library Board of Trustees.
Long-Term Financial Planning Committee
“The members of the Long-Term Financial Planning Committee give us the long-term financial future and how we can best serve the town from a financial perspective,” said Sandham.
Sandham thanked Steve Sammit for his six years on the committee, as well as for attending most of the regular township committee meetings, “and keeping an eye on us,” Sandham said with a laugh. Sammit also served six years on the Economic Development Committee.
Adam Semer was also thanked for his three years on the LTFPC.
Conrad Hahn was thanked for his five years on the Open Space Committee. Lawrence Tobias was thanked for his eight years on the Planning Board. Joan Leib and Amy O’Neil were thanked for their eight and seven years on the Residents’ with Disabilities Advisory Committee, respectively. Cliff Seipel was thanked for his 11 years on the Rockaway River Watershed Cabinet. Eugene Fucetola was thanked for his five years serving on the Technology Committee. All volunteers will be mailed plaques thanking them for their service.