RANDOLPH, NJ- Mayor Christine Carey addressed attendees at Randolph’s January 2, 2017 reorganization meeting.
The following is the text of her speech:
Good morning and happy new year.
It is such an honor and privilege to serve as the mayor of Randolph in 2017. I am very excited about the upcoming year.
First, I really want to thank all of the family members, friends, staff and elected officials who have come here today to be a part of our reorganization meeting. I especially want to thank my own family, especially my husband Frank for his support for the last 27 years.
I want to thank our outgoing mayor, Roman Hirniak, for doing such a great job this past year. Roman’s commitment to the residents of Randolph was evident throughout the year.
I would also like to thank my colleagues on the council and Deputy Mayor Forstenhausler for their dedication and service to the Randolph community and for their support and guidance.
I would like to recognize our exceptional township staff and professionals, including our police department and Chief Stokoe—all led by our outstanding town manager Steve Mountain. I cannot overstate what a great job Steve is doing. Also thanks to the many citizens who volunteer to serve the Randolph community. Included as volunteer citizens are our rescue squad and our all-volunteer fire department. Thanks to our outgoing fire chief, Steve Cohrs, our incoming fire chief, Tony Moschella and our incoming deputy fire chief, Mike Vanadia.
Together all of these individuals do a terrific job keeping this town safe, keeping it running very smoothly and providing high-quality services to Randolph residents.
As mayor this year, I will continue to serve as liaison to the Randolph Library Board of Trustees, where for the first time in 36 years, due to the upcoming retirement of Anita Freeman, we will be hiring a new library director.
I will also be serving on the economic development committee, which serves as a liaison between the township and the Randolph business community. I look forward to working with our local businesses, especially those who are currently looking to develop projects in our community, including the Shoppes at Randolph, Mark’s Corner, A&P Plaza, and Kmart Plaza.
Along with Deputy Mayor Forstenhausler, I will be serving as liaison to both the Randolph Board of Education and the County College of Morris. These education institutions both play critical roles in the Randolph community and it is important that we continue to maintain close working relationships with them.
Looking forward, there are several key initiatives that I would like to briefly mention that will be a critical focus of the council in 2017:
1. Budget—Budget season is upon us. As always, our goal is to balance the short- and long-term needs of the community while minimizing tax impact. Many people may not be aware, but Randolph is only one of a handful of the 565 municipalities in NJ that enjoys a AAA bond rating from both Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s. The rating is an acknowledgement of the very strong financial position Randolph enjoys due to sound fiscal management.
2. Recreation—One of the very attractive features about living in Randolph are our 600 acres of parks, 16 miles of trails and numerous recreation programs. After an 18-month process that included extensive community input, the council in July adopted a parks and recreation master plan, which provides a vision for the future of the township’s park facilities and recreation programs. The plan will be implemented over the next 10 years using funds from the Open Space Trust Fund with no new tax impact on residents. The initial phase of the plan will now be kicked off with a final design plan and project specifications for the development of a new park facility on Calais Road. In conjunction with this, a trails master plan committee has been created and will be providing recommendations later this year about how to improve our trails system with new trail segments, trail enhancements and better connectivity of existing trails.
3. Mt. Freedom Plan—A process is underway to update the development plan for the Mount Freedom section of Randolph. Several issues had been delaying that plan but are now nearing completion. First, the Sussex Turnpike improvement project is now completed—as most people know, that was a county project, so I want to thank the freeholders who are here today for their help with completing the successful project—and the sewer project that will provide the Mount Freedom section of Randolph with access to sewer services. We are anticipating recommendations for the Mount Freedom development plan by mid-year.
4. Communications—While the township already provides many avenues for keeping residents informed, this year, we will expand these efforts further. A new cell tower will be constructed on the municipal property to improve communications in this critical area of schools, police and township government. Moving us further into the 21st century, we will also be expanding our social media efforts with Facebook and Twitter.
These are just a few of the many projects that we will be working on in what looks to be a busy and exciting year for Randolph.
In closing, I’d like to wish everyone peace and prosperity in 2017. May God bless you and your families.