Dear Randolph Residents,

It has been over 6 weeks since Governor Murphy issued a stay-at-home order and closed all non-essential businesses in New Jersey. At that time there were 16 deaths in New Jersey attributed to COVID-19. As of today, over 7,700 New Jersey residents have reportedly died from COVID-19. In Randolph, our latest data indicate a total of 260 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections among residents, with 19 deaths and 10 individuals currently hospitalized. While our numbers fluctuate on a daily basis, they are definitely trending downward, indicating that social distancing strategies are working. Below is a snapshot of weekly data since we first reported confirmed cases in Randolph.

 

Week ending

New Cases

Total Cases

March 23

14

14

March 30

31

45

April 6

62

107

April 13

53

160

April 20

47

207

April 27

33

240

May 4

20

260

 
 
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The closing of non-essential businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impact on our national, state and local economies and many Randolph residents are experiencing economic hardships. Over the last few weeks, residents have reached out to me and other Township Council members to ask about property tax payments, especially those that were due on May 1, and any accommodations that might be made during this public health emergency. Because the deadlines for quarterly tax payments are established by the State of New Jersey, Randolph and all other municipalities were not able to adjust these dates.    

However, on April 28, Governor Murphy issued an Executive Order which gave each municipality in New Jersey the option to adopt a resolution to extend the second quarter property tax grace period to June 1, 2020. By law, a municipality like Randolph Township can only adopt such a resolution as part of a public meeting. Furthermore, municipalities are not permitted to hold public meetings without first providing notice of the meeting 48 hours in advance. After learning of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order on Tuesday and providing the appropriate meeting notice on Wednesday morning, the Township Council was then able to consider such a resolution on Friday, May 1.

At the meeting on May 1, the Township Council voted unanimously to extend the grace period for second quarter property tax payments for Randolph property owners to June 1, 2020. The Township Council is very happy to provide this deadline extension for our community and hopes it is helpful to residents experiencing economic difficulties. Ideally, we would like to have taken the action earlier, but we acted as quickly as we could after the governor’s announcement. Unlike many other municipalities, Randolph was able to take this action because of our strong financial position due to many years of conservative fiscal policies and prudent management of reserve funds.    

Among other efforts to assist members of the Randolph community who are facing economic hardships, Randolph Township is partnering with a non-profit organization, Table of Hope. We are very happy to host the Table of Hope mobile food pantry on the morning of Wednesday, May 13 from 10:30 a.m. until noon in the Randolph High School/Middle School parking lot. Residents in need are invited to the event. There are no income guidelines or pre-registration requirements to participate. Those who attend must come by car and remain in their vehicles. Volunteers will place bags of food directly into car trunks. For more information on this event, please visit www.springstreetcdc.org/table-of-hope/

I’m very proud of how the Randolph community has come together during this public health crisis. Let’s continue to stay positive and help each other throughout this difficult time.

Chris Carey