Randolph's New Mayor for 2020 Christine Carey Delivered the following Speech at Randolph's reorganization meeting the first week of January:
Good evening. Happy New Year and Welcome to 2020.
Thank you to all of the family members, friends, staff, and elected officials who have come here today to be a part of this re-organization meeting. I especially want to thank my husband Frank and my sons, Nick and Joey, for being here tonight to support me. My daughter couldn’t be here tonight because she is home with her husband and my 5-month old granddaughter.
It is such an honor and a privilege to serve as the Mayor of Randolph in 2020. I am really looking forward to a very rewarding and productive year.
Once again, I want to express my thanks to our outgoing mayor, Jim Loveys, for doing such a great job this past year. Jim is a person of great integrity and dedication to the Randolph community.
I would also like to thank all of my colleagues on the Council and Deputy Mayor Veech, for their dedication and service to the Randolph community and for their support and guidance. We work very closely as a team.
I would like to recognize our exceptional township staff and professionals, including those here this evening, Police Chief Stokoe, Donna Luciani, our clerk, and of course our Town Manager, Steve Mountain. The staff who work in this building and throughout the town really do a terrific job of keeping this town safe, keeping it running very smoothly and providing quality services to Randolph residents.
I would also like to thank the many residents who raise their hands and volunteer to serve the Randolph community, on various advisory committees and Boards, many of whom are being appointed this evening, and also those who volunteer as coaches and certainly as volunteers on our Rescue Squad and our Fire Department.
As Mayor this year, I will also be a member of 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 planning to open new businesses in our community, including Wawa and Metro Self Storage, both to be opening on Route 10 in 2020.
In addition, I am looking forward to being the Council Liaison, along with the Deputy Mayor, to the Randolph Board of Education. We have a close working relationship and open communication with the BOE and meet with them on a regular basis to discuss issues that affect both organizations and joint projects that may benefit our residents.
Looking forward, it’s going to be a busy year in Randolph. I would just like to briefly mention a few key initiatives for 2020:
2020 Budget - Budget season is upon us. As always, our goal is to prepare a budget that meets the community’s needs while balancing the long term financial stability of the municipal organization and minimizing the tax impact. Randolph is only one of a handful of the 565 municipalities in NJ that has a AAA bond rating from both Standard and Poor and Moodys. The rating is an acknowledgement by these two institutions of the very strong financial position Randolph enjoys due to sound fiscal management. The rating benefits the community because it affords us the lowest possible interest rates if we borrow money.
We have 3 budget meetings scheduled on Saturday, January 25 at 8:30 a.m.; Thursday, February 6 at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 22 at 8:30 a.m. All meetings are open to the public. We encourage input and participation from the public. Additional public hearings will be held in March and a final budget will ultimately be adopted in April.
Recreation – One of the reasons people love living in Randolph is our 600 acres of parks, 16 miles of trails and numerous recreation programs. We are looking forward to the successful completion of the construction of Veteran’s Community Park on Calais Road in 2020. The new 90-acre park will feature an amphitheater, a 1/4 mile paved, lighted walkway loop, a community garden, picnic pavilions, pickle ball courts, paved and natural trails and multiple open areas for passive recreation and public events.
In accordance with our Parks Master Plan, we will also be making enhancements to our current parks, such as the replacement of field lighting at Brundage Park this year.
COAH - Also, in 2020, we expect to have a final settlement of the Township’s Housing Element and Fair Share Plan and have a final determination of the municipal affordable housing obligations through 2025. We will be communicating more about this important topic throughout the year.
Along those lines, we will be completing remediation of the former EA Porter Site on Bennett Avenue and plan to transition the property to Habitat for Humanity, who will be constructing 25 affordable housing units. This is a project the town has been working on for quite some time, and we are very happy and proud of our collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
Cell Tower – Building permits have been issued for the construction of the new cell tower behind the municipal building. This of course, will improve communications in this critical area of schools, police, and township government.
There are also several important infrastructure projects that we will focus on in 2020.
We anticipate completing several water and sewer projects, including:
- Meadowbrook water line replacement (paving and final phase drainage improvements)
- Farm and Arnold Road Sewer Improvements
- Meadowbrook Pump Station
- CCM Pump Station
In addition, we will be updating the Sewer System Master Plan. The plan presents a description of the existing sanitary sewer system as well as a detailed analysis of future needs along with recommendations to ensure the successful and effective operation and maintenance of the sanitary sewer systems of the Township.
In 2020 we will also make several infrastructure improvements to town hall, which is now over 40 years old. This building is kept in great shape, but there is work that needs to be done, such as drainage improvements, the replacement of the building’s air handler units and upgrade/replacement to the town hall phone system.
We will continue to work with and push the NJ State Department of Transportation for a plan to address the needed improvements to the Route 10 Corridor intersections that are within Randolph Township. We recognize this is a source of frustration to our residents.
These are just a few of the many projects that we will be undertaking in what looks to be a busy and exciting year for Randolph.
In closing, I’d like to wish everyone good health and much happiness in 2020.