Fall is now in full swing! Please don’t over-due it if you head outside to pick up your leaves. Beautiful up on the trees, not so hot on the lawn! But the good news is that due to a change in policy enacted by our township council, with input from our residents, Randolph Township will pick up all leaves left at your curbside, regardless of who puts them out. So if you have a landscaper, now he can leave them out for pick-up by our DPW as well.
The mid-term election is now upon us, and will be held on November 6th. There has been far too much partisan bickering, and while some ask us to vote against nominees based strictly on party affiliation, there is usually much more to it than that. Regardless of party, please take the time to thoughtfully consider which candidate has done, or will do the best job for us all on the local, county, state and federal level. Please participate in our democracy and vote for the candidate(s) of your choice!
Our local VFW holds many services during the year. I was proud to speak at Post 7333 on Memorial Day, Patriots Day, and will be there again on November 11th for Veterans Day. This year is especially poignant as it is the 100th anniversary of the armistice to the “War to end all War”. While that turned out to be wishful thinking, we set this day aside to remember all of the Veterans who gave so much of themselves for our country and our freedom. Please try to attend at 11:00 AM at the VFW Building at 103 Carrell Road, Randolph, NJ.
As Mayor, I am asked frequently about the township budget and the Council’s overall approach to financial management. I am happy to report that due to intelligent fiscal planning, conservative policies and prudent decision making, the township’s financial position has never been stronger. Randolph is one of a handful of communities in New Jersey to possess a “AAA” bond rating. That rating is recognition of the township’s positive financial position, specifically the organization’s low debt, responsible spending plan, and healthy cash reserve for unexpected expenses. At the end of 2017 we had $7,519,227.56 in our cash reserve Fund Balance. That reserve accrues each year from a variety of sources, including savings from completing projects or purchases below allocated funding levels, unanticipated income such as funds reimbursed by FEMA for storm expenses, and ratable base growth. As part of our annual budget process, we carefully review the cash reserve position, and generally apply a healthy portion of the reserve funds in support of the budget. This year, $5,257,079.00 of the total surplus noted above was used as revenue in support of the budget, leaving $2,262,128.56 in fund balance surplus.
It is always beneficial to have a cash balance, and the bond rating agency Moody’s specifically mentioned this fund balance as one of the primary factors in determining our bond rating. The “AAA” bond rating allows the town to borrow money at a very low rate, which in turn helps keep taxes low. In addition to being a significant factor in support of our bond rating, the cash reserve also provides the flexibility to fund un-expected expenses with cash instead of through borrowing. This saves the town interest costs and allows us to take part in projects such as the one we recently partnered on with the Board of Education to acquire property for the development of a Transition Learning Center. This learning center was opened this September to support the school district’s program for educating special needs students on important life skills. The ribbon cutting for that building was very well attended, and it really warmed my heart to see the happy faces of those students who now had a great environment in which to learn how to cook, clean, and live on their own. Thank you for supporting sound fiscal plans that keep Randolph “Where Life Is Worth Living”!
Mark H. Forstenhausler