April 12th marked the first 100 days for Councilman Lynn Jeney, and for Council President Tyler Burrell and myself in our new positions. Together with the rest of the Council, we have been pushing an aggressive agenda. Tyler has been focusing on the legislative agenda and I am working to further improve resident services. Together, we are aiming to improve how we communicate, what we say, and when this all happens.
Typically, government moves at a glacial pace, but when everyone works together toward the same positive goals, we get to see more immediate results. These are just some of the things we’ve already been able to do because of all the dedicated and talented people that surround me.
- Residents have already seen some of the changes we’re making to the website. We are performing a major overhaul that started with our Public Works section and the launch of Recycle Coach. Now, Waste and Recycling Information is easier to understand and provides an accurate pickup calendar based on your address as well as a search option to learn how to dispose of nearly anything!
- To make sure that every resident gets the right answer to their questions and that we, as Mayor and Council, are both transparent and informative, we established the Communication Committee to recommend ways to improve our resident communication. Council has adopted their recommendations and will be implementing them as soon as possible.
- Council has updated the snow and parking ordinances, and other Township ordinances that are dated or no longer serve the community’s best interests.
- We have started evaluating our zoning laws to allow cannabis in accordance with NJ state law.
Supporting Those Who Protect Us
- First Responders always do a great job protecting us. Councilwoman Virginia Parejo, Councilman Marlowe Smith and I had the incredible experience of watching the Delran Fire Department conduct a LIVE BURN training situation.
- On a freezing cold morning nearly the entire Council and I watched while the Delran Fire Department conducted Ice Rescue Training. Delran EMS had their watchful eyes on everyone involved, including Councilman Burrell who volunteered to be rescued from the frozen Swedes Lake.
- In support of our First Responders, Council and I attended the Delran Defenders (Delran Police, Fire and EMS) annual Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics. And yes, Tyler Burrell ran under the ice cold water along with the others.
In cooperation with Council, I have worked with and supported their decisions to:
- Prioritize open space by approving the addition of a ballot question to extend the local open space tax in the upcoming General election.
- Establish a Tree Ordinance Committee to draft a new ordinance that holds developers accountable for leveling acres of woods. The new law will require compensation to a “tree bank” so we can replant trees throughout the community.
- Introduce a budget with a zero tax increase while maintaining all programs or services.
- Organize and authorize a significant road repaving program with PSE&G and NJAW.
- Welcome Community Solar, who will install solar panels on warehouses and provide relief in the cost of electricity to low-to-modern income families.
- Work with and welcome a new Amazon facility to Delran.
I look forward to continuing the fast paced momentum of our first 100 days as we move Delran into an even better future. This is just a preview for a few things coming next:
Recreation and Sports
- Council President Burrell, our engineers, Superintendent of Public Works, Township Administrator, the President of the Delran AA and I reviewed the current problems with our ball fields.We have millions of dollars of fields and it is time that we develop a real and proactive plan to address the current field conditions and develop field maintenance procedures, to address the flooding problems and turf resurfacing, and dramatically improve the long term experience for anyone using our fields.
- Additionally, I have started looking at the condition of all of the parks and recreation areas in Delran township. We will be working this Spring with Senator Singleton’s office and the Delran Green Team to clean up the parks and recreation areas. This is an opportunity for Delran students to get community service hours, and will give families with younger children more options to get outside in the fresh air after being cooped up during this past year of the pandemic.
- We will also continue to increase commercial redevelopment. As we move forward, we will look at ways to revitalize sections of our town that need it, and some very exciting things are already in the works. You will begin to see empty and vacant commercial properties begin to be utilized again.
Finally, despite the pandemic, I have been fortunate to meet with many residents in person over the last few months to talk about the things that are most important to them in our community. I really enjoy that time. I hope that we will be able to meet in larger groups soon.
In the meantime, I want you all to know that if there is anything anyone in our Delran family needs, I will do everything possible to ALWAYS be available.
I also want to thank the Council and our staff for all the work they do every day. None of what’s happening would be possible without their hard work. We are so fortunate to have so many dedicated people working for our Delran community.