First, I would like to thank Assemblywoman Carol Murphy and Commissioner Dan O’Connell for joining us for our first meeting of 2022. Assemblyman Dr. Herb Conaway and Senator Singleton were unable to attend due to a schedule conflict, but I would like to congratulate all of them on their recent re-elections.
Senator Singleton, Assemblyman Conaway and Commissioner O’Connell are all Delran Residents and I am personally grateful that they and Assemblywoman Murphy have all offered so much of their time and assistance over the past year with township events and aiding us with accessing county and state services and resources that allow us to better serve our Delran Family members.
I would like to extend congratulations to Councilman Marlowe Smith on winning his election to finish the last year of his first term as Councilman. The residents of Ward 3 will be represented very well.
I would also like to extend my thanks to all the employees of Delran township for continuing to work SO hard every day in service to this town, especially during another year facing this unprecedented pandemic with unexpected struggles and loss.
So many of our employees have worked above and beyond their regular duties, often on their own time, to maintain the level of service our residents need and deserve.
I would also like to thank the Police, EMS, Fire Department and Public Works for their level of responsiveness and devotion to public safety, and congratulate them on being some of the finest examples of the “gold standard” in upholding the oaths they have all taken.
Finally, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge, after 32 years of service, the official retirement of our Township Administrator, Jeff Hatcher. We are grateful for everything he has done for Delran since 1989 and I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize that.
While we work towards finding his replacement, it is vitally important that our residents know that we, along with senior staff and all township employees and professionals will do everything in our power to make sure that this period of transition is as seamless as possible.
Especially worthy of appreciation for her incomparable level of help is our Township Clerk, Jamey Eggers. It’s no secret inside the township building that Jamey wears MANY hats, but I would like to personally thank her for picking up SO many additional duties during this time, especially after just recently taking on an additional role in the tax office.
We are so incredibly fortunate to have someone work so hard for this township, and because so much of her job happens behind the scenes; most of our Delran family don’t realize just how fundamental she is in making sure everything goes smoothly.
Last year, when I was sworn in as Mayor, I shared that “We’ll figure it out” is my family’s motto.
This past year we accomplished many of the goals we had when we started serving our Delran family and there is much more left to do as we continue to figure it all out.
Council and I looked at many of our township ordinances, redrafting and in some cases removing antiquated, confusing or conflicting laws governing Delran in favor of better, more realistic approaches to government. I thank the members of Council and the Solicitor’s office for their hard work.
We have begun the process of expanding the diversity and community outreach of our Police department and I am proud to continue working with our newly sworn in Police Chief, James Mitchell, to continue on that path.
We have started to expand our communications with residents to reach more community groups within the town that have been largely overlooked. We have some big plans for what’s coming next with regard to communications and outreach, especially with our seniors.
I am also very pleased to mention the hiring of our new Construction Official Bill Lunemann, who has been instrumental in bringing the inspection schedule back on track for the residents and local businesses, after a backlog was created due to Covid. We have heard from many residents that they have been happy with this change, and we’re proud to have Bill on the team.
We have spoken about the Carli Lloyd Event many times before. I will not repeat myself. Except to say that it was a wonderful event and we are very proud of Carli.
The final highlight of 2021 was that we were once again able to celebrate the arrival of Santa and the tree lighting during Winterfest. We have heard from so many residents that they had a wonderful time kicking off their holidays with us, and it was a great way to end the year with the community. My thanks to the volunteers and especially the RAC.
Finally, I am sad to announce that we have once again been forced to make some difficult decisions regarding access to meetings and the building, effective immediately. The two new strains of Covid; Delta and Omicron, have unfortunately led to a deeply troubling rise in case numbers for Delran, and public safety MUST be our primary concern.
While the availability of the vaccine has made a huge difference and has shown to be effective in decreasing fatalities seen previously; some of the most vulnerable members of our Delran family are still not old enough to be vaccinated and the rate of transmission indicates that these variants are spreading faster than ever.
Delran Township will be closed to the public for all meetings, events, gatherings and any departmental offices not separated by a glass partition until further notice. A complete and detailed list of the new protocols in place is available on the township website and facebook.
Unfortunately, that also means that we will need to delay recognition of Delran’s Golden Regiment, the Delran Soccer Team and the Delran Green Team until a safer time. We are so Delran Proud of all of them and look forward to a time when those proclamations can happen.
We have resumed Zoom meetings until we feel that we can safely reopen the building and will continue to closely monitor the guidance recommended by the Burlington County Health Department, the NJDOH, and the CDC and share that information as it becomes available.
I would like to urge all residents to be vigilant as well as kind to one another as we continue to move forward.
- We will continue to make ourselves available to our residents as much and as safely as possible, for whatever they need,
- We will share our progress in the many projects we look to accomplish in 2022, and
- We will continue to work on the issues that face Delran… and “Figure It Out”… together… as a family.