Readington Township – Mayors’ Statement – January 3, 2023
Welcome and Happy New Year. I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to our Township residents, numerous departments and staff, and our volunteers for their service in 2022. I thank my fellow Township Committee members for their continued commitment and service. Welcome to Vinny Panico as he joins us and begins a three-year term on the Township Committee.
Let me share some of our many accomplishments from 2022, and our goals for 2023.
This past year we had several Personnel updates.
In our Department of Public Works, we promoted Ron Christy as our new Director. We improved or paved ten (10) roads and leveraged American Rescue Plan funds to purchase new Public Works equipment.
We promoted Christina Schwartz to Director of Land Use and Development.
We hired Tom Ferry, an experienced CFO to manage our budget and financial affairs.
We hired James Curry as our new Public Safety Director, and promoted and hired several Police Officers, and agreed to a shared services arrangement with the Readington Board of Ed to place dedicated officers in each of our schools.
We established a Traffic Safety Subcommittee, which includes residents, to actively identify improvement opportunities and make recommendations to the Township and County.
Our 10-year Agricultural Plan has been completed. Two new farms have been identified for potential 2023 preservation, comprising an additional 150 acres.
An unused, empty baseball field has been converted into a productive hay field for a local farmer.
We built new basketball courts at Pickell Park. New Pickleball courts and playground equipment were installed at Summer Road Park.
We accepted two (2) Open Space donations, one in the Chambers Brook Watershed, and one at Darts Mills on the South Branch of the Raritan River.
Our Township received recognition as one of the top 50 safest towns in New Jersey. We were given the silver award in the Sustainable Jersey program, and the gold award for water quality, one of only three NJ towns to achieve this distinction.
It has been a privilege to serve Readington. I extend my heartfelt thanks to our police, and to all our volunteers, especially rescue, fire and first responders.
Now we look forward to 2023.
As a Township Committee, we plan to focus additional planning and resources on addressing State and Court mandates such as Affordable Housing. It is our intent to minimize the impact of over development on our semi-rural environment.
We will continue to actively preserve farms. We have two (2) properties pending with SADC (State Agricultural Development Committee) and intend to target additional farms and willing landowners with potential preservation programs. We will actively preserve open space in our priority areas; watersheds, forested areas, and wherever we can expand trail corridors.
Stewardship will be a continued priority. We are organizing a stewardship program for 2023 to continue protection and enhancement of the forest, meadows and watershed we manage.
We will continue to promote traffic safety and education and engage residents from all parts of Readington.
In an effort to improve communication, we will continue to encourage in-person meetings and video capabilities to make our departments and committees more productive. Social media options will be reviewed and explored.
With our Advisory Committees we are working to identify goals and to share ideas and intentions across committees to foster more cooperation to further benefit everyone.
In closing, I encourage those of you already participating in our Township affairs to continue to do so, and to encourage your friends and neighbors to volunteer.
Let’s continue the positive progress we have made to keep Readington Township the beautiful place it is to work and live.
Mayor, Readington Township, NJ, 2023