Residents of West Long Branch
I would like to thank all WLB residents for the continued support and public trust that you have given me as your Mayor. As you know I consider it a privilege and honor to be able to volunteer my service to you. I reaffirm my promise that I will do my best to uphold your trust and faith.
I am so very pleased to welcome back recently reelected Councilwoman MaryLynn Mango and Councilman Stephen Bray. They both devote countless hours to Boro business and concerns. They are well respected community members who are always responsive to the needs of residents. It is a testament to both MaryLynn and Steve's dedication and effectiveness as governing officials, that they were both reelected to office without opposition.
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the rest of our hard working councilmen - Council President Chris Neyhart and Councilmen John Penta, Steve Cioffi and Fred Migliaccio. They all perform their roles as elected officials with the utmost dedication. Under their guidance, our town continues to run efficiently with sound fiscal management.
Our various commissions provide residents with ongoing outstanding events. The Recreation Commission's FALL FESTIVAL was a huge success again this year, in spite of the rain! They also created a LANTERN WALK around Franklin Lake for all local school children who made lanterns to symbolize the inner light that shines bright, even as the days grow shorter and darker as we change our clocks back. Food was also collected at this event for the local food pantry at the Lutheran Church which assists people of all denominations. The Environmental Commission was recognized as achieving BRONZE status for our town as we are now SUSTAINABLE JERSEY CERTIFIED. They continue to organize recycling and shredding opportunities for residents. This year, they collected and removed over 750 pounds of plastics from the environment. This was done in coordination with the local schools and residents. By doing so, our town will receive a TREX bench to be placed in a public park. The Shade Tree Commission continues to provide tree plantings in town as well as organizing Arbor Day activities in our local schools.
I am so very proud to share some of this year's important projects. The Boro will begin to outsource garbage collection on January 1, 2020. This was a major decision that was fully researched and debated at length by the governing body. The same services will continue for all residents with the same regularity that they presently experience. We have not laid off any Boro employees. This will enable them to spend more time on other areas of need in town. The Boro recently assumed ownership of the West Long Branch Community Center. We will lease it back to the present WLBCC Board to operate. They will continue to raise funds to assist in its operation. This is an historic landmark in our Boro and we want our residents to continue to enjoy it. We have received $225,000 in funding from the NJDOT, which is supported by the state gas tax. This will be used for the Wall Street Sidewalks Improvements Project. Our former Police Building and Borough offices were finally demolished. Now we hopefully will be able to upgrade building repairs to our library. We have tightened procedures for utility companies doing work in public streets and expanded their restoration obligations. Our long time dedicated public works employees will see increased pay, bringing them more in line with other towns.
We all continue to be vigilant about rising property taxes, especially in small towns like ours. However, only a small portion of your tax dollar is used for municipal purposes. We are committed to preserving a stable tax rate while still maintaining quality services for our residents. We continue to explore ways to save money through shared services and consolidation.
We lowered Boro flags this year to honor former Councilman Leslie Wilcox upon his passing at the age of 102. He helped to make a difference in West Long Branch. His years of dedicated and loyal service are still remembered by some of us present today. May he Rest In Peace. He was someone who helped make West Long Branch a better place to live and raise a family.
Long time Principal Angelina Pelliccia retired after 39 years as Principal of St. Jerome School. She resides in our Borough and was always available to help out in any way when called upon. Her daily teaching "To love God and to love one's neighbors as oneself" was instilled in all of her students. In these current times, when we are so sadly experiencing too many incidents of bigotry and hate, perhaps we all need to be reminded of this as well.
Lastly and most importantly I would like to congratulate all of the volunteer officials sworn into office today as well as the numerous members representing the various boards in our town. I know that you all represent the Boro with dignity and pride, and in doing so this often takes time away from your own families.
In conclusion, I reaffirm my commitment to provide the same readily accessible problem solving and responsive approach as your Mayor. My continued mission is that West Long Branch remains a great place to live and raise a family.
May each of you have a wonderful New Year filled with good health, peace and love.
MAY GOD CONTINUE TO WATCH OVER THOSE BRAVE WOMEN AND MEN PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM AND KEEP THEM SAFE.
GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.
— Mayor Janet W. Tucci