My second priority is to promote local volunteerism, especially among our first responders. Chester is one of New Jersey’s safest communities, thanks to the professionalism of our Chester Police Department and the volunteers of our Chester First Aid Squad and Chester Volunteer Fire Company. Our first responders deserve our support – officially and unofficially – and the tools to get the job done. We must always work to recruit more volunteer first responders.
Protect open space. We’ll continue to responsibly invest in our parks and the open space that makes Chester Township unique. As importantly, I am committed to finally bringing the current round of our affordable housing obligation to a responsible conclusion, in line with the criteria to which this and prior Councils have agreed.
Prioritize infrastructure improvements that enhance quality of life. As this Council’s five-year liaison to the Parks Committee, I take special pride in our community’s miles of hiking trails, improved sports fields, first-in-the-area pickleball court, and exciting new projects such as the wildflower meadow at the MacGregor Preserve and the eventual installation of a pavilion in Chubb Park.
Lastly, I commit to providing collaborative leadership and frequent communication. Collaborative leadership requires mutual respect, which this Council and Administration have in spades. This did not happen by accident. It requires daily maintenance. But I am enormously proud and grateful that it exists. Frequent communication is my responsibility and it begins now. Going forward, you can expect detailed updates from me in the Mayor’s Remarks portion of most Council meetings, which will be posted to the Township website. You can also expect a monthly email newsletter from Chester Township, with updates from nearly every department. Those of you in the audience tonight will also experience this communication first-hand, in the regularly-scheduled meeting that will start shortly, as I provide additional detail on our garbage collection contract, all of which will be communicated to residents in full.
Despite the serious financial challenges we face, our goals and aspirations for Chester Township remain high. Chester Township should always be a place where three generations of a family enjoy a high quality of life together. That will be my guiding principle and I look forward to executing on it alongside our capable Council, administration, abundant community volunteers, and engaged residents.
Thank you again for your support throughout this process – now let’s get to work.