Clinton Township Newsletter

January 2016 Issue of the Clinton Township Newsletter

Clinton Township Newsletter, Clinton New Jersey, May 2013 Issue

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1 J a n u a r y 2 0 1 6 January 2015 January 2016 Jie Fly, Edit Jie Fly, Edit CLINTON TOWNSHIP Newsletter ® Since 1982 "Reader's Digestion" b y R u t h K e e s i n g "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Greetings and Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are as eager as I am to begin what I am certain will be a terrific new year. This is my first column as Mayor, and I would like to begin by acknowledging Mayor Cimei, who left the Township in great shape after six years in office and who has offered his advice and counsel to me throughout 2015. I also want to thank outgoing Councilmen Peter Marra and Jim Imbriaco for their years of service to the Township – both served for six years on Council and made many contributions via Peter's five terms as Council President and his involvement in our Recreation committee and through Jim's efforts with the Environmental and Open Space committees. This past year was a very busy one for the Township. We had a number of accomplishments, overcame some challenging issues and now look forward to a 2016 that promises to be equally active. We have continued to make progress on our road plan, repaving about 10 roads in 2015. In 2016, we will be undertaking work on a similar number of roads (please check our five year road plan on the Public Works page of our website). In a prime example of municipal shared services, we are working with our neighbors in Tewksbury and Readington on a project to repave Potterstown Road and were awarded a $160,000 grant from the State to help offset the cost of this work. In 2015 we finally made significant progress on cleaning up the Township's Old Municipal Building on West Street in the Village of Annandale. The building has sat vacant and deteriorating for well over 15 years. This year the Council designated the site as an Area in Need of Redevelopment, approved a Redevelopment Plan and authorized the preparation of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit developers for the project. We hope to issue the RFP in early 2016 after receiving approval from the State Historic Preservation Office. The biggest challenge we faced in 2015, and which we will continue to address in 2016, is complying with the State's Affordable Housing requirements, which are now in the hands of the courts. Thanks chiefly to our Planning Board attorney's arguments before the State Supreme Court, the court ruled in a manner which provided municipalities time to determine their obligations. Our attorney then helped to organize a coalition of more than 270 municipalities (which we joined) to fund the preparation of an expert report to determine these obligations on a town-by-town basis looking forward to 2025. Additionally, we are working with an affordable housing developer who plans to redevelop the Beaver Brook Homestead site on Beaver Avenue, a project that should satisfy our obligations arising from prior housing rounds. Mayor's Column, continued on page 2 Sometimes I'll read a book for only a few short minutes – like when waiting for the toaster to pop. Sometimes I might pursue this passive activity for the best part of an afternoon because the only thing on TV is reruns of "Green Acres." (ZsaZsa Gabor is very low on my celebrity priority list with only Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian below her.) But, no matter the time available, my favorite author, Bill Bryson, never fails to set me laughing OUT LOUD at his hilarious takes on traveling both in the USA and abroad. His fertile mind can turn a fortnight in East Podunk into an hour's worth of genuine laughter for me. Honestly, he could make a trip to Rite Aid in Whitehouse Station into an adventure in pharmaceutical facts and fiction that never fails to be laugh-worthy. His book "A Walk in the Woods" was made into a movie although, even with Robert Redford, the film doesn't equal the book. Reading has always been a favorite pastime for me. It ranks up there with morning walks and evening Scotch on the Rocks. I can totally immerse myself in a character's joys and sorrows and forget to take a pill or turn the thermostat down or get the mail. For those of you who are glued to cell/smart phones, you are missing one of life's bonus's – hardcover books. I think God made Kindles so some of you don't grieve the loss of modern technology when reading a plain old hardcover book. That is so passé (and so satisfying). I have an account with Amazon that enables me to order a new edition in less time than it takes me to write this sentence. "Add to Cart" – "Place Order". It's so easy and wonderful and John, my faithful mailman, delivers a thick, shiny volume to my door. Well, to the mailbox anyway. I know I'm in for hours and hours of enjoyment. My Kindle sits on the shelf looking rejected, but so be it. About loaning books to friends and family. Not so good. In the first place you will never remember to whom you loaned the book and, secondly, they will count on your memory loss and furtively conceal your treasured novel in their own book shelves. The Somerset Bank in Whitehouse is a neat place to visit. Not only do they keep my money safely, but also they have a mini-library for customers to borrow books – at no cost – whenever they so desire. There are so many other perks at that bank besides the library. They decorate the lobby for every holiday. Jill performs magic when my checkbook doesn't balance. And I start thinking of the tellers as family. If you are too cheap to purchase a paperback you might consider changing to Somerset. Meanwhile, try reading Bill Bryson's "At Home" or "A Short History of Nearly Everything" or "The Lost Continent" about travels in small town America. I promise you'll enjoy the read and even your food will digest better from all those chuckles... Make it a New Year's Resolution! MAYOR'S COLUMN b y J o h n h i g g i n s CLINTON TOWNSHIP Newsletter ®

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