Happy New Year! I had an exciting first year as your councilman. Here’s a few things Mayor and Council did in 2018.
First and foremost, Mayor and Council passed the 2018 budget with no municipal tax increase. We did this without cutting services or depleting the surplus. This was the result of several years of hard work from everyone involved, including current and former members of council. Special recognition for this goes to our Chief Financial Officer Steve Considine, Councilman Kevin Austin, and as always our Clerk Administrator Judy O’Donnell.
Council also passed an ordinance declaring the former Sony site an area in need of redevelopment. This was the culmination of a series of meetings between the current owners, the Mayor, and representatives from our various borough offices. It’s the first step in a process that allows Pitman to work with the owners to craft a redevelopment plan. The plan, along with recent legislation giving tax breaks to companies that film movies and television shows in New Jersey (which is how the current owners partially make use of the space), will be geared toward encouraging a more productive use of the property.
Mayor and Council also entered in to a lease agreement for the old bank building on Broadway, and it’s in the process of being transformed into Merryman’s Pub! Work is ongoing and they plan to open in less than a year. Because the site is leased from the borough, Merryman’s can make use of a state concessionaire’s permit to sell alcohol. I can’t wait until they open and I’m confident Merryman’s will be a great addition to our already flourishing Uptown!
This year there was a big change in the Construction Office. Our long time Construction Official, John Holroyd, retired this year after a long career with the borough. John was unique in New Jersey as he held many licenses, doing the work of several people. After a series of interviews with many qualified candidates, Clerk Administrator O’Donnell and I found a great group of professionals to take up the reins and continue that important work.
This is an exciting time for Pitman, and I’m proud of the work we have done. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, or if I can help you in any way, you can message me here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all your support and suggestions, and I look forward to an even better 2019!