Mayor’s Desk

Mark Taylor brown background

Mayor Mark Taylor

Annual Reorganization Meeting 2022

January 6th 2022

 

Good Evening and Welcome to the Annual 2022 Re-Organization meeting of the Borough of Florham Park. I would like to thank all of the dignitaries, family members, visitors and friends that have joined us on Zoom this evening to help welcome in a new year for the Borough of Florham Park.  As we continue to work our way through the recent uptick in positive cases of the Omicron variant in Florham Park, I took the route of caution last week and moved our meeting this evening to Zoom.

We are living in some unprecedented times!  These times have caused us to re-think where we travel and visit and to call off or modify many events this year.  This includes events that are traditionally held in Florham Park such as our annual Re-Organization Meeting.   Despite these challenging times, I am happy to report that the Borough services are all still running smoothly, some with less than full staff but still running and doing a great job.

I am truly honored and thankful to the residents of our great community for going above and beyond during this next and hopefully final episode to help one another; neighbors, seniors and friends. Your compassion and willingness to help others has been outstanding and overwhelming.  How proud you all have made me!

As we begin this New Year, we do see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I have been informed by our Health Officer Tom Cantisano that the vaccines are making a big difference in the severity of cases.  We are hopeful that things will get better in the next few weeks.

Many thanks go out to our Health Officer Tom Cantisano, Board of Health Secretary Maryann Lang and to all of our Health Department board members for keeping us informed and up to date on this Variant.  I would be remiss at this time if I didn’t extend my overwhelming thanks to our Doctors, Health care workers, front line workers, First Aid Squad members, our Police department and Fire Department. These are our real hero’s and these people are Florham Park’s backbone.    They often work with little or no recognition.

I also must thank all of our great employees of Florham Park Borough. Our employees have gone above and beyond to deliver services to our community throughout the entire pandemic. We have had staff in the building since the pandemic started to keep things flowing smoothly!  We really did not miss a beat.

Please know that I, along with the Borough Council members,  continue to work every day to do our absolute best for all residents of Florham Park as we move forward together during and through this latest Variant.   We are a family here in town and we are Florham Park Strong!

As we once again change the calendar to a New Year, I must look back and reflect on Florham Park in 2021.  If it wasn’t for my great team of OEM, Borough Staff, DPW, Police, Council members as well as many others, I am not sure how we would have moved through this year.  We are blessed to have such great team members.

Despite the issues at hand, we continue to see growth as a community and some of the expansion has changed the way I remember Florham Park.  In many ways the Planning Board, chaired by Michael DeAngelis, the Zoning Board Chaired by Michael Cannilla and the Town Center Task Force Chaired by Michael Prokop and all the volunteer members have and will do their very best to read through all applications, attend all hearings and come up with the best plan that we can present as a community.  Doing that while still preserving the rights of the land holders.   Progress will continue long after these current council members and I have moved on.

At this point in my address I would like to thank Councilwomen Carmen Cefolo-Pane for serving this community on our Council for these past 10 years.   Carmen has served on the Planning Board and in her portfolio has been liaison to many commissions and committees such as the Senior Citizens, AARP, Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation Commission, Gazebo Committee, Community TV, Town Center Task Force, Construction & Zoning Just to name a few.   Carmen has also served multiple times as Council President.   Carmen, on behalf of all of the members of the Council and all of the Boro Employees, I would like to thank you for all the hard work you provided for all of the residents of the Borough of Florham Park.

You will truly be missed by all.  All the best and I hope to engage you in some other activities in the future.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank our outgoing Council President Kristen Santoro for her service as Council President and for all her hard work and input during this very long year.  Kristen was able to run meetings in my absence and handle day-to-day issues while I was out of town.  For that, I say thank you.  I would also like to congratulate Scott Carpenter and Joshua Marchal on both Scott’s re-Election and Josh for his first election as our newest Councilman.

I would like to congratulate Scott Carpenter for taking on the role as our 2022 Council President.   This will be voted on as the meeting continues this evening.

As we look back on 2021 and all that we have accomplished, I must highlight that Florham Park continues to be the best place in New Jersey to live and raise a family.

I cannot convey to you how proud I am to be a part of our continued success.   As we move into 2022 the Governing Body continues to work very hard to tell the story of our successes to all the residents of our community.  We hope to produce the next edition of the Newsletter in 2022.  This information will aid our residents on issues and increase the awareness of just how fiscally responsible we are as a municipality and how this Governing Body is set to address the future as we move forward together.

We continue to work very closely with the Board of Education as partners on issues that will affect the schools and the Borough of Florham Park.  Administrator Huyler, Superintendent Dr. Caponegro, BOE facilities director Phil Infantolino and I will hopefully will be able to meet again on a quarterly basis with continued conversations on both the schools and Borough. I am very happy that the K-8 school children are able to be in school following the holiday break.

In this community of volunteers, the accomplishments continue to be realized due to the efforts of so many people.  One of the most important factors are all of our dedicated Employees of the Boro of Florham Park.  I would like to wish all the best to all of our employees and thank them for a job well done in this difficult year.   I also would like to wish at this time my heartfelt appreciation to the staff in Borough Hall.

I would also like to recognize our BoroughClerk Sheila Williams, Deputy Clerk MaryAnn Lang and all of the staff in the Clerk’s office.  Sheila was able to put this Zoom Meeting together after a long discussion with our health officials to ensure that everyone stays safe.  Sheila also wears many hats from the Election Official, Website Administrator, Secretary to the Mayor and Governing Body and so many other things.

Also kudos to the Police department under the direction of Chief Joseph Orlando, Captain Karl Svenningsen, and to all our police officers.

I would also like to thank all the employees of the DPW under the direction of Mike Smith, supervisors Andrew Williams, George Stiner and Joe Bassolino.  This team of DPW workers are very dedicated to keeping our town looking and running the best as it possibly can.  Thank you for your hard work.

I would like to recognize the Water department not only for a recent water main break repair in the Brandywine community but for all they do every day.   Thank you Water Department Director, Mike Sgaramella, Water Department superintendent Alex Zipeto and the entire team.  I also would like to recognize our recently promoted sewer plant manager Joseph DePasquale.  Thank you for all you do.

Our Recreation Department, directed by John Timmons and his assistant Tammy Verderber, continue to work to keep our programs running and the Pool open. I would also to thank Nancy Shah our Library Director for sending me a complete recap of the year at the library.  The library was able to register 425 new cardholders this year.  They also saw 142 young readers log in for more than 54,000 minutes.

I would like to thank our Construction department, with construction official Kevin Guilfoyle and Zoning Officer Janet Doherty and the great staff in that department as we continue to see long scale applications for review come through the department.   Florham Park has been very busy this past year with new development and these dedicated employees continue to work very hard every day to keep things moving forward.

I would also like to recognize our engineering department directed by Mike Sgaramella and his assistant Kayla Kaplan.  Also, CFO Patrice Visco and her staff.  Her department has continued to bring in a budget that is on time and on budget every year and I thank Patrice and her staff members for their hard work.  Also, our dedicated employees in the Assessor’s Office.  Assessor John Murray, Jim Gibbs and their assistant Lisa Amato.   Thank you for all you do.

I would also like to recognize Board secretary Marlene Rawson.  Both the Zoning Board and the Planning board have been busy this year and some of these meetings have been held via Zoom.   These Zoom meetings presented a whole different challenge to the Board members.  Thank you Marlene for all you do to keep the applications and meetings moving forward.

I apologize if I forgot to recognize anyone, but thank you all for a great job well done.

Florham Park had a very busy year as we continue to chip away at lowering our debt while striving to do the best we can with the very smallest increase in property taxes. Please keep in mind that we faced increases in every area, including pensions and health care for our great employees.

I would also like to thank my budget team members, Patrice Visco, Jon Rheinhardt, Ray Sarinelli, Jr and Sr., Bill Huyler, council Liaison Charlie Malone, Councilman Scott Carpenter Council members that worked so hard to achieve this goal.   We have a great financial team in place and also have an aggressive plan in place as we move forward into the next five plus years.

As we begin 2022, I am very hopeful for the future of our Borough.   I, the Council, and our hardworking Borough employees continue to strive to make Florham Park the greatest place to live and work.    I would like to stress to each Florham Park resident that they can be confident that the Council Members and I will always do our very best to keep Florham Park the greatest town that we all have grown to love and respect.

 

In closing, I would just like to say I am proud of this Borough and proud and humbled to be your Mayor.  I look forward to better times ahead.  For the time being we ask that you stay safe and healthy and remember to call and touch base with friends, seniors and others that may need some help during this variant up-tick.

 

God bless all of our armed forces and retired military and anyone who has lost a family member or friend due in part to this pandemic.

 

God Bless America.  Thank you.

 

Mark Taylor, Mayor