Mayor Mark Taylor
Annual Reorganization Meeting 2021 – Mayor Taylor Speech
Good Evening and Welcome to the Annual 2021 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 our Zoom meeting this evening to help welcome in a new year for the Borough of Florham Park. As we fill the blocks of our Brady Bunch meeting, we look forward to the day when we can host an in person meeting once again in the Borough Hall building.
We are living in some unprecedented times! These times have caused us to hibernate in our homes and to call off or modify many events this year; events that are tradition in Florham Park that we have grown to love, such as the Gazebo Concerts and the 4th of July Parade and family picnic. Despite these challenging times, I am happy to report that I have performed many weddings this year. It was my pleasure to help these couples navigate 2020 and still get married. I am sure that all of them would have liked to have held a wedding in the traditional fashion, but it wasn’t to be. Wishing all the best to these couples.
I am truly honored and thankful to the residents of our great community for going above and beyond during this pandemic to help one another; our 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. The Covid- 19 Vaccine is making its way to our area and will soon become available to our residents. Hopefully, things will be better soon!
I would be remiss at this point if I didn’t extend my overwhelming thanks to our doctors, health care workers, front line workers, First Aid Squad members, our Police department, Fire Department, grocery store workers who kept us fed by stocking the shelves at the stores, as well as our restaurant workers. I also want to recognize our citizens who helped and continue to help our elderly residents and other housebound citizens who are not able to get out of their homes to get to the store. 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. Or employees have gone above and beyond to deliver the services to our community throughout this pandemic. We have had staff in the building since the pandemic started to keep things flowing smoothly! We really didn’t miss a beat.
I would also like to thank my wife Janet and my children Erin and Christopher for their continued support. It does take time away from our family but they are very understanding of this commitment. The Taylor household had some bright spots during 2020, our son Christopher graduated from Montclair State University and our daughter Erin and now fiancé Brandon got engaged. These are the moments that I will recall as our best highlights of 2020. Janet and I are very proud of our kids and we wish them all the best.
Please know that I, along with the council members, continue to work every day to do our absolute best for all the residents of Florham Park as we move forward together during and through this pandemic. We are a family here in town and we will pull through this together.
As we once again change the calendar to a New Year, I must look back and reflect on Florham Park in 2020. It has been a year like no other, one that I have never witnessed in my lifetime and frankly, I am glad to be on the other side of 2020. If it wasn’t for my great team of OEM, Boro Staff, DPW, Police council members and many others, I’m am not sure how we would have moved through this year. As if we didn’t have enough on our plates along came August 2nd at about 1:00PM when a storm with high wide’s roared its way through Florham Park knocking out power and Cable/ Internet to most of the residents of this great town. It was the quick work of our Police department, DPW, OEM and yes, JCP&L with Carol Bianchi sending in the teams to re-wire and install many new telephone poles taken out by this storm. We are blessed to have this team work. From that point forward, we just referred to any new issues as (2020). The year to not remember!
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 and come up with the best plan that we can present as a community while still preserving the rights of the land holders. Progress will continue long after these current council members and I have moved on.
We hope that this New Year will at some point allow us to hold open public meetings for all applications.
At this point in my address, I would like thank the outgoing Council President Charlie Malone for his service as my Council President for all his hard work and input during this very long year. I would also like to congratulate Charlie Malone and Charlie Germershausen on their re-election to the 2021 Council.
I would like to congratulate Kristen Santoro as our 2021 Council President.
As we look back on 2020 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 2021 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 addition of the Newsletter shortly. With the lock downs and continued health issues the newsletter was halted; although, we hope to be able at some point to bring this information back to the residents. This information will help to aid our residents on issues and increase the awareness of just how fiscally responsible we are as a municipality and how this governing body will 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 hopefully we will be able to meet again at some point for our quarterly discussions. The Board of Education and the Boro of Florham Park are walking in lock step together as we move forward under the guidance of Dr. Caponegro. 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 dificalt year. I also would like to wish at this time my heartfelt appreciation to the staff in Borough Hall, Our Administrator Bill Huyler.
I would also like to recognize the efforts of Borough Clerk Sheila Williams and her staff. Sheila puts together all our Zoom meetings and wears many hats from the Election Official, Website Administrator, Secretary to the Mayor and Governing Body and so many other things. The election process was particularly challenging this year, but the Clerk and her staff did a fantastic job navigating unchartered waters.
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 recognize Tom Cantisano our Health Officer and Maryann Lang for there hard work during this pandemic. Thank you.
I would also like to thank all the employees of DPW under the direction of Mike Smith, supervisors Andrew Williams and George Stiner and Joe Bassolino. This team of DPW workers are very dedicated to keeping our town looking and running the best as it can. They are the best around. I thank you for your hard work.
I would like to recognize the Water department and Sewer department directed by Mike Sgaramella, with water superintendent Alex Zipeto, and acting sewer plant manager Joseph DePasquale.
Also, our Recreation department directed by John Timmons and his assistant Tammy Verderber who continue to work to keep our programs running and the Municipal Pool open.
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 that continue to work to finish development projects. Florham Park has been very busy this past year with new development and these dedicated employees continue to work every day very hard 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 and I thank her for her hard work. Also, our dedicated tax Assessors office 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 extremely busy this year and the Zoom meetings presented a whole new challenge in the way we hold our meetings. Thank you Marlene for all you do.
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 and strive to do the best we can with the very smallest increase in Taxes.
Thank you’ s go out to my budget team members, Jon Rheinhardt, Ray Sarinelli, Patrice Visco, Bill Huyler, council Liaison Charlie Malone, Councilman Scott Carpenter and all my Council members that worked so hard to achieve this goal. We have a great financial team in place and we have an aggressive plan in place as we move forward into the next five plus years.
As we begin 2021, I am very hopeful for the future of our Borough. Myself, 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 have all grown to love and respect.
In closing, I would just like to say I am proud of this Borough and proud to be your Mayor I look forward to better times ahead. For the time being we ask that you stay safe, healthy and remember to call and touch base with friends, seniors and others that may need some help during this pandemic.
God bless all of our armed forces and retired military or anyone who has lost a family member or friend due to this pandemic.
God Bless America. Thank you.