For those looking for a replacement for the reality series The Jersey Shore, the Mendham Township Committee meetings are probably not going to be a good alternative.
“My neighbors in the community seem to miss the raucous meetings as our current ones they find too boring to watch,” Committeeman Sam Tolley said. “If we were a reality TV show, we would be cancelled.”
Monday’s meeting of the Mendham Township Committee found former mayor Tolley settling into his role as committeeman for 2013, but despite being succeeded by Rick Merkt at the reorganization meeting earlier in the month, Tolley took time to recap his year as mayor.
“2012 was a challenging year,” Tolley said. “Mendham Township literally weathered the storm. We did so because there is a good relationship between the residents and the volunteers in the community.”
Tolley acknowledged OEM coordinator Evan Thomas for his work during the storm and a few others briefly, but made it clear he could never thank everyone by name.
“It didn’t matter to us if you were from Brookside or from Bernardsville,” Tolley said of the shelter opened during Hurricane Sandy. “Everyone was welcome.”
Tolley closed out his remarks on the storm by mentioning Ross Johnson and Scott Mortensen, a pair of residents who were on the scene of the fatal accident at the height of Hurricane Sandy.
“A family was devastated when a tree fell on their car. Ross Johnson and Scott Mortensen helped extricate the children from that car,” Tolley said. “It is saying something that both Ross and Scott grew up here and chose to stay here and are still members giving to this community.”
Tolley also said moving more towards a more fiscally responsible government than the township may have had in the past was a large part of 2012.
“We had a tight budget that works because of our administrator, Steven Mountain, Tim Day, our CFO, and our budget committee who put in countless hours,” Tolley said. “We maintained our AAA bond rating, which is the highest you can achieve as well.”
Tolley also said that he was pleased in the way the committee worked with one another. Calling their efforts respectful Tolley said that there was no room for ego in what they did.
Shared service is something Tolley said should be continued in 2012, despite the difficulty in getting all of the regional mayors on the same page when it comes to education.
“Working together has been a frustrating process at times. But the mayors will continue to work together,” Tolley said. “The Princeton Merger should be a road map for many of our communities, we need to look further at how we can best serve our communities.”