Mendham Borough's 2013 reorganization meeting Monday night at the Mendham Firehouse saw the swearing in of a pair of councilmen for three-year terms and the election of a new council president.
Council members John Andrus and Stanley Witczak .
“Stan has been here as long as I have,” said Mendham Borough Mayor Neil Henry. “This is his sixth term.”
Henry said that Andrus was being sworn in for his seventh term.
“I’ll take your word for it,” Andrus said.
After both men were sworn in, Henry opened for nominations for council president. Andrus, who served as president in 2012, nominated Witczak for the 2013 presidency. Councilman Brad Badal seconded the nomination and the vote was unanimous.
After the vote, Henry addressed the crowd that included Mendham Township Mayor Rick Merkt, Chester Borough Mayor Bob Davis, Mendham Township Committeemen Rob Strobel and Sam Tolley as well as former Mendham Township Mayor Phyllis Florek and Assemblyman Anthony Bucco.
“Its hard to believe a whole year has gone by since we convened in this room,” Henry said. “Certainly a lot has happened in that time.”
Henry shared the accomplishments of Mendham Borough in 2012, touching upon the budget that was passed with a zero percent increase for the taxpayers as well as a bond rating increase for the borough.
“This is significant because many towns went down in rating and we went up in a down economy,” Henry said.
Henry also included the passing of the “long awaited” sign ordinance and the promotion of Pat Libertino to Chief of Police as highlights of 2012.
Henry said that the agreement struck with the Sisters of Christian Charity to operate an emergency shelter was another accomplishment worth noting.
“I had no idea we signed the agreement that night, that I would be able calling upon them within a month,” Henry said.
In the wake of Sandy, Henry praised Department of Public Works Superintendent Ken O’Brien for going above and beyond in clearing the roads and “making them presentable.” And although the community weathered the storm well, Henry still saw room for improvement.
“We need to fine tune the procedures with our shelter. I think there is some fine tuning to be done,” Henry said. “I would also like to purchase a generator so we can use the Garabrant Center as a place for information and as a warming center and a place to recharge devices.”
Henry said 2013 would bring challenges to the council with road repairs that can’t be put off any longer.
“Our challenges this year include a new budget which will almost certainly requiring borrowing,” Henry said. “We need to do so in order to repair and repave our roads. We can’t put it off any longer because we run the risk of needing to reengineer the roads.”
Henry thanked the council, staff, residents and volunteers for their work in making Mendham Borough what it is.
“Thank you for maintaining the charm that existed when my parents moved here from Hanover Township almost 50 years ago,” Henry said.