Springfield Newsletter (May 2016)

My apologies for the delay since the last newsletter months ago. Since taking office as Deputy Mayor in January, the year has been a very busy one with many meetings related to the downtown redevelopment, the PGA Championship at Baltrusrol, and preparing the 2016 municipal operating and capital budgets. As always, you can always contact me if you have any questions/concerns and connect with me on social media for more timely updates.

COMMUNITY
For a current listing of Springfield events, you can always visit my up-to-date Calendar at http://calendar.shehady.us

– The Springfield Senior Citizens Calendar for May 2016 is online at http://zszs.us/SNJSrCz, Please share with family, friends and neighbors.

– The Township of Springfield and the Springfield Veterans Alliance invite you to join the annual community observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 30th at 10 a.m. beginning at Veterans Memorial Park (Shunpike Rd & Mountain Ave). Please participate in honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. The parade will conclude at Jonathan Dayton High School with a picnic for all. Co-organizer Geri Bujnowski is looking for volunteers and organizations interested in marching or assembling a float – she can be contacted by e-mailing memorialday@springfieldnj.us

– Many residents asked me about Springfield hosting another paper shredding event. I worked with our DPW to make sure we could have another one this year and I’m happy to share some great news – we’ve scheduled one for Saturday, June 18th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Municipa Pool. Proof of residence will be required and there is a limit of 4 boxes/bags per person not to exceed 10 pounds. This free service is available to residents only, not businesses. (If you can’t make the town event, check the County schedule for other dates and locations – http://ucnj.org/recycling/mobile-paper-shredding)

– There is less than a month to go for Springfield’s 5th Annual Townwide Garage Sale being held on Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and to register to be included on the interactive map, visithttp://zszs.us/SNJgs

ANNOUNCEMENTS

– Springfield was just awarded a Clean Communities Grant of $35,960.83 from the State Department of Environmental Protection. We also recently received an Infrastructure and Municipal Aid Grant for $64,000 grant from the County of Union Board of Chosen Freeholders. Additionally, we received a grant from the State Department of Transportation for $190,000. These revenue streams will greatly help keep tax increases minimal. On Monday, May 16th, I’m meeting with several department heads to pursue another grant opportunity that will help improve pedestrian safety along routes to school.

– Like neighboring communities, Springfield relies on volunteers to provide critical public safety services and maintain a responsible municipal budget to stabilize taxes. Volunteers can serve in either the Office of Emergency, as Firefighters and as First Aid Squad members. Unfortunately, our volunteer numbers are low and so we are actively recruiting! Without volunteers, the municipal budget either increases or services elsewhere must be reduced/eliminated. If you have thought about serving as a volunteer, sign up for more information and someone from Town Hall will reach out to you! http://volunteer.springfield-nj.us

– Don’t forget that quarterly bulk pickup is on June 8th and June 9th! More information is available on the Department of Public Works page

– In case you weren’t aware, the 2016 PGA Championship will be hosted in Springfield from July 25 through July 31. Negotiations with Baltusrol and the PGA as well as public safety discussions regarding the major event on are nearing conclusion. At this point, Baltusrol and the PGA have identified just over 100 homes to receive complimentary tickets. More information about road closures, parking, traffic patterns, and the overall impact to the community will be published soon when finalized.

GOVERNMENT

– The next Township Committee meeting will be Tuesday, May 17 at 2 p.m. in Town Hall. This is a “daytime” meeting for those who are unable to attend our regular meetings in the evenings. Additionally, this meeting is extra special because we are hosting a “Civics Day” for students for Florence M. Gaudineer School. The students will learn about town government, shadow department heads and finally join the Township Committee on the dais to “run” the meeting.

The agenda consists of routine business, such as approval of payroll and invoices, some department reports, and the adoption of a “housekeeping” ordinance to bring some language on the books up-to-date. There will be about 16 resolutions to be considered as well. A copy of the agenda is available at http://agenda.springfieldnj.us

– The second Township Committee meeting for may will be Tuesday, May 24th at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. This regular meeting will include adoption of the 2016 Municipal Budget.

Committeewoman Diane Stampoulos and I make up the Finance sub-committee this year and we spent countless hours in nearly a dozen meetings with our Administrator, CFO and Department Heads to make sure that this budget is responsible and minimizes the tax impact for every resident. How are your tax dollars spent? Why and how are spending decisions made? Come find out!

With the goal of greater openness and transparency in Springfield government, the Township Finance sub-committee invites the community to a 2016 municipal budget forum to ask questions and learn as much as possible about the Springfield municipal budget before it is adopted. The first public meeting was held on Tuesday, May 10th. The next public meeting is an “Evening Session” on Tuesday, May 24th at 6 p.m. before the Township Committee meeting. There will be a third and final public hearing before adoption of the budget. All meetings will be held in the Municipal Building (100 Mountain Avenue), 2nd Floor. If you are planning on attending, RSVP at http://bit.ly/SNJ16budget

ELECTION 2016

– It seems like town elections just happened and most of us already have presidential election fatigue. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to announce the newest candidate for Springfield Township Committee – Victoria Sarracino. More information about her will be coming this summer and fall.

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