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As I start my first full term as your Mayor, I must first acknowledge the people who have helped me do the job that I am supposed to be doing for the residents of Rockaway Township over the past year. I give my personal thanks to former Council President Sackett; Council President Jackson; and Council members Quinn, Friedlander, Noon and Brookes for their support and leadership. I also must thank Council Member Salberg for his service as Acting Mayor during the most difficult period in recent political history in Rockaway Township. I must also give special thanks to the late Mayor Michael Dachisen, whose leadership over many years as a Council member, Council President and Mayor positioned the Township for future success. Not to be forgotten are the many members of my administration and staff whose loyalty and tireless work effort make my job as Mayor possible. I will not rehash the turmoil of the past two years because it serves no purpose and my administration; the Council; and the residents of Rockaway Township must put those experiences behind us and move forward in good and collaborative government. I and my administration will continue the practice that I have developed over the past year of working with all members of the Council in all areas that our form of government permits. In that regard, we must recognize and remember that the two arms of Township government – the Mayor and the Council – have separate and distinct areas of responsibility and authority. I promise that I will respect the authority of the Council to do its job and to ask that they do the same as far as myself and my administration are concerned. That is the foundation of good government. We are all here to serve the residents of Rockaway Township. To the residents, I must first say that I thank you for your support during my prior year as Mayor and in choosing me to be your Mayor for the next four years. Going forward, I ask our residents to continue their participation in our government by attendance at Council meetings and urge our residents to continue their scrutiny of and communication with both branches of government. The past year alone has proven the value of citizen participation and action. It is the reason that most of us are here to serve you. Every municipality in New Jersey has challenges which it must confront including taxes, municipal services, public safety issues, and more. The key to meeting those challenges is to ensure that the branches of government which, in our case, means the Mayor and Council, function together responsibly to do the right thing for the residents that they serve. Political squabbling and actions based upon personal interest have no place in good government.
To our new Council members I say welcome. I promise you that I will work with you as I have with the incumbent members of the Council to confront all of the issues that will face Rockaway Township in the coming year and to meet our obligations to our residents. To everyone, I again say thank you. Happy New Year. God bless Rockaway Township and the United States of America.