Tom Menard, Mayor of the Borough, gave this address at the January 2022 Council Reorganization Meeting
It is an honor to serve as mayor alongside my fellow council members and deputy mayor, Khizar Sheikh. This past year, while challenging, was also a very productive and successful year for our council and community. I want to thank our past Deputy Mayor, Lauren Barnett as well as my fellow council members for their continued commitment to Mountain Lakes. I also want to thank our town manager, Mitchell Stern and our police chief, Shawn Bennett for their leadership in dealing with the Covid -19 response and all the measures that had to be taken to keep our residents safe. As the pandemic is not behind us yet, we are grateful to them and their support staff for their continued dedication.
Thank you to our entire Mountain Lakes Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department. They work tirelessly for our community and their efforts are very much appreciated. Finally, our Public Works and Borough Hall employees serve our community by providing high quality services throughout the year.
I believe that one aspect that makes Mountain Lakes such an exceptional town are our many talented volunteers serving on our committees, boards and commissions. You are truly one of our treasured assets. We thank you.
2021 was a very eventful year! With the ongoing Covid -19 pandemic we had to focus on continuing our tasks while keeping residents safe.
So many projects were in the works this year. Our goal continued to be making infrastructure investments while balancing our tax burden. Much was accomplished, highlights include:
- The Borough Hall project is under way. This will bring that building up to today’s code standards specifically for ADA requirements and public safety. While we have experienced supply chain issues and labor shortages, the project is seeing continued progress. Also, the temporary Borough Hall location is working out very well for the staff.
- The Morris Avenue sidewalks and repaving project was completed successfully. This now offers enhanced pedestrian accessibility and safety.
- The Sunrise Assisted Living facility is now completed and offers a substantial ratable to our tax base. I think it looks great. We are continuing to work to bring more projects of this type to town.
- The water meter replacement project was approved. All of the water meters in town will be replaced and they will be wirelessly monitored for usage. This new system will alert us of leaks so that we can address them quickly.
Mountain Lakes continues to be a beautiful town and a wonderful place to call home as we proceed with improvements. These achievements have been a collaborative effort, directed by council, overseen by the Borough Manager, and executed by our borough employees, Department of Public Works, volunteers and contracted partners.
We remain committed to fiscal responsibility, effective communication, transparency, delivery of high-quality services and continued stewardship of our environmental resources and unique character of our community. We are grateful to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity and look forward to a great year focusing on making smart decisions that best serve our borough’s current and future needs.
As we begin a new year, let’s work together. We hope to hear from you, our residents, employees and partners. Make us aware of your concerns and opinions as well as ideas you have for creative solutions. My hope is to collaborate and together we will work on the issues that impact and improve our town the most.
Mayor Tom Menard