Mayors List Their Hopes for New Year

 

By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI and DON STINE

coaster-news-200-newAs we publish our final edition of 2017 (on newsstands from Thurs. Dec. 21 through the first week of 2018) we asked the mayors in our readership area what wishes and goals they have for the coming year.

Asbury Park Mayor John Moor offered up some lofty goals for his city beginning with maintaining and increasing affordable housing.
“And continue development in the southwest,” he added.
Addressing another ongoing issue he said he wants to negotiate with iStar developers for lot by lot development in the Waterfront Redevelopment Area and the abolishment of the current block by block development. To accomplish these goals Moor said obtaining the needed personnel in city hall to accomplish the above should go hand in hand.
As in past years Moor said he wants to see the city get off transitional, or state aid, which will mean filling a $500,000 gap in the new year’s budget. At the same time he wants to have a flat tax rate in the 2018 budget with no increase.
“Those are truly loft goals,” he said.
But the mayor is confident the city can attain all of them.
“With a little bit of luck there is no reason we can’t accomplish them all,” he said.
Moor said getting off state aid will allow the city for the first time in several years to make its own decisions.
“My final though is I want Asbury Park to continue to be the coolest and quirkiest city in America,” he said.

Mayor Elect of Tinton Falls Vito Perillo said he is hoping to start the new year off by appointing borough professionals, who will then be approved by the council.
“My immediate goal is for the borough council to approve my nominees so as to form a governing body. In so doing I can give the residents of Tinton Falls the best of services at a reasonable and sustainable cost,” he said.

In Bradley Beach Mayor Gary Engelstad made a plea and wish to the weather gods for a more successful summer season.
“A big wish for 2018 is sunny summer weekends.  Mother Nature threw us too many rainy Saturdays last summer,” he said.
Goals, he said, include making real progress towards addressing our growing parking challenges around Main Street.
“We know there will be exciting positive changes up and down Main Street in 2018 so we can’t wait for the construction dust to settle so residents and visitors can enjoy these improvements,” he said.
Engelstad gave a shout out to Freeholder Thomas Arnone for his help in improving communication.
“With Freeholder Arnone’ss assistance, we look forward to increased communication among neighboring towns, especially at the elected officials level.  We can learn from each other, steal great ideas and share costs where possible,” Englestad said.
The mayor also offered a wish for safety for the borough’s emergency personnel.
“I hope that all of our emergency personnel, police, fire and first aid stay safe in 2018 while performing their duties.  I hope that all of our residents and visitors have a happy and healthy 2018 and that we deliver for them the first class borough operations that they deserve,” he said.

In Avon Mayor John Magrini said having open public discussions about the Master Plan is one of his goals.
Magrini said the town is a bit overdue on the recommended 10 year Master Plan.
“We will have to come up with a vision for Main Street and other parts of town,” he said.
The focus of the plan will be the town’s business district which has both commercial and residential properties and deciding if more businesses is the way to go.
“It’s difficult to fill businesses on Main Street. Less and less people are shopping on Main Street anymore,” he said.
Magrini said there are two vacant parcels located in the north end of Main Street and he said they will looking at developing them.
“Then we have the tragedy of Schneider’s,” he said, referring to the long time restaurant that was damaged in a fire two months ago.
And of course, with Avon being a beach community Magrini said, “With the summer crowds we will be hoping to provide a safe and enjoyable beach experience.”

Outgoing Neptune Mayor Michael Brantley said his New Year’s wish for the township is “to take a giant step forward in redevelopment. I want to see that happen.”
Incoming Neptune Mayor Nick Williams, who will be sworn-in on New Year’s Day, said he wants to see more partnering with other organization, such as Brookdale Community College, to help move redevelopment forward in the Mid-town section.
“That can help us move in the right direction,” he said.
Williams said he also wishes for a stable municipal tax rate and new and improved recreational facilities, such as a new skateboard park in the Mid-town area.

Ocean Township Mayor Christopher Siciliano said his wish for the New Year is simple: “Continued health and prosperity for all.”

Neptune City Mayor Robert Brown said he hopes to continue working on redevelopment efforts in the borough; moving forward with grants and projects for parks, particularly First Responders Park on W. Sylvania Avenue; and do his best to bring forward a stable municipal tax rate, which has not increased in the last two years.
“And we hope to do that in the New Year. And I want to wish everybody a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year,” he said.

Interlaken’s Michael Nohilly said his wish is to continue to work closely with the council and residents “to keep our top-notch services while watching every cost very closely.”
“We have some additional projects to continue to maintain or enhance the charm and aesthetic of the borough. We are a model for shared services already and those agreements are long-term, so we will not see any changes to our services during 2018,” he said.

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