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  • Writer's pictureAmalia Duarte

Preview of 12/7 Township Committee Meeting & 12 Days of Giving Food Drive!

Dear Mendham Friends: I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving! As you continue plans for the holiday season, please remain vigilant. COVID-19 cases are on the rise, both locally and throughout the country, and we must each do our part to keep family, friends and our entire community healthy and safe.

Just this week to help increase the availability of testing, the Morris County Office of Health Management is offering at-home testing to residents and those who work in the county. Learn more about this program.

The Township Committee meets on Monday, Dec. 7, starting at 7:30 p.m., with a very short agenda.

The Committee will consider two Resolutions related to Mendham Sewer East, which is the treatment plant for Drakewick. In the first Resolution, an emergency appropriation that was passed in June for $50,000 will be reduced to $30,000. This is to pay for removing excess sewage flows. In a related action, a second Resolution adds an assessment to the sewer bills of Drakewick homeowners to cover these costs in four installments of $7,500 each.

Discussion Items - Also on the agenda are two items from previous meetings: Combining the Board of Adjustment (zoning) and Planning Board into one body; and reviewing the goals for sub-committees.

Prior to the regular meeting at 6 p.m., there will be a closed, executive session regarding police; filling the open Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position; and professional appointments for next year.

I encourage you to participate in the meeting either in person at Town Hall or via Zoom. Get the call-in information.

The holiday season will be especially hard this year for many who are facing financial hardships and food insecurity. Please consider helping those in need by dropping off a donation of non-perishable food or hygiene products at my home, 22 Brockden Drive, through Dec. 12. This "12 Days of Giving" collection is sponsored by the Morris County Democratic Women's Caucus. It will benefit some smaller, lesser-known food pantries and charities in the area. Thank you for your generosity!

Join the Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force on Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., to hear a young adult candidly discuss his mental health struggles and how he turned his life around.

This special Webinar entitled "Just Talk About It" is co-sponsored by Minding Your Mind, a mental health, educational nonprofit. The program is aimed at helping participants notice warning signs of stress, anxiety, depression and crisis and learn how to support loved ones in need. This information is especially important during this year's challenging holiday season.

Minding Your Mind speakers, Guy Iacono, New Jersey and New York Director, and Scott Prendergast, Outreach Coordinator, will take questions following their presentation.

The event is especially geared for parents, but anyone can learn from this program. The mission of the Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force is to foster a judgment-free environment around mental health issues and substance abuse and to create inclusion for people with special needs, disabilities and any other perceived “difference” that can make them feel marginalized, sidelined and not accepted. You can follow the Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force on Facebook and Instagram. E-mail questions to:

Finally, there are a number of events planned to keep the holiday spirit alive in our community! This week, a menorah and a Christmas Tree will be on display at Town Hall. Different families will take turns lighting the menorah, beginning Dec. 10, for the first day of Hanukkah, and on Saturday, Dec. 12, families can sign up for a photo with Santa. Visit Community Pass to reserve a time slot.

The Recreation Department is sponsoring an Ugly Holiday Mask Contest, and looking ahead, Schiff Nature Preserve is holding special Winter Solstice celebrations on the evening of Dec. 20 and on the morning of Dec. 21 for children. Even during this difficult time, there are bright spots for all to enjoy.

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