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  • Writer's pictureAmalia Duarte

Preview of Township Committee Meeting on 11/24

Dear Mendham Friends: In case you missed it, the last Township Committee meeting, which focused on a proposal to outsource most work performed by the Department of Public Works (DPW), ran for almost three hours with lengthy public testimony.

Nearly every resident who spoke out at the meeting expressed concerns and their opposition to the proposal.

This proposal had been hinted at for months and finally first presented at our Nov. 9 meeting by Committeeman Jordan Orlins. The plan calls for privatizing the DPW and downsizing to just four staff members, including Supervisor Dave Read.

The Township Committee members also raised many questions about the plan. I remain on the side of maintaining our own local DPW for many reasons. At the end of the public hearing, we decided to bring in a third-party to provide a peer review of the proposal. Later in the meeting, the Township Committee voted to reject bids to entirely outsource snow plowing for this winter.

Next Meeting - Today, Tuesday, Nov. 24, the Township Committee meets with a fairly routine agenda.

Items include:

  • Providing feedback to the Marketing Communications Committee on its recommendations.

  • Extending outdoor dining in tents because of the pandemic.

  • Appointing members to the Exterior Design Advisory Committee.

  • Formally approving a contract for the town hall renovation project with Cornerstone Architectural Group.

Discussion Items - Also on the agenda are a number of items carried over from the previous meeting: Combining the Board of Adjustment (zoning) and Planning Board into one body; recruitment of new volunteers; the makeup and management of standing sub-committees; and construction schedule for the town hall/police station project. Prior to the regular meeting at 6 p.m., there will be a closed, executive session to continue discussion around hiring a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). I encourage you to participate in the meeting either in person at Town Hall or via Zoom. Get the call-in information. Get all the Township Committee agendas and minutes of past meetings.

Board Openings - Anyone who is interested in joining the Finance Sub-committee or getting involved with another Committee can send an e-mail to the entire Township Committee, the Township Clerk and apply online.

The Township Committee e-mails are:

Mendham Township Clerk Maria Coppinger -

What's Next? - Please plan to attend my swearing-in ceremony, via Zoom or in-person, at the Township Committee Special Re-Organization meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. At this meeting, the Township Committee will elect a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2021. The tradition is for the role to be exchanged each year, based on seniority. I will be starting my fourth year on the Committee, longer than any other member has served, and yet, I have not been allowed an opportunity serve in either leadership role. Hopefully in 2021, this will change.

Details about how to participate in the meeting will be posted on the Township Website.

Finally, this year, the holidays will be difficult, scaled back and much simpler. It's so important that we do everything possible to remain safe in the coming weeks. May you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner in whatever form it takes and keep loved ones close in your heart, even while you may have to stay apart.

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