Council President, members of the Town Council, municipal employees, friends, relatives and fellow residents of Mount Olive, I once again thank you for the opportunity to report on the State of the Township of Mount Olive this year. As I go into the final year of my first term as Mayor, I am very pleased with where the Township is situated for 2015 and beyond.
I would like to thank John Mania for his leadership this past year and look forward to working with Joe Nicastro, as council president in 2015.
Through our conservative financial management, smart spending, and our efforts of attracting new businesses to Mount Olive for the second consecutive year, the budget that I will be submitting to the council will have no tax increase. Even better, looking forward, I am hopeful that the 2016 and 2017 budgets will also contain no tax increase, even though I anticipate providing even greater levels of municipal services.
All of the successes which will be detailed in this address, could not have been accomplished without the strong leadership provided by our business administrator, Sean Canning and dedication of both Lisa Brett and Christie Stachnick.
Through their efforts, we:
(7) Assisted in the zoning enforcement area with the departure of our zoning officer.
(8) Implemented agenda meetings insuring council is fully apprised of the upcoming issues at council sessions and department heads are fully involved.
(9) Negotiated with Fratelli Berretta resulting in a $1.5 million sale of sewer EDU’s.
(10) Managed the auto refuse project which came fully online in 2014 and has been nothing
short of a huge success, both services wise and financially.
(11) Negotiated a shared service agreement with Chester Borough for sanitation.
(12) Began initial efforts at taking over the Morris Hills and Morris Chase water systems.
(13) Implemented a long term traffic solution to the problems at Country Oaks through the
use of Gold Mine Road.
(14) Worked with the DEP to resolve their concerns regarding the Mount Olive water
Some of our Special Projects Coordinator accomplishments included:
(1) Assisting with the distribution of Holiday Baskets with the Health Department for the needy.
(2) Coordination of the relocation of the Food Pantry and developing the outreach program with the clergy.
(3) Coordination of the Holiday Celebrations for the community.
(4) Community communication through the use of 3 facebook pages;
(5) Coordination of the development of the 911 Mount Olive Memorial with Councilman Perkins.
Through the extremely diligent efforts of the Finance Department,
interest earnings that were due to the IRS.
5% of the total appealed.
(10)We made security enhancements to our office including a glass shield and door lock
(11)We had our bond sale which resulted in a premium to the Township of $764,061.25.
(12)We created a new purchase order which has more detailed information on it to assist
vendors and departments alike.
(13)We had over 180 added assessments in 2014 which resulted in an additional $560,000
of revenue for the Township.
(14)We implemented the Kronos time and attendance system for all municipal departments
except for the police department (who have their own system).
(15)We completed the best practice checklist and we had no reduction in state aid for 2014
as a result.
(16)We began work on the general revenue online payment system with Citenet.
(17)We purchased a currency discriminator to implement tighter security measures for
detecting counterfeit money.
(18)We completed our annual water/sewer study that will result in no new rate increases for
Last year, the Planning Department was actively engaged in a number of projects beyond the typical responsibilities to assist the general public with questions concerning zoning, the enforcement of the Township’s Land Use Ordinance and the preparation of reports for the Planning Board for site plan, subdivision and variance applications.
Two of the larger application approved by the planning board in 2014 included: preliminary and final major subdivision and site plan approval to Toll Bros/Regency at Flanders for an active adult age restricted community consisting of 227 single family units and 57 affordable family units which will help satisfy the Township’s COAH obligation. In January 2014 the Planning Board adopted a resolution memorializing the granting of preliminary and final site plan approval for Fratelli Beretta to construct a building 182,440 square foot building consisting of warehouse/assembly and office space in the Foreign Trade Zone. Once construction is finished, Fratelli Beretta will move its headquarters into this facility.
As to out COAH/Affordable Housing State mandated requirement, the Township continued
in its efforts to acquire the former Cobblestone Nursing home site to remove the abandoned
buildings and to redevelop the site with affordable housing consistent with the Township’s
COAH requirements. Acquisition of the site and funding for an environmental evaluation and
assessment of the existing well for potable water capacity for the proposed development have
been financed through the Mount Olive Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The Planning Department and the Township’s consultants also continued to work on a Highlands Redevelopment Plan for a section of Route 46 within the Highlands Preservation Area. The Redevelopment Area consists of some 17 properties including the five acre Municipal Beach and former Municipal Building/Public Works site as its focal point. The ultimate objective is to create a new Lake Development District to revitalize the commercial and recreational potential within this area while simultaneously introducing new standards for environmental protection of the lake environs.
In 2014, the Building Department was incredibly busy and worked diligently to provide all services required related to the issuing of permits and providing required inspection services related to fees new development and/or construction in Mount Olive, as well as projects involving homeowner remodeling. For 2014, the Building Department:
(1) Collected $570,071.00 for permits and other fees.
(2) Conducted 4,568 inspections.
(3) Processed 32 permits with fees waived for government owned buildings and schools.
In 2014, the Municipal Court, working on behalf of both Mount Olive and Netcong, once
again processed one of the highest rates of DWI arrests in Morris County through the use of special DWI trial sessions to address the backlog of DWI cases in Mount Olive which resulted in a decrease in the backlog of such cases by 18%.
The Mt Olive Court accepted a total of 137 DWI charges, 5,277 traffic charges, 127 parking offenses, 282 indictable charges, 922 disorderly persons/petty disorderly people’s offenses and 520 local ordinance violations for filing from January 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014. In the same time period the Court disposed of 142 DWI charges, 5,389 traffic charges, 137 parking offenses, 848 disorderly persons/petty disorderly persons offenses and 532 local ordinance violations.
With regard to Fleet Maintenance:
future needs for heavy duty equipment, developing a plan for 2015 into 2016.
streamline parts ordering and labor times, thus keeping costs to a minimum.
(3) Ordered and put into service several vehicles, both heavy-duty and light-duty.
The Health Department in 2014:
(10)Administered 650 doses of Influenza vaccine administered,120 immunizations to
uninsured resident children.
(11)Conducted Female and Male Cancer Screening to uninsured residents, skin cancer
And blood screenings to residents
(12)Initiated two Smoking cessation programs and a freed diabetes education series.
(13)And Investigated over 200 cases of reports of communicable diseases in Mt. Olive and
over 450 case updates in covered municipalities.
Our Animal Control Officer:
In 2014 OEM went through some changes, first a deputy was added to perform training and conduct regular meetings with the Emergency Services in Mt Olive. Also OEM began the formation of a CERT team in Mount Olive. OEM continues to work on several grants that are in final state review (generator and UPS). OEM has partnered with Mt Olive Health department to purchase infectious disease protective gear as well as provide training to the Emergency Services.
In 2014, Parks, Buildings & Grounds completed the following.
(10)Maintained and improved the Givaudan Braille Trail, the White trail and the Orange
(11)Assisted in the development of Drakes Brook Park for Lacrosse use in 2015.
(12)Assisted in the renovation of the Historic Mt. Olive Baptist Church and Mt. Olive
(13)Developed plans and implementing landscape plantings utilizing Tree Bank funds.
(14)Maintained operations of all mechanical systems in the Township DPW garage,
Fleet Garage, Senior Center and Town Hall locations.
(15)Responded to over 3,200 work order calls. Each P, B & G employee averaged 356
calls for the year.
The Recreation Department, as in all of the years that I have been Mayor, had many successes in 2014. The Recreation Department:
(1) Held 20 Special Events during the year, with total annual attendance over 35,000
participants, including Cabin Fever Reliever, the Do or Dye 5K Color Fun Run/Walk,
Power Wheels Races series, the Fairy & Pirate Festival, Raiders of the Lost Park
Mud Run, Mt. Olive Week Carnival, Movies in the Park and the Monster Mash Dash.
More events are planned for 2015, including the Food Trucks & Fireworks Festival on
(2) Offered over 22 summer camp programs which served more than 1,000 children.
(3) Ran enrichment and fitness programs for both adults and children.
(4) Organized and oversaw the Mt. Olive Farmer's Market.
(5) Conducted on-line continuing educations courses.
(6) Created weekly E-Newsletters, website and Facebook posts.
(7) Planned and help build Mount Playmore, a wonderful addition to Turkey Brook Park.
The Public Works Department successfully maintained and improved Township owned infrastructure. That department continues to improve through:
As always, the Township, continued to improve all aspects related to Information Technology including:
In 2014, the Police Department had both a significant call load and administrative matters to handle.
In 2014, the Police Department handled another year of increasing call load and also simultaneously managed several important projects. Additionally, the agency was also busy replacing and training new personnel. During the year four officers departed including the Patrol Commander (Lieutenant John Glinko) and a Detective Sergeant (Kevin Hyland). A recruitment and selection process was conducted and the Township initially hired Officers Constaninos Pagonis and Chris Saunders, who both successfully graduated the Police Academy in December. This month (January) two new officers will begin their basic training at the Morris County Police academy; Mark Reynolds and James Carney. Phil Lucivero was promoted to lieutenant, and has taken over the Patrol Commander position and Jeff Kalafut and Dave Turner have both been promoted to sergeant. In addition, records clerk Bonnie Schomp retired and Karissa Sevensky was hired to fill that vacancy. Communications Officer James Seeger was hired as a Police Officer in Parsippany and was replaced by Scott Baker.
It was another busy year; in fact the Police Department calls for service increased again to nearly 80,000. The types of calls ranged from a homicide (victim Patrick Gilhuley -in March resulting in a charge of murder) to property crimes and narcotic related arrests. The heroin epidemic is of particular concern and as a result the police department has initiated a NarCan Program. Headed by Officer Marianne Wurtemberg (also a Paramedic) and Assistant Patrol Commander Mark Carlstrom, each front line patrol officer is being trained how to administer life saving doses of NarCan to overdose patients. The Patrol Division has made approximately 800 arrest this year including 112 drug related offenses and 130 arrests for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Patrol officers have conducted over 21,500 directed patrols towards targeted areas of concern within the township.
A project in simulcast radio for police, fire, and first aid is currently being managed within the police department by Corporal Eric Anthony; this project has been undertaken to assure that radio reception is achievable in all areas of our township. In 2014, we also added the Bar-Coded Evidence Analysis Statistics and Tracking (BEAST) System to manage our evidence and property storage and retrieval process. The BEAST project is managed within our Investigations Division by Detective Corporal Craig Casaletto. The investigations Division, specifically Detective Lieutenant Dunn, also instituted an early warning detection system into the internal affairs process. The Guardian Tracking program detects and exposes area of improvement according to complaints received or discipline meted out for our staff.
Lieutenant Michael Spitzer coordinated quarterly meetings now known as MOJESC (Mount Olive Joint Emergency Services Committee) designed to facilitate better communication and working relationships amongst the Police, Fire, Emergency Medical and Dispatch personnel serving our town. A coordinated drill was held at the Mount Olive High School to practice in the event a joint response was ever necessary.
In the Support Services Division, traffic related studies and recommendations for improvement were proposed. The intersection of Wolfe Road and Route 46, the Cloverhill Drive Speed Study, the Tinc Road Study,the Route 46 at the Route 80 Off Ramp Sidewalk, the Gold Mine Road Study and the Kid's First Sidewalk Safety Project to name a few. Lieutenant Craig Austenberg and Sergeant Michael Pocquat also spent time during 2014 increasing communication with the Board of Education and by attending periodic meetings at the Board Building to foster better communication.
What I have included in this address is only a small sampling of what our Township Departments and employees accomplished over the course of the last year. Let us not forget that they are on the front line everyday working to make Mount Olive a better safer place to live. To that end, I congratulate all of the employees in all of the successes of 2014 and look forward to greater achievements in 2015.
As we move forward into 2015 and beyond, we have many things to look forward to. We can all also take pride in the MOMENTUM the Township has and continues to generate. I can’t tell you how many people stop to tell me that they love living in Mount Olive.
I would like to thank the Town Council, our Business Administrator, Sean Canning and all of our municipal employees for a job well done in 2014. May you all and have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Sincerely and with great appreciation,
MAYOR, MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP