A lot of what the council is focused on this year is getting additional members of the community involved in the process of improving South River. We’ve already implemented two new committees in town, with the goal of each to develop new ways to interact with residents and implement positive changes. The Communications Committee, which I am proud to serve upon, is tackling numerous challenges that prevent residents from being informed and being given the opportunity to provide feedback. Part of making our town friendlier requires starting a larger dialogue between the residents and the borough, providing information on upcoming events, service offerings, relevant changes, and other town resources. We have plans for a number of efforts, from informational inserts in your electric bills, to our new hotline number, to improving accessiblity and the details of programs in a variety of ways online. The committee is only two months old and these things take some time, but you should be seeing these efforts take shape week by week. These ideas create new questions and challenges for us and we’re developing policies that support them to provide a foundation for them to prosper.
Just last week, our newest committee, the Green Team, which I serve as Liaison to, met up informally to begin evaluating our existing programs and policies in town. The Green Team is tasked with utilizing the resources of Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit that offers a variety of useful tools, grant opportunities, and techniques to make towns stronger, more environmentally sustainable, and economically efficient. I believe this committee is essential to the future of this town, offering us with roadmaps for saving money, developing more attractive communities to live and grow, and making it more environmentally attractive.
For the past few months we’ve been laying a foundation from which we can build a brighter future for South River. We’re ramping up right now for unveiling a number of other initiatives that we’ve been working on to further get residents involved and I look forward to this dialogue between residents and government growing in order to better serve your needs. Without ears—without the ability to listen to the actual problems that exist (and not just the partisan bickering) we’re unable to learn and adapt. We believe we’ve put the gears in motion to do just that and look forward to your feedback.