Quoting the Grateful Dead, what a long strange trip it’s been. Over the past eight years (two terms as Mayor) we have had many accomplishments, yet still obviously have areas to improve. I try my best to be responsive to the needs of Mount Olive residents but have learned in almost twenty years as an elected official in this Town that you can never please everyone. Notwithstanding, I keep trying and want to continue trying, should the community want me to do so.
As this year winds down, I would like to highlight a few of my favorite occasions and memorable occurrences from 2018. I along with Council President Joe Nicastro visited Carpagna Italy, our Sister City, where we were given the key to the City as well a Proclamation for Mount Olive. In addition, we had the pleasure to host the Fratelli Beretta Family in Mount Olive, where we gave Carpagna Mayor Angelo Francioni the key to our City.
Many new businesses as well as participants joined our Recreation Department for all the many events and programs we hosted this year as well as some of my favorites such as the Chili Brew Fest, Raiders of the Lost Park Mud Run and of course Mount Olive Carnival Week with Fireworks sponsored by Petillo Incorporated.
Listening to the desires of the community, I was able to arrange for a community swimming pool, without any cost to the general taxpayer or financial risk to Mount Olive. That unique concept was in fact recognized at the League of Municipalities as the 2018 Private-Public Innovation in Governance Award. Running with an idea from a resident, another proud moment was the creation of the Map Your Business Interactive Board at Turkey Brook Park. Next year we will be expanding the idea to Flanders Park, where visitors can see the many different businesses Mount Olive has to shop, eat and visit.
Along with the many enjoyable moments, there were also those which were unfortunate. However, Mount Olive is made of a community that is strong and resilient. After hearing of the closing of Sam’s Club, my staff immediately along with Pastor Jones created a Job Fair for those who lost their job as well as for those who might have been in need of employment. Over 45 businesses participated.
We had our fair share of loss this year with the passing of Fred Detoro Senior, Robert Cooper and of course the tragic accident on Route 80 where two lives were lost from the Paramus Community. Once again Mount Olive with its resilient strength moved forward caring each other with continued support.
As we continue to provide quality services and community pride in Mount Olive, I search for solutions for better ways to maintain our roads and provide needed services for the community. I am always open to new ideas which will benefit Mount Olive. May God bless Mount Olive, and each and everyone one of you, and provide a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season.
Mayor Mount Olive Township