I am the mayor of Medford for 2016. Under our form of government, Medford has a council and a manager. The Manager runs the Township on a day-to-day basis The Council makes policy decisions.
The mayor and deputy mayor are appointed by council every year at council’s reorganization meeting in the beginning of January. It has been the custom in Medford for the mayor to change every year and rotate among the members of council. This is done to emphasize that each member of council has one vote and is equal in stature and power.
However the mayor is the face of the council for the year. He or she chairs the meetings of council, is asked to make public appearances on behalf of the township, and often called upon by residents who have a complaint or wish to discuss a matter relating to township business.
Because I am a new mayor and this is my first column, I want to introduce myself. I have lived in Medford with my family for over 16 years. I am a real estate attorney and a partner in a Philadelphia based law firm. I have been active in MYAA as a coach and in my homeowners association. In 2011, I participated in the Blue Ribbon Committee that evaluated the Medford Crossings project for the township. I was appointed to council in December 2011 after a resignation and elected to complete the unexpired term in November 2012. In November 2013, I was elected to a four-year term on council. Last year, I served as deputy mayor.
In January of 2012, all five council members were either newly elected or newly appointed. We inherited difficult financial circumstances and have accomplished much in the past four years. The financial well being of the township was our focus for most of that time. With the help of the staff and the support of the community, we are in a much better place financially. We will soon turn to the annual budget for 2016, and do so without the concern or anxiety that we faced in our early years.
However, in my view, the process to adopt the township’s annual budget is still among the most important actions council will take in 2016. Township Council and the manager will be holding special meetings on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. and March 5 at 9:30 a.m. Both of these meetings will take place at the public safety building located on 91 Union Street in Medford. We encourage every resident of Medford to attend one of these meetings to learn about the township’s budget, share your thoughts and concerns with us, and ask any questions you may have. In the words of former mayor Randy Pace, “Don’t expect from your government; inspect your government.”
I am proud to serve our township and its residents as Mayor in 2016. I look forward to sharing my thoughts in this column about issues and topics relating to Medford’s government that arise during the coming year.