Mayor’s Message: Grand re-opening of Walmart, hometown hero and employee of the month

The weekly message from Mayor Joann Gattinelli

Special to The Sun: Mayor Joann Gattinelli presenting Rich Gardiner and his family with his employee of the month award at the council meeting on Aug. 22

Grand re-opening

Special to The Sun: Mayor Joann Gattinelli cutting the ceremonial ribbon at Walmart’s grand re-opening ceremony on Aug. 17

On Aug. 17, I was pleased to be a part of the Turnersville Walmart grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony. I was joined by Council President, Joe Perry, at the ceremony where Walmart generously awarded the Washington Township Police Department and the Eagle Scout Troop 7057 grant money for their organizations. Walmart now has an online grocery delivery system, which is free to customers up to seven miles away from the store; there is a small fee for residents who live further than seven miles. Walmart also introduced many new changes to its Turnersville location. They have completely renovated the electronics department, which they have featured as “Electronics of the Future”. This includes many display tables for customers to test out the new and futuristic products. They have also renovated the apparel department where there are new-featured clothing lines. I encourage you to go see the new additions to the store. It is located at 3501 Route 42, Turnersville. I would like to thank Walmart for their generosity towards the Washington Township Police Department and to Eagle Scouts Troop 7057.

Hometown hero

Special to The Sun: Mayor Joann Gattinelli presenting Patrick Finn with his hometown hero proclamation at the council meeting on Aug. 22

At the council meeting on Aug. 22, I was honored to present township resident, Patrick Finn, with a Proclamation recognizing his courageous actions on Aug. 4. At 3 a.m., Mr. Finn woke up to the sound of screams outside his home. He ran out of his home to investigate the screaming. He saw his next-door neighbor’s home on fire and his neighbor with his two young children, trapped upstairs. Mr. Finn attempted to access the home, but the flames had taken over the downstairs. He was able to get ahold of a ladder, which he leaned against the side of the house near the window. He helped get both children and their father down the ladder to safety. I felt it important to recognize Mr. Finn for his heroic and selfless actions and to thank him for his
quick thinking and sacrifice.

Employee of the month

On Aug. 22, I was pleased to present a certificate to the Township August Employee of the Month, Rich Gardiner. Rich has been an employee of Washington Township for over 26 years. He has been one of our mechanics in our Public Works Department until recently when we saw his potential to be a leader in his department. This is why Rich has been promoted to lead mechanic. He has made a difference in the organization and efficiency of the department. His hard work and dedication has proven him to be an asset to the Township. I would like to congratulate Rich again for being awarded employee of the month. I wish him continued success in his department.

Joann Gattinelli is the Mayor of Washington Township. She can be reached at