Superintendent Stephen Cappello, Mayor Ernest McGill discuss what they’re looking forward to in 2020

While discussing 2020, Mayor McGill talks about information technology, citizen engagement and infrastructure improvements, while Superintendent Cappello discuss new technology and programs in the school district.

Serenity Bishop The Sun: Cinnaminson Mayor Ernest McGill poses in front of the Cinnaminson Municipal Building on Thursday, Dec, 26.

For Cinnaminson residents, 2019 was a year to remember. Looking ahead at 2020, The Sun recently spoke with Mayor Ernest McGill and Superintendent Stephen Cappello about the upcoming year as they expressed excitement about what’s to come from the township and school district. 

For the township, McGill and the rest of the township committee look forward to three major goals for 2020: information technology and citizen engagement, economic and business development and infrastructure improvements.

“The township is committed to enhancing our communication platforms and have recently launched our Gov Pilot and Nixle Engage programs,” said McGill. “[It has] greatly assisted in maintaining clear and direct communications with our residents. 

The Gov Pilot and Nixle Engage programs are new ways for Cinnaminson to communicate with residents without necessarily being face to face or holding a committee meeting.

The Nixle Engage Communications System is used to expedite immediate text messages to registered cell phones and email addresses to notify residents and businesses of emergency announcements and community updates. 

According to the township’s website, the Nixle Engage communications tool helps the township notify large numbers of people about important issues in real time. Residents are encouraged to register for the notifications by texting 08077 to the number 888777 from their cell phones.

Cinnaminson Township residents also can register online at www.nixle.com to receive the notifications via email or mobile phone. Regardless of zip code, they must register under the zip code 08077 to receive Nixle alerts.

GOV Pilot on the other hand is an online government management platform. Its purpose is to improve service productivity and resident engagement. Users will be able to report concerns through their devices directly to the appropriate township official.

The program is preloaded with various options and also enables users to provide additional descriptions of their concern. The new applications also allow residents to request public documents and apply for use of municipal facilities and parks. 

Residents who want to register can go to the township’s website and find links at the bottom of the front page to download an application.

“This coming year, the township’s website will also see a major facelift,” McGill noted. “The new website will be more user friendly and will also directly connect with our social media platforms.

“We anticipate these updates and enhancements to be made very early in 2020.” 

In economic and business development, the Cinnaminson planning board recently adopted the township’s Master Plan Reexamination Report. According to McGill, the report is completed every 10 years and provides a land use and development guide for the township.

Plans are already underway to redevelop several sites and the immediate focus will be on attracting additional businesses to the Route 130 corridor and the township’s industrial zone.  

The Economic Development Committee, Planning Board and Township Committee work in concert to attract quality development. Collectively, township officials remain committed to balancing development and preservation.

As for infrastructure improvements, the township has completed drainage improvement studies for several areas of the community and has made progress in this area.  

“Twenty twenty will see additional improvements as we work with the township engineer and contractors to implement the outlined enhancements,” McGill explained. “The township is also working with the Burlington County Coastal Coalition to lobby county and state officials for additional support for improving conditions throughout our entire region.

“In addition, the township is looking forward to making improvements to the Wayne Drive Bridge and continuing with our road improvement program.” 

Cinnaminson school district 

According to Superintendent Cappello, 2020 will continue the success that was initiated during this first half of the school year. The new year will see the Cinnaminson School District continue to teach character through countless community service projects, support of the arts and sports within the school and opportunities for students to grow. 

“During 2020, we are excited by a number of things that are happening in the Cinnaminson Township School District,” the superintendent said. “First, we are excited to celebrate the Martin Luther King Day of Service with a variety of district-wide community service projects.

“Also, our high school performing arts department will be putting on a production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s “Into the Heights” for the first time, Cappello added. “The high-energy musical is set to debut just a couple of months ahead of the much anticipated movie.

“We look forward to welcoming the community to the show, especially our Senior Social matinee on March 21.”

The new year also will see Cinnaminson enhance technology within the schools and provide students with new programs to enhance their education. This will be demonstrated later in the spring with the third annual Cinnaminson High School STEM fair. The program highlights science, engineering and math programs in the district.

“We are also looking to make changes technology wise and by piloting new technology at the high school,” said Cappello. “We’re moving away from smart board technology to a new interactive flat panel. It essentially looks like an oversized Ipad.” 

At the beginning of the school year, Cinnaminson started a live daily broadcast at the middle school and high school. While the high school always had a video production program, this year marks the first time both schools are producing a news broadcast.

As the program continues, Cappello looks forward to bringing the new technology in front of the board to identify the progression students have made throughout the school year. 

“We’re constantly trying to put more tech in the hands of students and teachers to increase the educational opportunity,” Cappello explained. “We’re really excited about it all and the students have been doing a really good job.” 

“Lastly, Cinnaminson High School will once again participate on Fox 29’s “The ClassHroom,” a show that pits students against teachers in a game of trivia,” he added. “We are especially excited that Cinnaminson Middle School will also participate this year. The show films on Feb. 22 and we anticipate an early spring showing.”