Mayor’s Message: Parks closed, township officials checking up on seniors

Mayor Joann Gattinelli updates residents on what's happening around Washington Township as the COVID-19 pandemic continues

By JOANN GATTINELLI

Washington Twp. Mayor

Washington Lake Park

On April 7, Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order to close all state and county parks. In an effort to adhere to his recommendations, after meeting and discussing with members of Washington Township Council to keep the residents and staff safe at this heightened time of spread, we announced that effective, April 8, all parks in Washington Township will hereby be closed until further notice. A park ranger will be on duty throughout the day to enforce the closure of all of our parks. This action is not taken lightly and is being done out of need to help stop the spread. We thank all of our residents for their cooperation at this time, and hope to have the parks back open as soon as it is safe for all residents and staff. In the meantime, please remember to support local businesses, practice proper hygiene and maintain a safe social distance.

Senior Community

During this pandemic, our senior residents are one of the most vulnerable groups of people. The safety and health of all senior residents in Washington Township is a top priority for my administration, council and I. On the week of March 27, I asked my Administrative Assistant, Suzie Barone, Washington Township Director of Senior Programs, Lori Morello, and Business Administrator’s Assistant Alicia Marini to reach out to all seniors registered at the Washington Township Senior Center. I wanted to remind these individuals that we are here for them, should they need any assistance.

Morello has been instrumental in helping me make sure our senior residents are not only safe and healthy, but have everything they need during this outbreak. A mailer was sent out to senior residents informing them of crucial information and available resources, contact information and helpful links that are offered by the state as well as Washington Township. I would like to thank our senior community for the excellent feedback that my office received.

Weeks ahead for WT

The coronavirus has affected all of our lives and will continue to do so for the next several weeks. Rest assured that Washington Township is closely monitoring the situation and adhering to all guidelines from federal, state and local sources relative to the spread of the virus and its effects.

Communication is important. I urge you all too please follow the township’s Facebook page and our website at www.TownshipNJ.com. Township council, the Washington Township Police Department and I would like to thank all Washington Township residents for the many kind and thankful outreach phone calls to our offices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your many messages have been inspirational and thoughtful and we thank you for taking the time to reach out to us. Please check on your neighbors, especially if they are alone or elderly and support our local businesses. Stay safe and we will get through this together.

Joann Gattinelli is the mayor of Washington Township and can be reached at MayorGattinelli@twp.washington.nj.us.