Mayor’s Message: Special needs registry available for disasters

Mayor Joann Gattinelli also teams up with local volunteers to feed members of the Washington Twp. Senior Center.

Pictured are Mayor Joann Gattinelli, Lori Morello, head of senior services, Richard Henning from the senior center, organizers and helpers Antonio Morello, Mike Schrecogost and Genie Gullo as they prepare boxed meals to deliver to members of the Washington Township Senior Center.

Register Ready

Washington Township residents, I would like to make you aware that the NJ Office of Emergency Management has a special needs registry for disasters. “Register Ready: New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters” allows New Jersey residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends, caregivers and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. The information collected here is confidential and will not be available to the public. The information will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning. Once you are registered, you will be notified by local officials when an evacuation has been ordered. It is free to register.

Register at www13.state.nj.us/SpecialNeeds/Registration or call 2-1-1 (toll free) and an operator will assist you with more information.

 

WT Senior Citizens

Before the pandemic, Washington Township Senior Center members would normally spend their days at the senior center. They would be greeted by Mr. Henning, enjoy the Thursday hot lunch program or perhaps participate in some of the Senior Center activities such as bingo, cards or bridge. When the state essentially shut down and public gatherings were temporarily called off, the WT Senior Center closed as well and the members of the center had to give up their social activities.

For seniors, exposure to the coronavirus is life threatening and staying home, less so. Unable to go out or receive visitors, even their own relatives, seniors in the age of coronavirus are relying more than ever on the support of their municipalities and community programs. The help they receive ranges from delivery of food and necessities, to a warm voice on the phone. On Wednesday, May 27, the Rotary Club of Washington Township donated more than 45 boxed lunches prepared by Wedgewood Country Club Catering for the senior residents. Under the direction of Director of Senior Programs and Community Affairs, Lori Morello and I, the boxed lunches were safely delivered to the senior residents of Washington Township. I would like to recognize and thank Mike Schrecogost and Genie Gullo, along with our delivery volunteers, Paula Wilkerson and Antonio Morello. Working together, staying optimistic, one step closer.

 

Municipal Updates

The Municipal Building continues to stay closed to the public and operating with essential staff. In an effort to maintain continuity of government, the administration and I added a new drop box available in the parking lot of the municipal building. The drop box will be checked a few times a day by municipal employees. Residents may drop off any payments or zoning and construction plans that need to be submitted while the building is closed to the public. Recently, the old blue drop box was removed and a new secure drop box was installed. We thank you for your cooperation during this pandemic.

Communication is important. I urge you all to 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 of the Washington Township residents for the many kind and thankful outreach phone calls to our offices during this difficult time. We thank you for taking the time to reach out to us with your feedback. We ask that you continue to please check in on your neighbors and support our local businesses.

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