Shamong’s Township Committee reflected on a difficult 2020 at its first meeting of the new year and vowed to move forward with new initiatives in 2021.
At the Jan. 5 session, Marty Mozitis was sworn in for his fifth term as a committeeman, while former Deputy Mayor Tim Gimbel took the oath for mayor. Former Mayor Michael Di Croce swapped positions with Gimbel, stepping into the role of deputy.
“We’re an interchangeable group here,” noted Gimbel. “Even though I have this title or you have this title, we all seem to be doing the same amount of work. I appreciate everyone that’s on this committee.”
After standard new year business was conducted — such as reapproving bylaws and appointing professionals — the committee moved to a regular meeting that it opened by recognizing the work of Shamong’s longtime tax collector, Kitty Taylor, who retired at the start of this year.
“Kitty, we want to thank you for 23 years of service to not only the committee, but pretty much everyone in this town who knows you by name,” Gimbel said. “We wish you all the best. Now you get to spend full time with all your grandchildren.”
The newly mayor also read a proclamation acknowledging the Schwartz family, whose members were displaced on Dec. 26 after a fire destroyed their home. Gimbel and Di Croce thanked the firefighters and emergency services staff from around the county for their work putting the fire out.
“No one’s ever prepared for these things,” Gimbel noted. “The response to that fire coordinated by our local Indian Mills Fire Department was certainly tremendous. I know at the beginning, one point was made that there were literally 100 firefighters waiting on standby.”
Both proclamations regarding Taylor and the Schwartz fire are now on record and will be saved in township archives.
The committee also completed routine measures, like approving 2020 meeting minutes, setting temporary budget allocations and approving shared professional service agreements with nearby townships.
After about an hour in executive session, the committee returned to the public meeting to vote on a town ordinance that sets rules and regulations regarding the sale and distribution of cannabis. Township Solicitor Doug Heinold said the ordinance has been drafted over the course of a year and would allow Shamong to create a cannabis control board, discuss how cannabis agriculture will be zoned and offer information on how cannabis businesses can register in the township.
The committee voted to introduce the ordinance, with the exception of Sean Gray, who abstained. Approval of the ordinance will be discussed further and potentially be voted on in future meetings.
Also at the meeting:
- The committee voted to approve amendments to an ordinance regulating charitable collections at specific intersections. The amendments disallow collections at the intersection of Indian Mills and Oakshade roads and require groups looking to host charitable events to file paperwork with the township.
- In his report, Heinold described a potential agreement with Big Horn Solar, a company that wants to bring solar energy to Shamong’s landfill site and Murphy’s Pit.
- Heinold also gave an update on the Donna Roberts and Marissa Corbett animal abuse cases. The Donna Roberts case is likely to go to trial, he said, while Corbett accepted a plea agreement.