Home • Gloucester County News Mantua kicks off new year with leadership change

Mantua kicks off new year with leadership change

Inaction on controversial GCL project irks opposed residents

KRYSTAL NURSE/ The Sun. Robert Zimmerman (above) will take over as Mantua mayor this year, while incumbent Pete Scirrotto will become deputy mayor.

Mantua Mayor Pete Scirrotto and Deputy Mayor Robert Zimmerman will switch positions in a surprise leadership change that will make the latter mayor in 2023.

“I will no longer be the mayor (of Mantua),” said Scirrotto. “Bob (Zimmerman) will be sworn in as mayor on Jan. 2. I will be deputy mayor. This is something Bob always wanted to do, so I am stepping aside.”

Scirrotto won his reelection to the township committee in November, along with fellow member, Eileen Lukens.

Meanwhile, some residents are unhappy with the town committee over its inaction on the controversial Glassboro Camden Line (GCL), a proposed 18-mile-long light rail train that will run from Camden to Glassboro and stop in area towns that include Mantua. The project is headed by the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA).

The GCL has been met with fierce opposition from residents concerned over possible environmental effects and loud noise, among other concerns. Many of them want the township to make a resolution saying no to the idea.

The train is a huge concern,” said Mantua resident Anna Gunn Janda. “It’s going to be noisy, it’s going to be a mess, it’s going to bring all kinds of stuff. The population density does not exist on the train route to make it worthwhile.

“We need a resolution that says we don’t want this train.”

Despite attempts from Say No to GCL, a Facebook group that has made its concerns about the train line known at committee meetings, the township has said repeatedly it has no say in the matter. That won’t change in 2023.

“It’s all gonna come down to money,” said Scirrotto. “No resolution or anything that we do is gonna change that. We’re worried about something we may not even be able to control.”

Construction has yet to begin on the train line, but it did enter its design and engineering phase in October, where it will likely remain for the near future. The project is expected to be completed in 2028.

Come summer, residents will learn the result of December’s property reassessments.

“When the taxable value of the township increases, the tax rate decreases, providing the tax levy remains the same,” reads a fact sheet on the reassessment. “We, therefore, expect the current tax rate to be lower in 2023. The 2022 property assessment will be used to calculate your 2023 property tax bill, and the tax rate will not be determined until June or July 2023.”

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