Mayor’s Message for week of May 14

American flags fly along Main Street each year as a sign of our community’s patriotism and as a symbol of freedom and liberty. Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto started this tradition a few years ago as mayor, and it has been received well by our residents. The tradition continues.

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As many of you know, we have a blue line painted along the entranceway of Chestnut Branch Park in support of our police department and law enforcement (LE). We’ll be repainting this line in the near future as it has become worn over the years. We stand behind those who protect and serve our great community, and proudly display this symbol acknowledging our gratitude.

Our police department, Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto, Committeeman Shawn Layton and I attended the funeral service for Deptford Township Police Officer Robert “Bobby” Shisler this past Wednesday at Rowan’s Pfleeger Concert Hall in Glassboro. There was an outpouring of support from near and far from his LE family to those just wishing to pay their respects for this young warrior who made the ultimate sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shisler family during this most difficult time.

Memorial Day honors and mourns those military personnel who lost their lives while defending our country.  We ask that you take some time from your holiday weekend to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedoms. Our Memorial Day Ceremony is scheduled for Monday, May 29. The parade itself will start at 8:45 a.m. at the intersection of Mantua and Marian Avenues in Wenonah. The parade will conclude at the Mantua Municipal Building on Main Street with the service beginning at about 10:30 a.m. 

In the next Mayor’s Message Video #7, my special guest is life-long resident Emily Cooney who currently holds the title of “Miss South Shore.” Emily is competing in this year’s Miss New Jersey pageant next month in Atlantic City. Emily’s platform is “Serving Those Who Serve,” a community service initiative that will help veterans become acclimated to civilian life after the military. Look for this video soon on our social media platforms and on our township website at

Numerous residents of the Cedar Grove and Maplewood Village developments attended our May 9 Rent Leveling Board meeting and expressed concerns relating to the condition of roads, trees and drainage issues. The CPI increase was deferred by the rent leveling board until the deficiencies are remediated by the landlord. We have engaged our professionals in an effort to help mediate and ensure that all parties are working toward a mutually acceptable resolution.

Our township administrator, Jennica Bileci, is spearheading our 2023 municipal budget preparation efforts. We anticipate the introduction of this year’s budget at our June 12 township committee meeting and expect a presentation and adoption at the July 10 meeting.  

Last weekend there were numerous motor vehicles burglarized at the parking lot of Chestnut Branch Park. The perpetrators broke car windows in order to gain access and steal belongings  such as purses and cash, etc. locked inside the unattended vehicles. These incidents occurred during daylight hours while park goers were at soccer games or participating in other park related activities. Continue to lock your vehicles, and do not leave valuables behind.   

Additionally, numerous catalytic converters have been recently stolen off of motor vehicles during the overnight hours, and unlocked motor vehicles have fallen prey to overnight thefts of the contents left inside.  Again, please make sure that you are locking your motor vehicles at all times, and do not leave valuables inside or visible to thieves. Park in well-lit areas, leave the outside porch and driveway lights illuminated and call police if you observe anyone or anything suspicious.

We recently met with our township engineer to plan out this year’s road program.  With diminished state aid over the past several years, it’s become increasingly difficult to find funding to maintain our infrastructure, especially our municipal roadways, which are very costly. We typically allocate between $500,000 and $600,000 annually toward roadway improvements, which really doesn’t go very far. Please be patient as we do our best prioritizing this issue and also seeking alternative ways to keep our local property taxes in check while accomplishing this task.

Upcoming Township Meetings and Events:

  • Thursday, May 25 at 7 p.m. is the next Veterans Commission meeting to be held at the Township Administration Building.
  • Saturday, May 27 is the next Convenience Center Drop Off at our Public Works facility between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

On behalf of Scirrotto, myself and the entire township committee – we look forward to continuing our service with honesty, integrity and trustful leadership. 

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