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Mantua Mayor’s Message for Dec. 21

Dear Community Friends,

The township committee and I want to wish our residents who celebrate a very Merry Christmas. I was raised Catholic and attended 12 years of parochial school, so the celebration of Christmas in my family has a spiritual meaning. Regardless, I think most can agree that Christmas is a time for hope, love and peace. Christmas is a time for giving. Christmas is a time to be grateful. Christmas is a time to come together in the warm circle of family and friends, and to some extent as a community we should try to live in the spirit of Christmas all year round.  

On Saturday, Dec. 16, Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto and I attended the Wreaths Across America Ceremony held at the Wenonah Cemetery along with Wenonah’s mayor, Jessica Doheny, and Gloucester County Commissioner Director Frank DiMarco. This program was hosted by the Wenonah American Legion VFW Post 192 and was a great opportunity to express remembrance, unity and gratitude for our local fallen veterans at their gravesites during this holiday season.

As an extension of the Wreaths Across America service held at the Wenonah Cemetery, Scirrotto personally placed wreaths at each of the veterans resting places at the Mantua Methodist Cemetery in our community. This is just one of the hundreds, if not thousands of things that Pete has done for our community throughout his 30 plus years as a public servant – all while keeping it under the radar. We can all learn and be better servants of mankind by following in Pete’s footsteps. He’s just a great guy with an incredibly huge heart.

On Monday, Dec. 18, we held our last township committee meeting of 2023. The township committee and I would like to welcome newly minted police officer Aaron Romano who was sworn-in at our meeting.  We’d also like to congratulate long-time resident, Melissa Gildein who was hired as the assistant chief financial officer for the township.  

In other business, the township committee voted unanimously to approve a resolution supporting the will of the people in opposition to the construction of the Glassboro – Camden Light Rail Project.  This resolution specifically supports and endorses the will of the people who voted on the non-binding referendum question that was placed on the ballot on Nov. 7, 2023 with 68.45% being the majority of the voters who opposed the construction of this project. 

It’s no surprise to have a unanimous vote supporting the will of the voters. We represented the resident majority of the community, and we did our job by putting a resolution on the agenda and voting on it in this fashion. With that being said, our residents need to understand that this was a non-binding referendum, and therefore the resolution has no legal or binding authority relative to whether or not the GCL project moves forward. The sole purpose of this ballot question was to ascertain the sentiment of the voters on this issue, and the committee validated, supported and endorsed this sentiment with a unanimous vote. 

On Wednesday, Dec.r 20, the Gloucester County Mayor’s Association held its final meeting and holiday party at Carolina Blue here in Mantua Township. I was honored to be sworn-in as the new president of our association by my friend and colleague, Mayor Michael Razze of Pitman.  I’d like to thank Committeewoman Eileen Lukens, Administrator Jennica Bileci, Chief Darren White, Lieutenant Bill Murphy and Public Works Superintendent Glenn DeMers for attending the dinner. I look forward to representing Mantua in this new leadership role.

This is to once again validate the accuracy of the information previously announced regarding the Jean & Rice Edelman Fossil Park and Museum at Rowan University. Our community will in-fact generate $623,000.00 in total revenue from this project over a 10 year period. This includes $203,000.00 for the sale of the property in 2019 plus $420,000 for the 10 year municipal impact fee equalling $623,000.00.

To further clarify the duration of payments with Rowan University for their Municipal Impact Fee. The agreement started in 2016 with Rowan University paying Mantua Township $42,000.00 annually for the 10 year period, totaling $420,000.00.

At no time was it indicated previously that the Municipal Impact Fee payments started in 2019.  This is where the confusion may have come into play. The property was sold to Jean & Rick Edelman in 2019, however the agreement regarding the Municipal Impact Fee is with Rowan University and began in 2016.

The township’s 2024 municipal calendar is now posted and can be viewed on our website at www.mantuatownship.com. The printed calendars should hit resident mailboxes any day.

Upcoming Township Meetings and Events:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 26 our township offices will be closed for the Christmas holiday.
  • Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. is the next Veterans Commission Meeting at the Township Building.
  • Special Holiday Bulk Trash Week is Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 29 during your normal trash removal day.
  • Our township committee reorganization meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

On behalf of Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto, myself, and the entire Township Committee – we look forward to continuing our service with honesty, integrity and trustful leadership.  


Mayor Robert T. Zimmerman, MAS

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