Home Voorhees News Mayor’s column: 2023 in review

Mayor’s column: 2023 in review

We look forward to 2024 as a year of hope and optimism. We should take one last moment to reflect on the eventful year that was 2023.

Under the leadership of Police Chief Lou Bordi and Public Safety Director Jackie Fetbroyt, our Voorhees Township Police Department allowed our families to sleep easily at night.
They continued to be equipped with body cameras and we had police officers in all of our
schools all day every day. They engaged with our community through National Night
Out, the 8th Annual Junior Police Academy, the 5 th Annual Citizens Police Academy and
the Police Holiday Fund. They also established a Special Needs Registry to alert officers
of medical or behavioral issues at a home to better address emergencies. The VTPD has
also partnered with Volunteers of America to pair officers with Impact Specialists to
provide immediate social services to those in need. Finally, in partnership with Virtua, a
VTPD Substation was opened in Virtua Voorhees Hospital for the safety of patients and

Under the leadership of Chief Jim Poland, the Voorhees Township Fire Department kept
our families safe. They engaged with our community through Fire Prevention Day, Santa
on a Fire Truck, our Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting and Cookies with Santa.
Under the leadership of Joe Lovallo, the Voorhees Department of Public Works
continued to keep our streets, parks and athletic fields safe. In spite of a significant
increase due to more people working from home, trash removal was seamless.

Under the leadership of Township Administrator Stephen Steglik, our town hall
employees continued to provide the highest level of municipal services in an efficient and
effective manner.

The township committee worked hard to reduce spending and control costs. Voorhees
engaged in sensible shared services programs with Eastern Regional High School, the
Voorhees Township schools, Gibbsboro, Laurel Springs, Brooklawn, Stratford, Berlin
Township and Camden County. We continued our programs of side-arm trash collection
and single stream recycling collection, allowing our manpower to be used more

The Voorhees road program continued with the repaving of 22 township thoroughfares.
Improvements were made to our sewer system with upgrades to three pump stations.
We continued to improve our parks and athletic fields. New lights were installed at the
AA Field at our Rabinowitz Baseball Complex. With a DCA grant, two pickleball
courts, a basketball court and a tennis court were installed at our Maiaroto Soccer
Complex. Lights were added to our basketball courts at Kirkwood Park.

To help keep our community safe, we continued our Safe Exchange Zone, DNA Home
Asset Program, the NextDoor App, the E-Ticketing System, Project Medicine Drop, the
Anonymous Crime Tip Line, Nixle and the Safe Cam Program.

We continued to make our local government transparent and accessible. We televise all
township committee meetings and we regularly update the township website. Over
6,400 people follow the township on Facebook, 1,700 on Instagram, 1,000 on Twitter, over 5,700 on the township app and 8,500 on the Next-Door App.

We continued our Voorhees Saves Lives Program. Through contributions from private
donations, free Uber rides home are provided to Voorhees residents from Dooney’s Pub,
Iron Hill Brewery, Ott’s Tavern, the Library II and the ChopHouse in Gibbsboro from 9
p.m. to 2 a.m. Since the inception of this program, DUI incidents have been dramatically

We continued with our Shop Voorhees Property Tax Rewards Program, allowing a
portion of your normal purchasing dollars spent on goods and services to be applied
toward your property tax bill, thereby reducing your taxes at the end of the tax year. Last
year, 3,000 households participated, with total purchases of over $400,000, leading to tax
savings of over $25,000.

We had another successful summer concert series with tributes to Santana, Elvis Presley
and Bruce Springsteen. We also held our first jazz night. Our Voorhees Got Talent Competition drew talented contestants who competed over the course of several weeks. The winner was Voorhees resident Malicia Showers, a talented singer and songwriter who won the $1,000 first prize.

Two cannabis retail stores are open in Voorhees. The Sweetspot on White Horse Road
celebrated its first anniversary and Eastern Green opened on Route 73. We have two more
stores approved and expected to open in 2024. This is important, because in the fourth
quarter of 2023 alone, the township collected over $55,000 in revenue from one store.
Voorhees Township continues to be a destination for new businesses. Last year, a total
of 57 new businesses opened in our town.

The arts are alive and well in Voorhees. In 2023, the Voorhees Art Commission
sponsored many programs for residents of all ages, including Healing Art for a Hero’s
Heart, Classics by Candlelight and art tables at community events. The Voorhees
Arts Center and Gallery celebrated its fifth anniversary.

On Feb. 9, 2024, the commission will be hosting the Love is in the Air teen dance party at the town center. We added U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. John Ciacco to our Veterans Wall of Honor. We now have 440 local heroes honored on the wall.

Saddlehill Vinyard and Winery continued to take shape at Stafford Farm. The new
owner, Bill Green, has invested significant dollars to beautify the site and make it a
community destination. It is expected to open in the spring.

Stephen Steglik was named as our new township administrator. Harry Platt and I were honored to be reelected to the Voorhees Township Committee. SJ magazine named Voorhees a top town in which to live in South Jersey.

Thank you to the many volunteers who serve on our township’s boards, committees and
commissions. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving as your mayor in 2023. I will again embrace the honor in 2024. On behalf of the Voorhees Township Committee, we will continue to work hard to make Voorhees a great place in which to live, work and raise a family.

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