Mantua Mayor’s Message for Jan. 18

Dear Community Friends,

We anticipate the promotion of Lt. William Murphy to the rank of Captain. I’ll be administering the oath of office at our Feb. 12 township committee meeting. Lt. Murphy has been handling the duties of second-in-command of our police department, and he will be rewarded for his efforts by this well-deserved promotion.  

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We also anticipate the introduction of an amendment to our township code at our Feb. 12 meeting that will allow dogs at Chestnut Branch Park. This ordinance should be adopted at our March 11 meeting and will take effect shortly thereafter. As I’ve previously announced, dogs must be leashed at all times and owners will be responsible for cleaning up waste. Dog owner accountability will determine the longevity of this initiative. As a dog owner and lover myself, I can’t wait.

This past Friday night, Jan.12 into Saturday morning, Jan. 13 we anticipated and prepared for another storm that posed potentially bad weather and high wind conditions. Fortunately, with this second storm last week, Mantua Township’s OEM Coordinator, Dan Hauss reported that there were no power outages and that first responders received no service calls for wires and/or trees knocked down by windy conditions.

The Mantua Township Police Department has had an incredibly busy year in 2023.  Statistically, here is a comparison between the past two years of 2022 and 2023. Our police department continues their proactive policing approach, and our township committee continues to provide the necessary personnel and resources to help our officers fight any criminal activity in our community. Arrests are up by 48% and motor vehicle stops are up by 33% validating the assertiveness of our police department’s policing style. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a glass bubble, and we’re faced with the same policing challenges as every other community. In an upcoming mayor’s message video, my special guest will be Detective/Sergeant Robert Layton. He will discuss the ongoing and successful policing initiatives used by the MTPD.

Number of stolen cars is 40% higher than in 2022.
Shoplifting incidents are 117% higher than in 2022.
Burglaries are 15% higher than in 2022.
Documented calls are 35% higher than in 2022.
Arrests are 48% higher than in 2022.
Motor Vehicle Stops are 33% higher than in 2022.

Our recreation committee held its annual reorganization meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 17.  At the meeting, Regina DeWitt and Kathy Shryock were reappointed as the co-chairs and Deb Baldasarre was reappointed as the secretary for 2024. New members Melissa Jackson and Kristy Crouthamel along with DeWitt, Shryock and Linda Honrath were all sworn-in to new terms on the board.

Also, at the recreation committee meeting, the board agreed to add some additional events this year. Some tentative dates to save are Saturday, May 4 for “Pups in the Park.” This will be the official opening and celebration of Chestnut Branch Park becoming a dog friendly facility. A senior picnic will be held in the late spring on Wednesday, June 5 at the municipal building complex on Main Street. A fall festival in conjunction with national night out will probably be held sometime in late September, and our winter festival will be held at Chestnut Branch Park on Thursday, Dec. 5.  Additional information on these events and other updates will be forthcoming.

We had some recent inquiries regarding the types of fossils actually found at the property where the Edelman Fossil Park and Museum is located here in Mantua Township.  According to the official website of the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum of Rowan University, “Fossils found at this site include the remains of terrifying bus-length mosasaurs, marine crocodiles, sea turtles, bony fish, shark teeth, brachiopods, marine snails and much more.” I have also invited world renowned Paleontologist and the Founding Executive Director of the Fossil Park, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara to our March 11 township committee meeting. Dr. Lacovara will be able to elaborate on the fossils and remains found at this site, and give an update on the spring opening of the park and museum.  

Upcoming Township Meetings and Events:

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