Mantua Mayor’s Message for Feb. 1

Dear Community Friends,

February is American Heart Month. For me personally, heart disease is something that I’ve been battling for many years. Heart Month in Mantua is very near and dear to my heart. Twelve years ago, at the young age of 46, I was given a new lease on life. I was blessed to have survived the widowmaker and emergency (CABG) coronary artery bypass graft surgery that repaired a 98% blockage in the left anterior descending artery of my heart. I’m fortunate to be able to tell my story, and I’m hopeful of helping others through awareness.

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You may have noticed the scruffy looks on the faces of our men in uniform around the holiday season. If you were wondering, yes, our officers are typically required to be clean shaven while in uniform. However, each year the rules are lifted so that the Mantua Township Police Department can participate in No-Shave November in an effort to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. Our officers who participate raise money to aid those fighting the cancer battle. Lieutenant Drew Hayes and Detective / Sergeant Rob Layton were recently able to donate $500.00 that was raised by the MTPD to Sergeant Eric Roseboro of the Collingswood Police Department who’s battling colon and liver cancer. Great job MTPD.

I’d like to congratulate our park director, Scott Hellerman, on his big win last week.  Scott was enjoying a meal at Schileens Pub in Westville when he was honored to be the 440,000 customer to order a roast beef sandwich at the restaurant. Based on a recent social media post, Scott was rewarded by winning a free sandwich and was showered with some balloons and plenty of attention. Scott’s a lucky guy, however, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t invited to the party.

New flag poles were installed this past week at the township administration building. The poles look great and were a much needed improvement to our veterans monument. We were able to save $14k in our capital account for this project since we did not have to install new concrete slabs.

We filmed Mayor Message 16 with the MTPD including Chief Darren White, Lt. Brian Hauss and Detective / Sergeant Rob Layton. Throughout this upcoming message, we discuss the increased policing activity in our community and how the proactive efforts of the MTPD are currently addressing criminal activity in our community. Look for this video over the next couple weeks on our social media platforms and on our township website at

The sub-committee that was created has continued their ongoing evaluation of our township’s zoning codes for chickens for the past few months. The sub-committee which includes Committeeman John Legge, Committeewoman Eileen Lukens, Administrator Jennica Bileci, Zoning Officer Kevin Howarth and Land Use Coordinator Sandi Rost have been extensively evaluating zoning codes and pilot programs for backyard chickens used by other municipalities in our county. I anticipate a recommendation to be made to the township committee, and we will most likely be addressing this issue publicly at our March 11 township committee meeting.

Paleontologist and the Founding Executive Director of the Fossil Park, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara has rescheduled and will now be attending our April 8 township committee meeting. Dr. Lacovara will discuss 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:

  • Bulk Trash Week is Monday, Feb. 5 through Friday, Feb. 9 during your normal trash removal day.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. is the next Municipal Utilities Authority meeting at the Township Municipal Building.
  • Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. is the next car seat safety technician training at the Sewell Fire House.
  • The last day to avoid a first quarter property tax late fee is Tuesday, Feb. 13.

On behalf of Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto and 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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