Mayor's Monthly Message
Message from the Mayor
Acknowledgment of an often-unsung group of servants, some interesting stats, and the approval of a restaurant with a bar – Little Silver’s first – precede this year’s poetic wrap-up.
First, though, a shoutout to our DPW and police for being on top of the recent snowfalls and flooding. They were prepared and worked hard to clear our roads, and we got by without any significant incidents or injury.
A reminder: when roads are blocked off due to flooding, please don’t attempt to navigate the flood waters. A stalled car in deep water puts you and your rescuers at risk; the heavy rain in January gave our swift water rescue team its first call in just such a situation. Take an alternate route, please.
Speaking of the snow and rain, we wanted to acknowledge the service of our crossing guards. They’re out in all kinds of weather, making sure our students safety cross our streets, typically without much recognition.
So next time you see one of our brightly-dressed guards, let them know they’re appreciated. And please, please drive safely - help keep our crossing guards and our students safe. You’ll get there.
Next, we recently heard some interesting statistics provided by our police department as they looked back at 2023. There was an 11 percent reduction in crime overall, and a 20 percent reduction in vehicle theft last year.
And there was a total of 19,000 calls for service in 2023. That number is correct – calls from residents, for and from other emergency services, from other towns seeking assistance, and more. Thanks to all our first responders, dispatchers, and all who handle that huge volume of calls.
As to the car theft statistic, please don’t let the reduction cause complacency. Continue to lock your car and take your fob, even when leaving your car for just a minute. Our efforts to combat the problem continue, and your help is appreciated.
And last, most have heard that the Planning Board in January approved the scaled-back application to put a new restaurant with a pizza oven and bar at the site of the former shoe store between the large train station parking lot and Brave New World.
The footprint of the building will be unchanged, and it will remain a one-story structure. Outdoor music on a pergola-covered area with a fire pit will stop by 7 p.m., and the restaurant will comply with the town’s ordinance regarding noise and hours of operation.
We wish this new town business well, and understand that it may be open in five or six months.
Lastly, the poem. Here’s this year’s poetic effort, read at the January reorganization meeting. As always, the intent is to inform and appreciate – but don’t look for it in any great poetry anthologies.
A Little Silver Look-Back at 2023, and Look-Forward to 2024
A bull named Ricardo, trotted the tracks, in 2023
An AI explosion, and failing big banks, from sea to shining sea.
In the Mideast and Africa, and still in Ukraine, violence all around,
Fashion and energy giants gobbled up, their brethren, conglomerate-bound,
In New Jersey Tommy DeVito confirmed, we all get our moment of fame,
His cutlets were cooked and his laundry was done, he could focus on the game.
Charles was coronated, Menendez indicted, heavy is the head,
Closer to home, less drama ensued, the town’s budget stayed out of the red.
But we lost some favorite sons and daughters, Little Silver’s mettle tested,
Lizzie Gilmour left us way too soon, Barbara Leckstein’s spirit has rested.
Ed and Sandy Burdge both passed, a loss to our volunteer ranks,
Kevin Touhy and Chief Tom Bruno, too, the mighty shark has left the tank.
We carried on, as they’d wish, the cycle of life abides here,
Police and EMS can attest to that - they delivered a baby last year!
And did I mention, in case you missed it, we’re now a hundred years old?
Fireworks, speeches and just plain fun; a party, Steph said, and made it so.
We locked our cars, and paved our roads, and received a presentation,
ACCSESNJ said our assist to the disabled, was worthy of recognition.
John Luckenbill’s band stopped by the Gazebo, the Cliffs at our Festi-Fall,
Parker Homestead had ball games and cheer, Little Silver had something for all.
We had coffees with cops, Night out Against Crime, and honored our veterans too,
The LSFD went green for St. Pat’s, St. John’s said a mass for the Blue.
Sgt. Salerno and big Nick Hubbard, retired after years of great service,
Lauren Henning and Glenn Morgan arrived just in time, to fix machines and help in the office.
At the LSPD, we’re staffed up again, new officers serve day and night,
Matthew McGrady, Charito Cintron, and their colleague, Andrew White.
We sponsored a free rabies clinic; park facilities got a deep clean.
Environmental Day flourished, and clinics gave the flu and COVID vaccine.
Librarian Anita O’Brien, proved she’s an informative literature maven,
So, we shared her talents with the library in, neighboring Fair Haven.
Public Works, always on, kept us spiffy and safe, in every kind of condition,
And they brought a new look to our rooms in Borough Hall, a talent-filled renovation mission.
Our new website went live, I think that’s the phrase, our techies paved the way
Brady Walsh saved a pup, and joined the LSFD, and we had student government day.
A donut shop won approval, we’ll be dunkin’ on Sycamore,
Pedestrian crossings got funding, and the grant will do even more.
Our sewer authority started the work, on a main running under the bay,
Federal funding did much, but it’s worth it we think - a slight bump in our rates on the way.
On our plates in the New Year? The bar that’s proposed, at the old shoe store on Oceanport Ave
And Sickles Park changes, parking lot rearrangements, Santelle Park pops with the grant that we have.
Our Endowment Fund got up and running last year, this year it will do even more,
And for cherry trees losing their luster we plan, a boost to their blooming décor.
We’ll talk about protecting our trees, and will help our businesses thrive,
And affordable housings on the list of hot topics, as we move toward twenty twenty five.
With finances tight, the tax rate’s a challenge, but our team is up to the task,
Hey New Jersey, we say, reign in our state charges, is that really so much to ask?
Our emergency responders did it again, volunteers answering every call,
So, when you see them, offer a thank you, or donate if you’ve the wherewithal.
Chris, and Rob and Rocky were our emergency volunteer leaders last year,
This year Rob and Rocky are back, with Tom Lloyd stepping up, never fear.
On the council, Mike Holzapfel gave up his seat, Chris Faherty threw his hat in the ring,
Our legislative team is intact once again, Declan, Gerry and Vicky are doing their thing
In Freehold, we’ll miss Lillian Burry, and her help with our historical ‘hood,
But neighbor Erik Anderson’s joining the team, a local boy moves up, makes good.
And with Stephanie and Kevin, and Don and Doug, and – well - Chris and Chris,
Our Council’s prepared to work with the best, it just doesn’t get better than this.
So, on behalf of official Little Silver, to those it’s our privilege to serve,
We wish you the best in the year that’s to come, with blessings and health in reserve.
On behalf of the entire Borough Council, we wish everyone a safe winter season. Please do not hesitate to call Borough Hall with any questions at (732) 842-2400, or reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or my home phone, (732) 576-8595.
Robert C. Neff Jr.
Mayor, Borough of Little Silver