Mayor Tom Hannen's Speech (Audio/Text)
Here is the speech Cranford's new Mayor read at the township reorganization meeting on Jan. 1, 2013.
- January 5, 2013
Editor's Note: The following speech has been edited for publication.
Good afternoon everybody. First I'd like to express my appreciation to David Robinson. David spent six years away from his family, to do work with the citizens of Cranford, and we are all grateful for his service.
I'd like to join my fellow members of the township committee in thanking attorney Phil Morin for his service to the township committee in this past year, and I'd also like to thank Chief Eric G. Mason for his service as interim administrator and welcome Joseph Harnett, our new interim administrator.
Thank you, everybody…Mom and dad, thanks for joining me.Thanks to my wife, Cindy. My sons Tom, Dan, my daughters Erin and Katy. I appreciate the amount of time that you've allowed me to stay away from home for the last year and half, as I campaigned for a seat on the township committee.
Twenty-thirteen is going to be a challenging year for us as you've heard. We need to use every fiber of our creative being to deliver the services that our citizens require.
We will continue to rebuild and pay for the damages brought by two consecutive years of storms that not only have battered our community, but devistated our state, due to changes in climate that we witness on a daily basis.
We need to prepare and equip our community to prepare for and handle the impacts of climate change, and those effects that they have on our planet.
Our task is also to deliver services that are expected or required. But the challenge doesn't only come from weather and the economy. Police, fire, EMS, sanitary waste removal, the health department, these are core services that a municipality provides to its citizens. These are the services that we come together as a community and provide to one another. When we fail to be able to provide these services, we fail one another.
We will committ to provide these core services and do them well, so we do not fail each other. Government is a service oriented business. We don't make a widget, we do not entertain. We provide a service to our citizens. That is more cost-effective than our citizens trying to acquire those services as individuals.
As this is our core function let us set out to provide those core functions as efficiently, as effectively and with the best attitude that we possibly can. We cannot be all things to all people. But we can be exemplary at the responsibilities that we have to carry out.
This is my goal as chairman of the township committee and I am glad that my fellow members share them with me. To be exemplary at carrying out the services that we provide to our citizens. In the coming weeks we will announce a series of initiatives aimed at acheiving that goal.
We'd also like to find better ways to reach out to residents more effectively. We have all the technology to do so, and with the restarting of TV 35 in the second quarter of this year, we will fully utilize that resource. We're going to make our website more flexible and effective and use social media like Twitter and Facebook more effectively and integrate it into our Web presence. We will also concentrate on reorienting and enhancing our low-power AM radio station to provide a communication link to those who don't have smartphones internet, TV or phone service during storms.
With small budgets and fewer grants, we need to prioritize the big projects that we all know that we need. This goes from local issues, like the tunnel to Hillside Avenue school, to big issues like flooding.
The township committee will prioritize and publish a 5-year capital improvement plan that will set a path for protecting Cranford's vital infrastructure with input from our professionals and the public.
Internally, the township committee will complete the township's personelle policy and adopt bylaws by the middle of Febraury. I know this is of keen interest to certain members of our Cranford community.
Additionally, we will review the files of the Birchwood appeal to make sure we're in the best position to move forward with the appeal.
In the last line of the last speech that Franklin Roosevelt ever wrote, he said the only limit to our realization of tommorrow will be our doubts about today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
Today, I'm asking that everyone here, regardless of party, regardless of any divisions once held our task, not mine, our task is to rebuild Cranford Township for the next Century, to make a lasting and significant change for our children.
The cornerstone of our efforts is our faith. Mine comes from my church, being associated with Scouting and as a firefighter.I've seen the greatness that happens when we have faith in each other. I know we are capable of great things when we leave our divisions behind us.
This year, we will move forward in that faith.Thank you, God bless you all and God bless the Township of Cranford.
(Read at 2013 Cranford Township Reorganization Meeting, Jan. 1)
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