Mayor Michael Putrino
January 7, 2019
Members of the Council, friends, guests and my fellow residents of New Milford:
I am honored to be entrusted to take the oath before you. It will sincerely be a privilege to serve you as Mayor of my hometown.
I want to thank Former Mayor Ann Subrizi for her service to our borough and her confidence in me during this transition of leadership.
Tonight, is not a celebration of any one person or political party. Rather, it is a reinforcement of the idea that together we can make New Milford a better place in which to live, work and raise a family.
In the late 1800s, my great-great grandparents came to Lenox Avenue, in Peetzburgh, New Jersey, looking for a better life. There have been five generations of my family since then who have been born, raised and educated in our community. Over the years, my family has been a part of many organizations in our beloved town. My great-grandfather Samuel Cosney was elected and served three terms as a councilman in the 1930s and my great-uncle Milton Martin was our Chief of Police in the late 1960s. I am proud to be a small part of my family’s history of service to New Milford.
I want to congratulate my running mates Hedy Grant and Thea Sirocchi-Hurley and thank them and everyone who worked on our campaign. Thank you to my wife Tracey and my daughters Lily and Kate for their unending support and understanding…despite thinking I am totally crazy. Thank you to my parents Debra and Joe Putrino, my brother Bill Putrino, my Aunt Mary and Uncle Tim Cosney and my grandmother, Edna Cosney, who will turn 97 this year, for all of their encouragement. And a heartfelt thank you to the residents who supported and believed in me.
I want to thank the 2018 council members with whom I served for all their accomplishments. There are too many accomplishments to list but I want to mention a few examples, Councilwoman Duffie organized and held a public service event about coexisting with suburban wildlife. Councilwoman Sirocchi-Hurley was instrumental in securing the borough’s ownership of the Historic French Huguenot Cemetery. Councilwoman Grant brought a Sculpture Garden to the library. Councilman Grotsky and Councilwoman Greco-Langschultz were invaluable on the borough’s budget committee.
The 2018 council also oversaw one of the most significant improvements to our borough’s recreation program - the rehabilitation of Kennedy Memorial Field.
In 2019, the business of our borough will go forward and I will have high expectations of the council, our professionals and especially of myself as New Milford will be confronted with new challenges such as continuing to provide quality services to our residents while minimizing the tax burden, strengthening our public safety, continuing to improve and create new recreational and other opportunities for our children and our seniors, supporting “Green and Clean” initiatives to protect our environment, mitigating the effects of recent development and overseeing the renovations to the interior of our borough hall.
I do not believe it is possible to solve every issue to everyone’s satisfaction nor do I believe that government is the solution to every problem. I do believe, however, that this governing body will have an open and honest dialog with the residents and do everything within its power to further the best interests of the borough as a whole.
New Milford is the place we call home. It is the place where all of us - elected officials, friends, neighbors, parents, students, volunteers - can make a positive difference.
Let us never forget that New Milford’s future is not pre-determined…our future will be what we make it…together.
Thank you and God bless New Milford, the Birthplace of Bergen County.
Message December 10, 2018
Dear Residents of New Milford,
As this year of 2018 and my tenure as Mayor come to an end I would like to thank everyone along the way who has contributed to New Milford during these years and everyone who left me with so many lasting memories.
December has been very busy, as usual. Today Santa paid us a visit via helicopter. He landed at the New Milford High School Football field. Soon there will be a new NMHS football field. The work at the Suez property is really moving now and the property will be deeded to the town shortly. Now that the work is almost done at the Knight's/Kennedy field I hope the 2019 governing body will turn their attention to completing this field.
We lit the Christmas tree and the Menorah on December 2nd and for a change it was not the coldest night of the year and we got it in before the rain came. Thanks to the NMHS band and all the Girl Scouts who performed. Their contributions to the festivities really make it special. Santa arrived on a fire truck with lots of help from NMFD. Darlene Minko has been planning these events with the Public Events Committee for many years and her hard work should not go unnoticed.
We honored Mike Perrone, a lifetime New Milford resident, former owner of Perrone's farm who also has a storied past with the US Marines and the Gooney Bird detachment. We also honored the New Milford Women's Club who has been working (almost silently) to provide scholarships for many of our students, clothing for those less fortunate, and support for all woman who choose to join them. Thank you to them and thanks for lighting the Christmas tree.
We wish members of all faiths a seasonal Happy Holidays in honor of any event that you celebrate at this time of year.
Mayor Ann Subrizi
Mayor's Message, September 2018
Dear New Milford Residents,
We have had a very busy summer around New Milford. Verizon and PSEG have been all around town making upgrades and improvements to our utilities. This will add to the upgrades PSEG already completed on our gas mains throughout town. I know at times the infrastructure improvements result in traffic detours around town and sometimes it feels like they will never be done. I assure you they are long overdue and very much needed. The benefit will eventually outweigh the inconvenience.
The NMPD have settled into their new building and are putting it to good use. In case you missed it Congressman Gottheimer came to congratulate us on the surplus equipment we have acquired which includes one military rescue truck, 2 electric golf cart type vehicles, generators, paper shredders, clothing, shoes, printers and more. They are all received at no cost to the borough. Thanks to the officers who helped us to acquire all that equipment.
The NMFD fought a spectacular fire at Canterbury Village and although one unit was destroyed there were no major injuries. Our OEM, EMS, and NMPD were there to help and managed everything beautifully. We also had a chance to see how our neighboring towns pitch in for us when we need them for a major emergency.
We are in the process of having two fields constructed. One is at Borough Hall and one is at the former Suez property. We also will begin the process of rehabilitating Berkley Field. Our Williams Field is in tip-top shape and ready for our soccer season to begin. Appreciation for their hard work goes out to the DPW for their help with our Recreation facilities. And thanks to John Heineman, our Rec Director for all the new programs and his monthly reports.
It has been a long, hot summer. I don't know about you but I promise I will not complain that it is too cold when winter rolls around. We pay so dearly for our four seasons but each one has its' positives and negatives.
On a personal note, I recently became a Grandmother. I have a beautiful little grand-daughter who was born on August 8th. Mom, Dad and Baby are all doing fine and I am so grateful for this blessing.
I hope everyone is happy and healthy going into this Autumn season.
Mayor Ann Subrizi
Mayor's Message, March 26, 2018
What I have learned in this life is that you can keep pedaling, get off the bike, or fall over.
During the decade's long struggle to get to this day I kept pedaling. I never thought about getting off the bike and there were always enough people around me offering support so I did not fall over. Without the support of those people we may not have made it to this day. I have found that surrounding myself with good people who have good knowledge is the best way to come to good decisions.
Many members of many governing bodies have debated how to get to this day. Some were in favor of this plan, some were in favor of other plans, and some were not in favor of doing anything. I am proud to say this building now belongs to the people of New Milford. The cost of it was planned so that it would have a minimum effect on tax increases. It will last the residents of New Milford for 100 years. And the space vacated by the NMPD will be put to good use in the future to solve some overcrowding issues in the Borough Hall offices. All of this was done while maintaining the integrity, the look, and the feel of our historic Borough Hall.
The NMPD now has a facility they can be proud to call their headquarters. The old Police Station did not even meet some basic needs and yet the NMPD got the job done. They will now be able to more effectively do their job, which is to keep New Milford and all of its' residents safe from harm. On this day in particular, we are acutely aware of the need for the safety and security of our home front. Today's police officers are charged with new and challenging risks and they are the first line of defense in keeping us free from danger.
There are many to thank. I must offer my biggest thanks to Chief Frank Ramaci, who was promoted to Police Chief on March 1, 2015 and was shortly assigned as the Chief of the "change." He has had a hand in overseeing every aspect of the building to make sure it met the needs of today and the future. In addition to becoming our new Chief, he had a second full time job as he was carefully guiding and watching over the construction. He was called upon to participate in decisions about every aspect of the building and its' furnishings. He has also inspired the men of NMPD to become invested in the transition process and although the move seemingly happened overnight I assure you that many man hours went into it. I say man-hours, although I am hopeful that we will soon have women hours. After all, we now have female facilities. I certainly look forward to the day that NMPD will once again have females on the force.
Vince Cahill, our DPW Director, gladly took on the job of "Clerk of the Works". At the beginning of the project he told me if he was going to take care of the building for years to come, he wants to start with the groundbreaking and know this building from the bottom up and inside and out.
As with everything, our Borough Administrator, Christine Demiris has been our boots on the ground -- day in and day out. She was there to address any and all issues that arose prior to and during the construction. Her guidance was key to completing the job and getting us here.
This triple play of Christine Demiris, Vince Cahill and Chief Frank Ramaci are this Mayor's best support system. Thanks is not enough but it is all I have to offer.
So many more people were involved in this project and I cannot begin to name them all and I do not want to run the risk of forgetting anyone.
I offer my thanks to everyone who had a hand in this and to everyone who would not let me fall over.
Mayor Ann Subrizi
Mayor's Message February 7, 2018
It is with great pride that I read and heard about our status as the # 2 safest town in all of NJ (above population of 10,000). There are a great number of people to include in the making of this accomplishment, not the least of which is our NMPD and our volunteer Police Auxiliary.
However, in New Milford I like to think that every employee, every board or committee member and all of our volunteer and civic organizations had something to do with our outstanding achievement.
I was also honored to receive a phone call from Governor Phil Murphy and accept his kind words on behalf of all New Milford.
I believe in New Milford and I find proof every day that we are a real family neighborhood.
Mayor Ann Subrizi
Mayor's New Year's Message January 2018
The hope of this new year of 2018 is going to be a great one for us. I am hoping for New Milford milestones that we have been working towards for many years. We will soon be opening our new Police Headquarters, the Memorial Field redevelopment is set to go, the Hirschfeld Brook project stands as a blossoming monument to an award winning engineering plan, our fire departments are settled into their refurbished buildings, and the Suez project is underway. This was done with much discussion - and at times disagreements - but always done with the spirit of democracy prevailing.
This has been a hard time for my family. My husband, Dennis, passed away on December 9th. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers that are helping us to get through this difficult time. I have been absent from my Mayor duties and I owe a debt of gratitude to all those who pitched in for me while I took this time away from Borough Hall. I have had a minor health issue which will keep me away a little while longer but I look forward to my return in mid-January. In the meantime I will be working from home.
I wish everyone good health and a Happy New Year.
Mayor Ann Subrizi
Mayor's Message September 2017
While most folks think of spring as the new beginning, I am of a mind to call autumn the new dawn. Maybe it is because I work in a school and early September is always the new beginning.
We are close to finishing the construction on the new Police Headquarters. This will be the beginning of a new era in our Police Department led by Chief Frank Ramaci who has guided this process on a daily basis. Please stay tuned for the date for the Grand Opening and Dedication. This building will serve the safety and the security of the present and future residents of New Milford for many decades to come.
We find that being pro-active in our buildings and grounds serves us better than waiting for things to crumble. Vince Cahill, our DPW Superintendent is doing a great job as Clerk of the Works for the new building and a fantastic job of caring for all of our public buildings around town.
Our Borough Hall is in tip-top shape and run by our very capable Borough Clerk/Administrator Christine Demiris. We hope you have had a chance to come to Borough Hall and see just how open and friendly our staff is. We have also installed a locked drop box for those who want to pay their taxes after hours.
I find that most of the people I meet have nothing but high praise for the services provided and happiness for choosing to live in New Milford. We continue to maintain our small town feel, while being so close to the culture, job opportunities and value afforded by being a suburb of New York City.
This governing body is not squabble free but we always have the best interests of all of our residents when we discuss and decide issues affecting your life and livelihood.
Mayor Ann Subrizi
September 11, 2001 - We will never forget!
Mayor's Message June 2017
I want to assure everyone that the New Milford Borough Hall will remain as it is today. It was paramount to me in the negotiations regarding the new Police Station that our beautiful building stay in its' original state. I think it is the finest Borough Hall in the County. It will soon need a new roof, but it will not alter the look of the building.
The progress on the new Police Department headquarters continues to be ahead of schedule. This is partly due to the favorable weather conditions. The project is on budget and we anticipate its' finish before the end of the year. We recently had a minor change order due to requirements from our utility companies, PSE&G and SUEZ.
We are looking forward to our annual National Night Out on August 1st. It has grown into an event that brings out many residents who can find all New Milford has to offer and socialize with their neighbors at the same time.
Thanks to Councilman Al Alonso for standing it for me at the Mayor's Kayak Cup Challenge at the Oradell Reservoir. He missed first place by 4 seconds! This is an excellent event on the first Saturday in June. The reservoir is open to all kayakers on this day for racing and open kayaking.
I have attended many ceremonies this spring and I am grateful for the spirit of New Milford. We have more Eagle Scouts than any other town; our Girl Scouts are thriving and aspiring to the Gold Award; The Senior Athletic Awards and the Scholarship Awards show us once again how generous New Milford is for these worthy causes; thanks to the Elks we have a beautiful Flag Day ceremony which outlines the history of the American Flag; the Bergen County Historical Society had their annual dinner where they elected their Board of Trustees and honored many in that community, including Kevin Wright who passed away (way too early) last August; The NMFD 5K and the Fishing Derby were held in spite of the threat of rain which held off until those events were complete.
I receive many compliments on the spirit of New Milford and it is all due to the efforts of our Borough Employees, our volunteers, our Governing Body, and all of our residents who continue to amaze me with their knowledge and their generosity.
Have a great summer!
Ann Subrizi, your Mayor
Mayor's Message May, 2017
We are proud to present Mr. Ethan Agnello's essay. The topic of historical homes is one close to my heart. He became a semi-finalist in the Louis Bay Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition. He receved an award certificate from the NJ State League of Municipalities which will be presented to him (with others) in the near future.
Mayor Ann Subrizi
Mayor Ann Subrizi
Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship
6 March 2017
What my Municipal Government does best
The New Milford Municipal government helps the town in a multitude of ways. From keeping the streets clean, making sure snow is cleared off the street, keeping the trees beautiful and trimmed and making the town safe for kids to bike ride at any hour. One of my personal experiences of enjoying the initiatives that the New Milford Municipal government protrudes, is the care for historical homes. New Milford was officially incorporated in the 1920’s, however the town was originally founded by settlers like David Demarest in the early 1690s. All over the town of New Milford, historical homes are the cornerstone for displaying the historical significance of the town that is nicknamed the “Birthplace of Bergen County”. The town helps to protect these valuable historical relics through the Historical Preservation Committee. I was lucky enough to be a part of this group that has done such amazing work in making sure the longevity of the houses prominence is extended consistently. The municipal government prioritizes this matter as the members of this committee have the Mayor's ear. The Mayor is always willing to participate in occasions for the Historical Commission, the biggest being the presentation of the historical map of Bergen County last summer in the New Milford Public Library. Members of the Historical Commission coordinated with a townsperson who owned pieces of an old map that was laying in their attic. After months of watching over the delicate process of rebuilding this masterpiece, it was finally completed and was able to be displayed in the library. This piece of traditional art showed the geographic contents of early mapping techniques, and how the towns in Bergen County today got their town borders and boundaries. The New Milford Municipal Government helps in trying to make town history a focal point throughout the town culture. Showing the importance of town history and how it plays into shaping history on a larger scale. Town history helps to show the local impact that historical events affecting the county, state, and have. To preserve the emotions and impact of individual events on the town, shows how it shaped local communities and how it affected future generations. The New Milford Municipal Government is a key entity for the town of New Milford, as without them we would not have any knowledge of the rich history that helped to shape the town. Thanks to the efforts of the New Milford Municipal Government and Historical Commission the town of New Milford, New Jersey has become a town proud of its long history. Traditional homes grace the town, each with a story to tell. Without efforts by the New Milford Municipal government, historical houses would be irrelevant. Their stories would lack being incorporated into the town story. The local government does this best helping townspeople to the history of the wonderful town they’re in. You should not neglect the town's story as you may not be lucky to have a town like New Milford who preserves it so well.
Mayor's Message March 21, 2017
Thank you to all who helped make the Mayor's Rain Barrel Workshop such a big success, especially our Recycling Coordinator, Julia who was instrumental in making everything run smoothly. We had 23 rain barrels and 22 of them went to good homes. The one remaining barrel was the model and it is our intention to raffle it off at National Night Out. The barrels come from Paterson Pickle and using them is another aspect of recycling and re-purposing. On the Borough web site you will find 10 good reasons to have a rain barrel.
Our 2017 budget will be introduced at the March 27th public meeting. Here are some of the highlights.
This budget will create a fiscally solid surplus base.
We were able to continue to fund an employee sick day bank by adding 400K -- total now is $800K.
We re-structured our capital funding to reduce bonding which reduces our debt obligation.
We have recently completed the renovations at both fire houses ($2.1M). We completed the award winning Hirschfeld Brook project ($1.6M). We are on schedule to open the new Police Station in the fall ($4M). PSE&G updated their gas pipes in the street and many miles of roads were repaved in the process at no cost to the Borough. Our own road program will see $350K of improvements this year. We have bought back fourteen more homes (of willing sellers) using Blue Acres funding. This can be added to the five homes we bought using Bergen County Open Space funds. Four other homes were razed by the owner of the properties. The total of homes we have removed from harm's way (and from the tax rolls) is 23. In the future, we plan to replace the lost tax revenue from the flood buy-outs with new development.
If this budget passes you will have NO INCREASE in your municipal taxes for the second year in a row.
Along with all the improvements and contract obligations New Milford continues to grow in value.
If you would like to make any comment on the budget, the public hearing will be at our council meeting on April 24, 2017.
February 23, 2017
Please join New Milford Mayor Ann Subrizi for the opportunity to build your own rain barrel. This event will be held at the New Milford/Teaneck Elks Lodge at 1 Patrolman Ray Woods Drive (behind Borough Hall across from the Little League Field.) We will start at 11am on Saturday, March 11th. Please reserve your rain barrel by emailing email@example.com
. The cost of $25 is to cover the cost of the materials. It's a real bargain!
The event is being held in collaboration with the Hackensack Riverkeeper's ambassador program and New Miford's own recycling coordinator, Julia Burdge.
Please join us. If you aren't sure about building a rain barrel come for the information. You can learn more about rain barrels and how they help the environment.
Spring is coming. See you on March 11th.
Re-Org Meeting January 2, 2017
I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. As we get older the Healthy part of that becomes more meaningful. We have new and returning council members and I know in my heart that each one of them is here on behalf the best interests of our Borough residents.
We have our first brand new Senior Citizen transport vehicle. All the others were hand-me-downs. As our Seniors come to depend on this service more and more, we are looking to improve it. Thanks to our Recycling Committee, we are all becoming better recyclers, which increases our revenues in that area and makes New Milford a better citizen in the environmental world. Our Historic Preservations Commission recently awarded two beautiful NM homes an award of distinction for their initiative in maintaining the history of their homes. Our Library is a world of wonder to me. Please visit and take advantage of all they have to offer.
There are many employees and volunteers who make this town what it is and I am humbled to be your Mayor. Rest assured that my decisions are based on fact and research and I would never agree or disagree with any member based on their party affiliation. As has been said by others there is no Democrat or Republican way to plow snow.
It is my intent to work together as a team, even if there are points that we may disagree on. As long as the goal is to best serve the public we can't go wrong.
Since our nation was founded, American prosperity has been fueled by the recognition that we are stronger as a nation when we work together. Our nation and our state’s success has always been the product of our unique capacity to welcome the contributions and spirit of entrepreneurship of all people – immigrants and native-born – who seek to achieve the American dream. Regardless of race, gender, creed, or country of origin, we are joined in the values of hard work and give thanks for the shared opportunity that defines us as residents and volunteers of New Milford
At no time in our state’s history has the need to work together been more necessary, and it is important that New Milford join in this spirit of welcoming and to embrace the talents and contributions of all residents. In a 21st century economy, we must create communities that leverage the full potential of all who live here. We must capitalize on diverse perspectives, cultures and talents as the most valuable assets in an economy where knowledge, creativity and innovation reap the greatest benefits, and becoming a more welcoming community means more customers for our local businesses and a thriving economy that benefits us all. Building communities that welcome all also speaks to our deepest values as Americans and to our greatest aspirations for prosperity and economic growth. By recognizing the contributions that we all make to create a vibrant culture and a safe environment, we make New Milford more welcoming to all who call it home.
This day, let us give thanks for the spirit of unity that brings together our residents of New Milford. I ask you to review your commitment to our core American values and to take action in the spirit of unity. Let us come together to build a New Milford where every resident has the opportunity to contribute at his or her best. Let us come together to create a more prosperous and safe community.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ann Subrizi, Mayor of the Borough of New Milford, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby proclaim today and every day to be a day of peace and unity in our town.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have offered my signature on this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen.