COVID-19 ADDRESS TO RESIDENTS OF NEW MILFORD NJ
March 20, 2020 | Mayor Michael J. Putrino
My Fellow Residents.
Good Evening, I am Mayor Michael Putrino. We are living through a time none of us will soon forget. Our nation, state, county and community has never confronted a challenge like the outbreak of COVID-19 otherwise known as the Novel Coronavirus.
As I speak to you tonight from our borough hall, our positive cases of COVID-19 have increased to 11 and we have contacts informed to self-quarantined. As the state, county, and hospitals make more COVID-19 tests available we anticipate this number to increase.
Our borough has had to make tough, but necessary, decisions. None of these decisions have been easy and all of them have been heartbreaking. Please know that every waking moment the New Milford COVID-19 Task Force is hard at work trying to mitigate the spread of the virus. Our Board of Health along with the Public Health Nurse, Board of Health Secretary, Health inspector and Health Officer have been working tirelessly around the clock these past few weeks to keep the residents of New Milford safe.
There have been may questions and we know there will be many more.
Here are a few things we would like to bring to your attention: First and foremost, the more you stay home and practice good hand and respiratory hygiene along with social distancing, the better our chance of flattening the curve. This is critical because if we don’t, our healthcare community will not be able to keep up with all the new COVID-19 cases and provide appropriate care to everyone who needs it.
Secondly, casual contact with a person who tests positive for the coronavirus does NOT increase your risk of getting it. You must have a prolonged close contact with someone who has tested positive to increase your risk. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, prolonged close contact is an exposure over ten minutes being within six feet of a person. Finally, having contact with a person who was exposed to someone with COVID-19 is NOT considered exposed to COVID-19. The person you have contact with must test positive for your risk to increase.
I would also like to explain the process happening behind the scenes when a person tests positive for the coronavirus. When a person tests positive for the virus, which causes COVID-19, the lab that performs the test must enter the person’s information into the New Jersey State Department of Health database. Our local board of health is then notified. They then call the patient and do a very detailed interview with that person. After that, the health department must notify all contacts of a possible exposure.
As the Mayor, I am notified when there is a positive case but I am not privy to the name, age or address of the resident.
Between state, county and our own local guidelines, all borough departments have made adjustments to their normal routine to help reduce the exposure risk of both borough residents and employees.
Here are a few examples:
The borough hall is closed to the public and staff are conducting business by phone, mail and email. The New Milford Police Department is taking reports over the phone whenever possible. Police Detectives are following up on complaints via email and phone, if appropriate. Only one police car is responding to non-life-threatening medical calls, and if the patient is exhibiting any signs or symptoms of the coronavirus, they are not entering the residence unless absolutely necessary. If and when police personnel enter a residence or has contact with the public, they are practicing social distancing and wearing all appropriate personal protective equipment. Our officers are also dispersing groups in parks and on fields, monitoring businesses to ensure they are all following all orders issued by the State, County and local Declaration of Emergency. Please remember, our police department is still out there on patrol and enforcing all of our laws.
Our fire department will continue to respond to all emergencies as normal. In order to help prevent the spread of any illness we ask that when you call 9-1-1 for an emergency, that you alert the dispatcher if anyone is ill or has been out of the country recently. Furthermore, the first arriving units on scene will ask questions again to ensure that we limit risk of exposure and spread. Our Fire Department has taken steps internally to ensure that they continue to provide the best service to the borough.
The New Milford Volunteer Ambulance Corps. is also continuing to respond to all emergencies. They will also ask questions upon arrival on scene, which we ask you to answer truthfully and to the best of your ability. If your signs and symptoms sound close to those of the corona virus, they will put on personal protective equipment and give you a mask to wear. These practices help to limit both the personnel whom have come to help you as well as the general public both in our community and at the emergency room. They will also be calling the hospital while you are being transported to alert the hospital, as certain things have to be done prior to your arrival. We ask you not to call 9-1-1 unless it is a medical emergency.
Our Public Works office and Recycling Center are currently closed to the public but they are operating and continuing to perform all essential duties.
All of our employees have been instructed to reduce interaction with residents, each other and utilize social distancing. Personal protections such as latex gloves, hand sanitizers, wipes, goggles, etc.… have been made available. We continue to internally and professionally clean and sanitize all of our buildings (including the Library and Senior Center) equipment and vehicles.
Our Office of Emergency Management (OEM) staff has also been meeting regularly. They continue to monitor the situation in our borough and have started collecting information and documentation that will be needed to apply for federal reimbursement through FEMA. The Emergency Management team has also helped to support each of our other departments and coordinate our response to the COVID-19 situation. They are also in contact with the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management on a daily basis.
We don’t always have the ability to choose the situations we find ourselves in, but we can always choose how we respond to those situations. It is our response to unprecedented situations that matters.
I want to thank everyone who has been working so hard for our borough during this crisis.
Thank you, to our public safety and first responder professionals and volunteers for continuing to keep us safe
Thank you, to the DPW for keeping us working.
Thank you, to all borough staff for keeping New Milford running.
Thank you to the New Milford School District for doing your part and keeping our lines of communication open.
And thank you, residents for doing your part in practicing proper hygiene, social distancing, and caring for your family your friends, and your neighbors.
We have more work to do, and the challenges are likely to grow in the near future.
There has never been a greater need for the members of our community to work together. I am confident that our community and the greater community around us will eventually flatten this curve.
For now, we may not be able enjoy dining with friends, having a drink at the bar, drop off our recyclables, physically check out a book from the library, get our hair and nails done or watch our children play on our fields but we are still New Milford and we will never let anything take that away from us.
I thank you for your continued cooperation.
My fellow residents,
IS IT SPRING YET? March 20 is the official first day of spring and that means more sunlight hours will be upon us and residents will be spending more time outdoors. Our fantastic Department of Public Works will have our fields and playgrounds ready for all of our outdoor spring sports and for all to enjoy.
A reminder that 2020 is a year when the federal government will conduct the national census. A complete, accurate census count is extremely important for municipalities. It provides for equal political representation, fair distribution of federal and state funding, and sound planning and investment. In 2010, New Milford was underreported and we are working to correct that for 2020. The week of March 12 a census mailing will go out our residents asking them to complete it online. It can also be done by telephone. This is the first time both of these options are available for people to complete it. On May 15, federal employees will perform door-to-door canvassing to any household that has not responded. This year let’s make sure New Milford gets a complete count! We have organized a presentation by Alyssa Moreno of the League of Women Voters on March 5 at 7 pm in the New Milford Borough Hall for anyone who is interested in learning more about the importance of the national census. Additional information can be found at https://2020census.gov/
MAYORS WELLNESS CAMPAIGN
It is never too late to get healthier and this year we have initiated the state’s Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) in New Milford. This newly formed committee will work with public and private partners to identify the health needs of our community and initiate public events and activities in an effort to address them and help our residents of all ages achieve healthier lifestyles and improve the overall health and wellness of our community. I want to thank former Councilwoman Kelly Greco-Langschultz for volunteering to help organize and chair this committee. To learn more about this statewide program, please visit: https://www.njhcqi.org/mayors-wellness-campaign/
As you are aware there is much information about the Coronavirus being disseminated from the news and other social media outlets. Some is factual and some is not. Be assured that New Milford has been in contact with the New Jersey State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and we are taking the proper precautions and preparations. Our best line of defense is our residents. Remain calm and continue to use common sense behavior to protect yourself from general exposure or exposing someone else to any germs. Factual information about the Coronavirus can be found on the borough website and it will continue to be updated as we are updated through the proper authorities and agencies.
I am proud to announce that once again, our borough was ranked among the safest communities in the nation by Alarms.org. Our continued recognition as a safe community nationally, state and county wide is a testament to our borough working together with businesses and residents. I want to especially thank New Milford Police Chief Brian Clancy and the department as a whole for it’s hard work and professionalism. I also want to extend my thanks to the New Milford Police Auxiliary for countless hours of volunteering to help and support the NMPD. Here is the link to the rankings: https://www.alarms.org/top-100-safest-cities-in-america/
On March 6, the borough will for the first time take an active part in Black Balloon Day. This is a national awareness event recognizing the unfortunate reality of drug use and overdose. I want to thank our Municipal Alliance and Stigma Free Committee for helping to organize this important event that will include displaying black balloons on the pillars of the borough hall and the high school as well as provide balloons for any resident who wishes to participate. A short ceremony will take place at 11 am on the front steps of the borough hall.
The first-floor renovations to the borough hall are near completion and it is scheduled to be fully functional by the beginning of April. The new design (which includes a new North entrance and additional parking) is expected to make it easier for our residents to conduct business in the building.
The council has been working with our various departments and professionals to finalize the municipal budget. I expect a responsible budget to be introduced at the March 23 meeting of the Mayor & Council.
Throughout 2020 you will see some upgrades to our recreational facilities. The borough engineer is working on the concept plan developed for Knights Field (between the high school and ShopRite) which includes a softball field, open lawn, picnic area and a dog park. The borough will also begin the renovation of the basketball courts adjacent to the Kennedy Memorial Field Complex. This project was made possible through the Bergen County Open Space grant program which awarded the borough $49,000.00 towards this project.
Throughout the year we will continue our street paving program and ongoing efforts to increase pedestrian and vehicular safety.
I am also very proud to announce that two of our young residents were nominated to military service academies by our Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Douglas Korzelius (Merchant Marine Academy) and Joshua Torres (Air Force Academy). On behalf of the borough I wish them the best of luck in their selection process and thank them for their desire and commitment to serve our nation.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of spring and may God continue to bless New Milford, the Birthplace of Bergen County.
-Mayor Michael J. Putrino
My fellow residents,
SEASONS GREETINGS - I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families the very best this holiday season and much happiness, health and prosperity in the upcoming New Year.
As we create special moments spending time with family, friends and loved ones, let us truly reflect upon our many blessings and continue to offer compassion and goodwill to those around us who may be in need. Let us also be mindful and thankful for the sacrifices currently being made by our military home and abroad who protect our great nation and our public safety personnel who continue to protect our homes and our beloved borough.
I want to express my most sincere appreciation to our employees for their hard work and commitment and gratitude to our volunteers and residents for giving back so much to New Milford this past year. We had a year of great progress and we have more progress ahead. It is simply this which makes me so proud and honored to serve my hometown and you as Mayor.
As we look ahead to a New Year that will bring us fresh opportunities and challenges, may we look forward not only as individuals, but collectively, as members of this strong community…because New Milford is what we make of it together, and together, we can accomplish anything.
May you enjoy your holiday and may God continue to bless New Milford, the Birthplace of Bergen County.
-Mayor Michael J. Putrino
My fellow residents,
WELCOME TO FALL - I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing summer. I would like to congratulate our recreation and Little League travel teams for a hugely successful summer season on the diamonds! I also want to thank our emergency services for continuing to keep our town safe and our DPW for keeping New Milford Green and Clean!
Friendly reminder: School is back session and we want to make sure that vehicles and pedestrians are extra careful on our roads, especially in school zones and commercial areas. As we continue to promote public safety, you have probably noticed we added some additional traditional and electronic traffic signage to some of our higher risk areas around town and many crosswalks have been repainted. The New Milford Police have also initiated a “Street Smart Campaign” which will increase vehicular and pedestrian safety education through a number of mechanisms including creative signage and social media.
As we approach the end of the year, progress continues in New Milford. The renovation of the first floor of the Borough Hall has begun and we are excited to be able to make borough offices more accessible to the public and add much needed space to some of our borough departments.
The rehabilitation of Berkley School Field will be complete in October and we will have a new sod surface for our school and recreation sports programs. Once again, thank you to the New Milford Board of Education for partnering with the borough on this project!
Baeli Park (across from Gibbs School) renovations will begin soon and once completed will offer our residents an updated and safe passive park to enjoy.
Some fun and educational upcoming events in New Milford include:
- September 21 - New Milford Public Library town-wide garage sale
- September 21-24 – New Milford Public Library book sale
- October 5 – Annual Clean Communities Day Celebration sponsored by the New Milford Environmental & Energy Commission (9 am at DPW)
- October 6 – Annual Fire Awareness Day (Borough Hall parking lot)
- October 21 – New Milford Drug Alliance presents Alcohol and Drug Awareness Memorial “A.D.A.M” (6 pm at Hardcastle Pond)
- November 11 – Veterans Day Memorial Service (11 am at Borough Hall)
We are also exploring the idea of having a children’s Halloween themed movie night set in a pumpkin patch on Williams Field (behind the New Milford Public Library). More details will follow!
Please note schedule changes: On September 9, garbage collection reverts to once a week pick-up (Tuesdays on North end and Fridays for South end). Please refer to the borough’s garbage and recycling calendar or the RecycleCoach
app (free download for your Apple or Droid mobile devices).
Overnight parking restrictions are back in effect throughout the borough as of September 3.
The Mayor and Council will resume their regular meeting schedule (2nd
Mondays at 7 pm at borough hall). In case you cannot make it to our meetings, all of the agendas and minutes are available to the public on the borough website.
Regular Borough Hall office hours will resume Monday – Friday 8 to 4 pm.
If you need to dispose of household hazardous waste, there will be two upcoming Bergen County collection events: Saturday, September 12 in Mahwah (Bergen County Campgaw Mountain Reservation 200, Campgaw Road) and Saturday, November 12 in Moonachie (Bergen County Utilities Authority (Empire Boulevard). For more information, please visit www.bcua.org
As we witness cooler temperatures and the beauty of the changing of the leaves this fall, take advantage of some of the things New Milford has to offer. Visit Alfis Woods to explore nearly 14 acres of undisturbed nature that stretches along the Hackensack River from Steuben Avenue to the Swim Club parking lot. Visit our local eateries as they will be serving up plenty of delicious dishes and gourmet beverages to keep you warm. Seniors can stop by our Senior Citizens Center to make some new friends and join an exercise or activity class. If you’re in the mood for some sports excitement, you can follow New Milford Jr. Football and their amazing cheerleaders as they open their second season on the newly renovated Kennedy Field (behind the Borough Hall). Our boys and girls recreation and travel soccer teams will be lighting up the fields throughout town and 7th
grade volleyball will be on the courts. This season will be particularly exciting for our high school sports as they will compete on their newly renovated fields. LET’S GO KNIGHTS!
I am looking forward to enjoying the sights and sounds of our wonderful town this fall and I hope you are too! Have a great season and God bless New Milford, the Birthplace of Bergen County.
-Mayor Michael J. Putrino
My fellow residents,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! As we enter the summer months, I hope you have the opportunity to relax, enjoy some of the sights, sounds and upcoming events in our borough as well as get to spend some extra quality time with family and friends.
I would like to personally congratulate the New Milford High School Class of 2019 and wish all of them the best of luck as they move on to the next chapter of their lives. Fist pumps to the DEO 8th
graders and Berkley and Gibbs 5th
graders who are moving up in the Fall.
I am happy to report 2019 continues to be one of much progress for New Milford. There continue to be many revitalization projects going on around town. The new ShopRite has opened and I want to once again, congratulate the Inserra family and thank them for their contributions to our community. The proposals for Knights Field (next to the new ShopRite) will soon be submitted by the Knights Field Committee for review by the governing body and I am looking forward to working together and increasing our recreational opportunities for all of our residents. The much-needed paving of sections of Faller Drive, Boulevard and Graphic Boulevard have been completed and they look great. The partnership between the borough and the New Milford School District to rehabilitate Berkley School field is moving along nicely and will soon offer a beautiful new irrigated sod surface just in time for the upcoming fall season. The finishing touches are being put on Kennedy Memorial Field and if you have not yet, I encourage you to join your fellow residents and utilize the popular walking path and exercise stations. Also, picnic tables have been added to Prospect Park as well as Warren Street Park so residents can now have a bite to eat while enjoying time at these parks. The 2nd
floor interior renovations to borough hall are near completion and the first floor will soon begin. We are increasing the efficiency of work space, modernizing outdated features and increasing employee and public safety.
Be sure to take advantage of some of the special events going on in New Milford. The New Milford Athletic Boosters summer sport camps for children K-8 offers a variety of activities including tennis, soccer, football and basketball. The New Milford Public Library is offering special programs for children as well as teens & adults throughout the summer. You can learn more about it by visiting newmilford.njlibraries.org
. There will also be a classic car show with food vendors on July 14 from 8 to 3 at the former ShopRite parking lot. The Recreation Department and New Milford Police will once again co-sponsor with “Movies Under the Stars” on Wednesdays in July at Williams Field (Behind the library.) Movies start at dusk and this summer’s lineup includes: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
, Incredibles 2
, Mary Poppins Returns
and Ralph Breaks the Internet
. For additional information on New Milford Recreation please visit: newmilfordrecreation.com
. New Milford will be holding its annual National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Please note that this year’s event will take place on the Babe Ruth Field (next to the DPW.)
In addition to scheduled events, summers in New Milford are the perfect time to catch a game from our travel softball teams, Little League or our new 30+ kickball league. You can do some leisurely fishing at Hardcastle Pond (behind Brookchester Shopping Plaza), walk, ride a bike or even skateboard around town and check out some of our historic homes and various monuments and memorials. You can work on your backhand on our tennis courts located behind Kennedy Memorial Field and across from B.F Gibbs School (keys can be purchased at borough hall). Or even experience outdoor dining at some of our delicious eateries including Section 201, Barrel & Brew, Panchos Burritos, Backstreet Café, Casual Habana and Time Out Café.
Summer Reminders: Now that schools are out for summer vacation, please be sure to drive carefully. It is important that we all do our part to keep our neighborhoods safe. In the case of extreme heat events, please pay extra attention to children, seniors and pets.
Garbage summer pickup schedule is in effect and town wide collection is every Tuesday and Friday for July and August.
Bergen County Household Hazardous Waste Collection will take place on July 20 at Bergen County Campgaw Mountain Reservation in Mahwah. Please visit www.bcua.org
for more information on this event and on how to properly dispose of hazardous materials.
Overnight parking restrictions have been suspended through Sept. 3.
Borough Hall hours are 8 to 4:30 Monday through Thursday and 8 to 1 on Friday from July 8 through Aug. 30.
Mayor & Council work session & public meetings are July 22 and Aug. 26 at 7 pm. All are encouraged to attend. Remember, the best way to preserve our democracy is to be a part of it.
Happy Fourth of July and have a safe and enjoyable summer!
God bless New Milford, the Birthplace of Bergen County.
-Mayor Michael J. Putrino
P.S. Good luck to the United States women’s national soccer team as it will compete to defend its FIFA World Cup title on July 7.
REDEDICATION OF KENNEDY MEMORIAL FIELD
Mayor Michael J. Putrino
May 27, 2019
My fellow residents,
Welcome, today we observe Memorial Day and together we reflect on the men and women who served our country and gave their lives so ours could be better.
As we continue to reflect on their legacy, I could not think of a more appropriate day to rededicate Kennedy Memorial Field to them…and to the people of New Milford.
This field, where we have gathered to celebrate and honor, was known as Memorial Field. Prior to the recent renovations, the rock which displays its plaque was tucked away between a bush and a backstop and most people never noticed it. Today, that rock sits prominently under the American Flag and proudly reads, “MEMORIAL FIELD – DEDICATED TO THE MEN OF THE ARMED SERVICES WHO DIED IN THE WARS SO THAT WE COULD LIVE IN LIBERTY AND FREEDOM – OH LORD MAKE US WORTHY OF SONS LIKE THEESE”
The name Memorial Field remained until 1963, when a young man and former United States Navy Lieutenant and veteran of World War II was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. As the world mourned, our community rededicated this field in his honor. This plaque, is mounted on the wall behind me and reads, “THIS PARK AND RECREATION FIELD IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF OUR PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY SLAIN NOVEMBER 22, 1963 WHILE SERVING HIS NATION”
Through the years this field has served our borough well as the heart of our recreation softball, and soccer programs and Little League baseball. It became the place that parents’ children and spectators alike, could bond and be proud to call New Milford home. The passion for this place grew stronger over time and the idea to make this field even more special and offer greater opportunities to New Milford residents of all ages was conceived. As President Kennedy once stated, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”
I want to thank all of the residents, volunteers, borough employees and elected officials who worked so very hard and for so very long to make this project a reality. I want to thank the New Jersey Green Acres and Bergen County Open Space programs for awarding us nearly $750,000 in grant money to minimize our costs…and I especially want to thank the children of our community for reminding all of us, each and every day, of what is really important.
I have said this before and I will say it again, when we work together, great things happen in New Milford.
I am happy to say the new field has already expanded recreational opportunities for our residents. It has served as a place for members of our senior center and borough employees to socialize and walk, it has been utilized for practices and competitions for our children who wear the green and white uniforms representing our high school and more and more people are putting down their electronic devices and are using the exercise stations. So far, in its inaugural season, it served as the site where a Jr. Football Superbowl Championship was crowned and where New Milford police officers lost an intense snowball fight to a bunch of children sledding. It is no longer commonplace for weather related cancellations and this newly renovated turf field will continue to provide opportunities such as these and many more to our borough for years to come.
I am grateful to have played on this field as a child, thankful to have been a part in making this project happen, excited to be coaching on the new diamonds and honored to stand before you today to officially rededicate but more importantly…so very proud to see my children, your children and our residents enjoying it so much.
I, Michael Putrino, Mayor of the Borough of New Milford, officially rededicate Kennedy Memorial Field to the people of our community by reading the words inscribed on the new plaque:
“THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN. THINGS ARE MADE TO HAPPEN.”
JOHN F. KENNEDY
KENNEDY MEMORIAL FIELD
REDEDICATED TO THE RESIDENTS OF THE BOROUGH OF NEW MILFORD
MAY 27, 2019
LET THIS BE A PLACE WHERE WE COME TO TOGETHER TO PLAY, TO LAUGH, TO LEARN AND TO WITNESS THE SMILES OF THE FACES OF OUR CHILDREN
Thank you and God Bless New Milford and God Bless the United States of America.
My fellow residents,
Spring is in the air and that means we will begin to see the flowers bloom and more of our residents out and about. I ask that both motorists and pedestrians to be cautious of their surroundings while being mindful of traffic regulations particularly at intersections, crosswalks, side streets and by our recreational facilities.
The first quarter of 2019 has been a busy one for the Mayor & Council. The selection process for a new Police Chief was undertaken and I am excited to announce that Lieutenant Brian Clancy will be sworn in as our next Police Chief on April 22. I am confident that under his leadership and professionalism, our police department will continue its reputation as being one of the best departments in Bergen County. On behalf of the governing body I congratulate him and look forward to working together. I would also like to personally thank former Chief Frank Ramaci for all he has done during his distinguished career as a New Milford Police Officer and wish him and his family the very best in his retirement.
The 2019 Municipal Budget was introduced at the March 25 public meeting of the Mayor & Council and is expected to be adopted at the April 22 public meeting. I would like to thank the members of the Budget Committee, Council President Randi Duffie, Councilwoman Kelly Greco-Langschultz, Councilman Grotsky and Borough Administrator Chris Demiris for their hard work crafting a responsible budget that addresses the borough’s prior debt obligations, its current needs and our long-term fiscal stability. I am proud that this governing body values quality services and strong public safety while keeping the tax burden as low as possible by unanimously introducing this budget in a bi-partisan manner.
You will begin to see some paving projects this spring as well as improved public safety signage throughout town. In addition, work will resume on the Berkley Street School field and the field committee is busy coming up with proposals for council consideration on Knights Field (located on the former Suez property).
The borough was notified that we were awarded a grant for improvements to Baeli Park (next to the tennis courts on Sutton Place). We also applied for another grant to make improvements to the basketball courts behind Kennedy Memorial Field.
Spring means outdoor sports in New Milford so make sure you find time to catch a game this season! You are sure to get a “kick” out of Recreation and Travel soccer and the new improvements to Kennedy Memorial Field will make it even easier to watch our young people in Little League and Recreation softball. The new walking path and exercise stations are now available to help our residents keep active. A sincere thanks to DPW Director Vince Cahill, Recreation Director John Heinemann, Little League President Kris Dunne and Jr. Football President George Adelung for continuing to work together and getting the field ready for its inaugural spring season.
The Annual Memorial Day Parade will on May 27 and immediately following the events at the borough hall, the re-dedication of Kennedy Memorial Field will take place in front of the Recreation building.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Spring!
Thank you and God Bless New Milford, the Birthplace of Bergen County.
-Mayor Michael J. Putrino
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.