LAKEHURST – Borough officials are accustomed to presenting proclamations and awards to residents, but recently Mayor Harry Robbins was on the receiving end of a certificate of thanks.
American Red Cross representative, Alan R. Smith, a retired United States Marine Corps colonel, presented the mayor a certificate in recognition of the governing body’s support of “Lifesaving Red Cross Blood Drives.”
The certificate adds, “your ongoing commitment is a testament of dedication to family and community when in need. Together we can save lives.”
Smith is the chairman for the Board of Directors from the central territory of the American Red Cross in New Jersey. “I am here tonight not in my chair position but to give you a nice certificate of appreciation. What you do for the Red Cross with your blood donors program is fantastic.
“Your ongoing commitment is a testament of dedication to the community when in need,” Smith said. He provided some statistics saying “only 38% of the population of New Jersey is able to give blood and of that percentage only 3% actually give blood. New Jersey uses more blood than is donated from New Jersey.”
“The blood ends up at our hospitals, cancer centers, children’s hospitals. We need blood and we need donors and we can’t do it unless we have folks like you that are blood donor sponsors so Mayor, Council, thank you very much,” Smith added.
Resident Bruce Morrison was generous with his thanks commending the mayor and council for their work throughout the year. “For a little town we do an awful lot for the people in the town and I think that is because of the mayor and council. I think with the year we’ve gone through, every time you look around, something is going on like pizza with Santa, a car show. It is astonishing.”
The resident added, “this is a community that has come together for many issues. I really appreciate the hard work that all of you do to make this town, a good town.”
“We appreciate having residents like yourself too,” the mayor said, noting how Morrison was a regular at council meetings and always bringing up issues of concern or asking questions about certain borough business.
Councilwoman Patricia Hodges reported that a meeting of the Finance Committee was recently held with all department heads. “We are working on the (2022) budget. It is going to be a tough year. It will be difficult and we are also looking beyond this year.”
“It will be tight,” she added. She said the Ordinance Committee was taking a break at the moment but that work on codifying borough ordinances and related projects would resume early in 2022.
This means updating the borough’s rules on things like land use.
“We will be incorporating getting the first part of the ordinance book to the table for approval. We have to work with the general code to do that. We have done everything we could at this point. We have read every single one (of the ordinances) and made our notes of our changes we want to do. We now have to give them to the company that is codifying them and they will make copies of everything and they will give them to us in a format that we can adopt them in,” she said.
The mayor thanked Hodges, Council President Steven Oglesby who was absent for that session, Borough Clerk Maryanne Capasso and Borough Attorney Ian M. Goldman for “meeting every Wednesday night and sitting there hammering these things out.”
Councilman Gary Lowe said materials needed for the repair of the vandalized bathrooms at Horicon Lake have come in and repairs will be made soon.
He added, “the saga of our backhoe is ongoing.” He noted that materials for that project are backlogged “so it will be a bit but we’ll keep on it.”
“The electronic speed limit sign was struck and needs to be replaced. It was covered by insurance and we are pursuing the repayment of the insurance co-pay,” Councilman Robert McCarthy added.