During each year of my tenure as Mayor, we have labored to assure every effort was made to reduce expenditures, eliminate duplication and streamline services. Municipal offices were reorganized, and where necessary positions were eliminated, and/or modified to meet the current and projected demands of operating Wayne Township. We have reduced the municipal payroll by 48 full-time positions since I became Mayor 12 years ago. With the Township only controlling 20% of our tax bills, our major responsibility is attempting to keep our tax base as stable as possible. I am proud to commend our Township employees for continuing to do a fantastic job with a sleeker workforce!
I am pleased to announce that by utilizing funds from the Township’s Open Space Fund, we recently completed the installation of several turf playing fields on the newly developed “Alps Road Fields”. We are also in the planning stages of an all-inclusive playground at Shai Shacknai Memorial Park that children of all abilities will be able to enjoy. Additional facets of our municipality that I am delighted to highlight are the numerous programs that we offer to our residents. Programs such as the summer concert series, Senior Olympics, dental clinics, and rabies clinic for our “furry friends”. On a more serious note, I am proud to continue to coordinate and participate in the Township’s Community Forum; our anti-drug initiative specifically designed to provide families of middle and high school students with information about current drug trends to keep our children safe and on the right path. This year we are pleased to have Chris Herren, basketball legend and recovering addict as our keynote speaker. I encourage you to attend our Community Forum on May 29th at 7:00 pm at Wayne Valley High School.
Promoting economic viability and enhancing the economic stability of Wayne Township is one of my main objectives. We have seen significant growth due to increased development and redevelopment in the Township. With the addition of restaurants like Maggie’s Town Tavern, PF Changs and Shake Shack joining our community, the addition of a brand new Cinemark cinema, four new child care centers, two assisted living facilities as well as the redevelopment of the Wayne Hills Mall and the construction of a 460,000 sq. ft. warehouse on Totowa Road, I strongly believe that the business community wants to invest in our community.
At the heart of my mission as your Mayor is providing for a safe community. Accordingly, along with Police Chief Jack McNiff and our dedicated 116 member police department, I am happy to report that the construction project to refurbish the police department wing and install an additional space in the back of the Municipal Complex is underway. I am grateful to our fine men and women in blue, as well as their families who understand and accept the risk that their loved ones take every day when they go to work. Our fine department continues to fight to keep our town a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
We are fortunate to have five Volunteer Fire Companies, under the direction of Fire Commissioner Bob Minarick and the Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad, under the direction of Chief Stu Steinberg, to assist our residents at crucial times in their lives. It is due to their dedicated volunteer service that Wayne Township is the safe, family-oriented community it is. I want to express my appreciation to the Township Council; our dedicated employees; the men and women of our Police Department; the members of our Volunteer Fire Department and the members of the Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad for their steadfast commitment to our residents. Additionally, I would like to thank the members of the various Township Boards and Commissions, the PAL, the Wayne Boys and Girls Club, and all of the volunteers who donate countless hours of their time for the betterment of our community. In the words of the Japanese poet, Ryunosuke Satoro, “Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.”
I again look forward to working with the Township Council and am very confident that we will all work together for you, our constituents. We may not always agree but I know that we all have your best interests in mind. I thank you for your continued support to serve as your Mayor and please feel free to contact me at 973-694-1800, ext. 3200 or Email the Mayor with any thoughts or concerns you may have.
Christopher P. Vergano