State of the Borough

Mayor John V. Lane

2022 State of the Borough

Good afternoon, family, associates, friends and neighbors. To those of you present, those watching via live streaming, and to all the residents of Hawthorne, my very best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe new year.

Despite the diligence and pro-active efforts of so many, the Covid virus and its variants are threatening all of us again. The decision to alter the format of this meeting is to attempt to keep all of us safe. We are fortunate to have vaccines and boosters available that can help prevent or reduce the severity of this disease. If you are not already vaccinated, I would encourage you to consider vaccination to protect yourself, your friends and loved ones, and others within our community.

I would like to congratulate Dominic Mele, Bruce Bennett and Anna Marie Sasso on being sworn into their offices as At-Large Borough Council members.

I would also like to congratulate Richard S. Goldberg on his retirement after serving the Borough of Hawthorne as Mayor for 13 years, second only to Louis Bay 2nd in tenure of office as Mayor in Hawthorne's history.

Those of you who live in Hawthorne have likely already received in the mail our 2022 Community Calendar. It is a handy reference about what is going on in our town. Please take a few minutes to browse through it when it arrives.

I would encourage you to register to receive important updates on emergencies and local events via text message and/or email by registering for one or more Hawthorne nixle groups, and I would encourage you to put Hawthorne first by shopping and eating local to support our hometown businesses and restaurants, which are vital components of our thriving community.

Now getting to some items before us and the plans that I have laid out working closely with our Administrator and Council. We expect to stay the course with all we have accomplished over these past years, and we are committed to working hard to keep our municipal budget increase under 2 percent. Looking forward, however, you should know that there are several major projects that must be addressed. I'll just mention a few here -

  • For example, the radios that are used by our Police Department, Fire Department and Ambulance Corps need to be totally replaced. These life-safety communications tools have been in service for many years, and the key components are no longer supported by the manufacturer. We cannot - will not - take chances with radios that are not functioning properly for our emergency services professionals.
  • The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent every municipality in our State an order that they are tightening the drinking water standards even beyond levels acceptable by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Every property owner received information on what steps our Borough is taking and how we plan to correct an issues that exist.
  • Other projects that we will be addressing are Lafayette Avenue sewer improvements, the 2022 Road Resurfacing Program, equipment purchases including a  new fire truck for Company #4, our main sewer pumping station, and Grand Avenue storm water system improvements. These are just a few of the projects we will be undertaking.

How are we going to pay for all of this? The good news is we will be using money from the Federal Government American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds that we are receiving and will continue to apply for additional grants. And, we will bond some of these projects.

Mayor Goldberg recently appointed a committee to review all of our athletic facilities. I have received a copy of the Committee's report, and it is under discussion by my administration team and the Council Committee. It is important that we commit to improving and maintaining our athletic complexes for our children.

The Borough also received a grant from the State of New Jersey called the Neighborhood Preservation Program. This program includes our Borough's central business district and the adjoining commercial and mixed-use areas, which also includes public facilities, open space and recreational facilities. We are putting a map on our Borough website for your review.

Those of you who know me best know that I am especially committed to the enforcement of our ordinances especially regarding zoning and property maintenance. You can expect action will be taken. I am pleased to say that we've upgraded our Police Department's traffic division, which focuses on keeping our roadways safe for our residents.

There are a number of programs that Mayor Goldberg has instituted that I can assure you we will continue, including the Mayor's weekly letter to our residents, the naming of streets in town after our fallen hero veterans, our Memorial Day and Veterans' Day services, our 9/11 program held at the beautiful memorial complex on Goffle Road, the family-friendly programs being held at our bandshell, and the flag raising ceremonies at our Goffle Road Borough complex - just to name a few.

We'll also be celebrating Hawthorne Day, which has been a huge success. Keep in mind that Hawthorne Day is funded by sponsors, donations, and corporate contributions - not your taxpayer dollars.

As your new Mayor, I don't claim to have all of the answers to all of the challenges ahead. That's why I will be conferring with our Council members, my administration, our professional experts, and our talented and capable Borough employees to ensure that we find the best solutions to the issues at hand.

It doesn't take just a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to ensure a thriving, inclusive community. We will all be working together for what is best for Hawthorne.

I am looking forward to my new relationship with our Council members, all of our Borough employees who keep our town functioning efficiently every day, and the dozens of citizens of our town who volunteer their time and share their expertise while serving on our commissions and boards. I would like to thank the residents of the Borough of Hawthorne for putting their faith and trust in me as your new Mayor.

In closing I would like to thank Margo for always supporting me in my lifetime commitment to community service here in Hawthorne. Thank you also to Megan, our daughter; Brian, our son; and Tina, our daughter-in-law, who encouraged me to take on this new challenge, and to my beautiful grandchildren, Margo and Charlie, who like the many other children of our community will benefit from the efforts and quality of life decisions we make together for Hawthorne's future. Thank you.

Mayor John V. Lane