In the words of Councilman Mike Cannon at a previous Borough Council meeting, "there's a new Sheriff in town." Well, Mike, Matawan has a new "Quarterback!"
Mayor Paul Buccellato was sworn in at last night's Council meeting by Sen. Joe Kyrillos. The Mayor's two sons held the bible for the swearing in as his wife, Ronne, proudly snapped photos. In attendance were Freeholder Rob Clifton, former Monmouth County Sheriff Joe Oxley, former Councilwomen Debra Buragina and Donna Gould, and former Councilman Neil Mendelsohn. Former Mayor Mary Aufseeser was not in attendance.
Never saw so many residents at a Council meeting. Must say it was exhilarating to see such enthusiasm!
Buccellato presented an ambitious program for the Borough. He explained that he and the Council work together to bring Matawan into the future. Several of his plans are to conduct Workshops prior to Council meetings to discuss the Agenda. These meetings are open to the public for observation purposes only. Questions may be asked when the floor is open to the public at the Council meeting. Nothing was mentioned of Executive sessions (closed to the public meetings,) which seemed to be the norm for the previous Mayor's administration. Buccellato is encouraging transparency in government. Another plan is to form citizen Committees for review of the Transit Village and Main Street Revitalization Report. He stated that he and the Council would like to hear from residents, business owners and property owners on what their vision is for Main Street.
Acknowledgement was given to the Borough employees, Volunteer Fire Dep't and First Aid along with the Police Dep't. Former Mayor Mary Aufseeser was thanked and wished well by the Mayor and Council for her 2 years of service to the Borough.
In an effort to control spending the Mayor called for a meeting of Matawan's CFO and Borough Attorney along with Department heads and the Borough Council to review State and Municipal requirements for purchasing procedures. He also asked for expenditures to be accompanied by a Budget Analysis that shows the impact on the Budget.
The Planning & Zoning Board is charged with updating the Borough's Master Plan. One item to be reviewed will be signage, commercial/retail and political. Glad to see that item being reviewed.
Monies remaining from a bond issued in 2005 for the Borough Recreational Facility and used for various improvements at the Lake Lefferts Lakefront, he'd like to have the Council review and consider using for Gravelly Brook Park.
The Mayor requested that the Police and Fire Depts along with Matawan First Aid assemble with a resident committee to oversee a memorial design competition for the four Matawan residents that died on 9/11. The committee will recommend to the Mayor and Council a design for this memorial as well as its location. He also directed the Borough Attorney to draft a resolution for the next Council meeting establishing a fund raising trust account for this purpose.
Impressed with Mayor Buccellato's including the citizens in the planning of the Transit Village and the Main Street Revitalization, one can only trust that the entire Council will work together with the citizens in the best interests of Matawan's future. Leave individual egos at the curb!
If we have forgotten anything, please feel free to comment. For now, we are cautiously optimistic....and of course...hope to see you at the next Borough Council meeting in February.