Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What Have I Done For You? -- Josephine Noone

Josephine Noone
Josephine Noone

What Have I Done For You?

As a voter, you have a choice to make in November regarding who will be your next mayor. I want to share some of what I have done for you as a Councilwoman since 2015. First and foremost, I am a cooperative team player. I have worked to build positive relationships with my fellow Council members, our Borough Manager, Borough employees, our business community, and you, the members of the public. I listen to people’s concerns and work cooperatively to get things accomplished. It takes at least four votes to pass a resolution, ordinance, or budget. I am able to make convincing arguments and build coalitions in order to achieve passage of resolutions and ordinances.

Accomplishments I am proud of:

  1. As the Chair of the Code Book Committee, I worked to pass the Abandoned Properties Ordinance, which has decreased the number of abandoned properties in the Borough and improved the maintenance of properties that are still vacant.

  2. Worked to create the Open Space Trust Fund which enabled us to obtain $135,800 from Warren County through the Department of Land Preservation and $415,000 from the State of New Jersey to purchase the 80-acre Shabbecong Mountain Preserve as recreational open space.

  3. Washington Borough, like any rural community in NJ, is under constant pressure from rising personnel costs. We need to maintain control of taxes and this requires innovative thinking. One method of solving this problem is engaging in shared services. I have voted in favor of Shared Services Agreements for our Police, Animal Control Officer, Fire Prevention Officer, Engineer, Municipal Court, Manager, and Building Maintenance/Custodial Services. All of these agreements allow us to have high-quality services for our residents at a decreased cost to our taxpayers.

  4. Serve as the Council Liaison to the Washington Business Improvement District. To promote new businesses, I have attended almost every grand opening since 2015. I voted to provide up to $1,000 to reimburse businesses that make sign and facade improvements. I help to organize the annual GreenFest and volunteer at WBID events such as Hometown Holiday and Festival in the Borough.

  5. Started the Washington Borough Farmers’ Market in cooperation with the WBID and Green Team, and I volunteer to manage the market with the support of Green Team volunteers every Saturday from June through September. The farmers’ market supports local farms and small businesses and brought over 2,000 people into our downtown in 2019.

  6. Coordinated the Green Team’s successful effort to earn Sustainable Jersey’s Bronze Certification in 2019. Washington Borough is one of only four communities in Warren County to earn Bronze Certification. To achieve this certification, we worked with the Borough Manager and Council to implement practices that led to cost savings in our energy bills. We now have access to training and tools to help our community improve efficiency, cut waste, and stimulate our local economy. We also get special priority access and notification of incentives and grants, and are eligible for the Sustainable Jersey Grants Program.

  7. Voted to revise our Master Plan and development regulations to bring Washington Borough into Highlands Plan conformance within the Highlands Planning Area, which makes us eligible for significant grant aid through the Highlands Act.

  8. Advocated and voted for paving roads and repairing sidewalks. We currently have a 5-Year Paving Plan based on the Borough Engineer’s assessment of roads most in need of paving. We have received numerous grants for paving roads and sidewalks, and over 4.5 miles or about 25% of the Borough’s roads have been paved. This includes the paving of Grand Avenue including sewer upgrades and the recent repairs to the sidewalks on Carlton Avenue.

  9. In response to health and safety issues brought about by absentee landlords who were not maintaining their properties, I voted to pass an ordinance in 2019 replacing our rental property code. We instituted a property registration and inspection procedure with fees that allowed us to hire a dedicated Housing Inspector. We need to continue our efforts to ensure that rental properties are well-maintained. This will improve property values in the Borough and protect the health and safety of our citizens. This ordinance and fee structure is designed to be self-sustaining and without cost to taxpayers.

  10. In response to citizen’s concerns regarding our outdated ordinance, I worked with our Animal Control Officer and Borough Manager to update our Dog and Cat Ordinance and to create a specific chapter outlining the requirements for keeping chickens and other agricultural animals in the Borough.

  11. Voted to implement a plan for the Borough to provide our own solid waste disposal service with the goal of controlling solid waste costs and delivering high-quality service to residents. This plan will be implemented beginning in January 2021.

  12. Served on the Search Team to hire our current Borough Manager, Matthew Hall, and voted to hire him. Owing in large part to his hard work, Washington Borough has been awarded $689,792.30 in grants since 2017. These grants helped us to provide essential services with no municipal tax increase since 2017.

As your mayor, I will be a persuasive and effective leader who works cooperatively with all members of Council and the Borough Manager to get things done for the benefit of our community.

Thank you for your support!

Josephine Noone

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