Monday, August 31, 2020

My Goals As YOUR Mayor - Josephine Noone

Josephine Noone

Community First!

Why should you vote for me to be Mayor of Washington Borough?

I will:

  1. Apply for federal and state aid for Washington Borough to aid in recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown.

  2. Work alongside the Washington Business Improvement District to support current businesses as we recover from the COVID-19 shutdown and recruit new businesses. We need to promote the benefits of opening a business in our safe and walkable rural community.

  3. Maintain fiscal responsibility and pay down our debt while seeking grants and shared services agreements. I have voted in favor of Shared Services Agreements for our Police, Animal Control Officer, Fire Prevention Officer, Engineer, Municipal Court, Manager, Clerk, and Building Maintenance/Custodial Services. All of these agreements allow us to maintain high-quality services for our residents at a decreased cost to our taxpayers.

  4. Proactively communicate with Washington Borough residents and business owners through social media and monthly newsletters. Everyone should know how their tax dollars are being spent.

  5. Focus on vital infrastructure, especially roads, sidewalks, and sewer and stormwater infrastructure.

  6. Ensure that Borough Municipal buildings and vehicles are well-maintained and energy-efficient.

  7. Improve recreational resources and programs. We have acquired open space by Railroad Avenue and Shabbecong Mountain Preserve. Now we need to make sure that the residents of Washington Borough get to utilize this open space for walking, cycling, and sports. We need to reopen our pool and recreational programs for children and adults.

  8. Foster inclusion and diversity initiatives. As mayor, I will work to ensure that all members of our community feel welcome in Washington Borough.

  9. Focus on the health and safety of our community in collaboration with the Warren County Health Department and the Washington EMS, Fire, and Police Departments.

  10. Advocate for mental health and addiction and recovery support services. We have many excellent government and non-profit organizations working to support members of our community who are suffering from mental health conditions and addiction. I will work to ensure that our community is stigma free and every member of our community is aware of the services available to assist and support them and their families.

  11. Promote the sale and redevelopment of vacant and abandoned properties. We need to ensure that all properties in Washington Borough are well-maintained and occupied for residential or commercial use. Abandoned and neglected properties devalue the properties of hardworking taxpayers who have invested their life savings in their homes and businesses.

  12. Support our local schools to attract families to our community and increase property values. We should communicate regularly with local school leaders, continue to look for ways to share services to save taxpayer dollars, encourage community involvement with the school board and parent involvement in the Parent Teacher Organization, and advocate for the importance of high-quality public schools for our children.

As a Councilwoman in Washington Borough for the past six years and throughout my career in the New Jersey Public Schools, I have demonstrated leadership in service to the community.

I am ready to lead Washington Borough as your next Mayor. When elected, I will work proactively and constructively to help us recover from the COVID-19 epidemic. My running mates and I will bring to Council our love of this community and our desire to work together to make things better for everyone.

Thank you for your support!

Josephine Noone

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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Chris Bauknight Re-Elected V.P. Warren County Young Democrats

Chris Bauknight
Chris Bauknight, V.P. WCYD and Borough Council Candidate

The Washington Borough and Warren County Democratic Committees are proud to have young, engaged community leaders, who bring their skills and dedication to serve, among us.  

Join us in congratulating Chris Bauknight, our Washington Borough Council Candidate, on his recent re-election to Vice President, Warren County Young Democrats.

Congrats Chris!   Well done !

Click below to read the press release:

Warren County Young Democrats Announce 2020 Executive Board - Insider NJ

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Saturday, August 15, 2020

New Jersey General Election 2020

On August 14th Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey will conduct the general election as a nearly all-mail election following on, and improving upon, the model used in the July primary.

Here is what to expect:

  1. ALL registered voters will automatically receive an official Vote By Mail (VBM) Ballot for the general election.  No prior registration is required.  Ballots are schedule to be mailed on September 19th.
  2. Warren County is anticipating receiving five (5) additional secure drop boxes for depositing VBM ballots, which when installed, will increase installations to 10.   The locations of the new installations are currently TBD.
  3. VBM ballots returned by USPS must be post marked on November 3rd to count, and the county Board of Elections will accept postmarked ballots up to one week after the general election.
  4. Voters will have the option to vote in person, if they choose to do so.  That said, able voters who choose to vote in person will be given a provisional ballot to complete.
  5. Warren County will increase the number of physical polling locations, from the levels that existed in this year's primary, with priorities being placed in the county's larger municipalities (e.g. Phillipsburg and Hackettstown)
  6. VBM voters may submit their completed VBM ballots at physical polling locations.
  7. To guard against "double counting", the county Board of Elections will screen all ballots received (provisional, vote by mail and machine voting) for duplicate ballots -- more than one ballot submitted by a single voter.   In this case, the VBM ballot will always take precedence. 

And now here are some suggestions and observations:

  1. EXPECT long lines at the physical polling locations.   Remember the 2016 general election?  Consider Voting by Mail.

  2. IF you Vote By Mail, DO SO AS EARLY AS YOU CAN.
  3. IF you want to avoid the long polling lines and/or concerned about COVID-19, make use of the secure drop boxes to drop off the VBM ballot, if possible.   The closest one to Washington Borough is located at the Washington Township Police Station on Route 31.
NJ Secure Ballot Drop Box, Washington Twsp, Warren County NJ
Secure Ballot Drop Box located at WTPD, Route 31, Washington NJ 07882

Here is the complete list of secure ballot drop box locations in Warren County:

Location Address
Belvidere Municipal Building 691 Water Street, Belvidere, NJ 07823
Blairstown Municipal Building 106 Route 94, Blairstown, NJ 07825
Hackettstown Municipal Building 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Lopatcong Municipal Building 232 South Third St., Morris Park, Lopatcong, NJ 08865
Washington Township Municipal Building 211 Route 31 North, Washington, NJ 07882

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hidden in Plain Sight - Sonia Ron


Mental Health and Substance Use

Sonia Ron
Sonia Ron


When I decided to run for Washington Borough Council, I was asked why I was running. When I thought about this, I knew immediately that I was running to make a difference in the lives of those around us who have lacked a voice. This involved finally talking about a truth that has been hidden in plain sight for too long. Mental health and substance use are conversations that we just don't have but should. We all know someone, a family member, a friend, or a colleague who has been affected by mental health or substance use issues. It's a conversation that is long past due. We can no longer just look the other way and continue to lose our friends, our families, and, perhaps most importantly, our young.

Each and every day we lose loved ones. I have thought about this long and hard as I am sure many of you have. Every generation has had to face something in the past and perhaps this is our fight. Americans are made of strong stock; we fight, and we persevere. I know that you are asking yourself what do words have to do with mental health and substance use? My answer is "everything!" It might not be that simple, but it is a beginning.

The first step is information. These are just a few numbers that may make all the difference:
  1. Warren County information on mental health services include the 24/7 crisis line at 908-454-5141.
  2. Reach NJ is the Addiction Services hotline for the state at 1-844-REACHNJ (732-2465).

Other local services for substance use are:

  1. Parent to Parent (908-223-1951),
  2. Community Prevention Resources (908-835-1800),
  3. Freedom House (908-777-3102), and
  4. Family Guidance Center (908-689-1000), which can be used for both mental health and addiction services.
  5. IME (Interim Managing Entity) 844 276-2777 for those with Medicaid and or no health insurance for alcohol and drug treatment.
  6. The New Jersey HOPE line 855 654-6735 is a 24/7peer support and suicide prevention hotline.
  7. Text HOME 744741 (their tagline is "We're here for everything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school.")
For more information on resources available to you and your loved ones, you may contact:
Laura Richter
Mental Health Administrator/Coordinator of Addiction Services
Warren County Department of Human Services
1 Shotwell Drive
Belvidere, NJ 07823
P: (908)475-6237
F: (908)475-6206
I ask you to support initiatives, support groups that offer assistance, encourage people that you know to reach out and get that help. Most importantly, I ask you to be there, help them make that call, encourage that first step, and, if necessary, take them by the hand and walk with them. We, together, can make change happen. Because we all know that alone is so much harder. Most importantly, be willing to talk about it. Don't allow mental illness and substance abuse to hide in the shadows. Stand up and be willing to share your story with others.

Sonia Ron



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What is motivating Chris Bauknight to run for council

Chris Bauknight
Chris Bauknight

Our Borough council candidate, Chris Bauknight, participated in a podcast July 9th.  During the course of the interview, he shared his personal story, gave insights on why he is running for council, and challenged us to get involved to transform Washington Borough into an inclusive community where all residents can live, work and thrive.

Chris speaks throughout the 25 minute podcast, but it starts getting real at the two and a half minute mark.   Click on the embedded player below to listen, or search for this episode on your favorite podcast player (Spotify, Apple/Google Podcasts, etc.)

Episode: "A Knight to save the Day"
Podcast: "Live Now, Sleep Later"

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