By Dave Fried

Thank you to everyone who came out to vote on the Dec. 11 school facilities referendum.

The Robbinsville Township Board of Education, Superintendent Steve Mayer and board president Mike Reca did a terrific job coming up with a cost-effective and financially palatable solution to the defeated referendum of 2010, and did an equally great job marketing the no-nonsense plan to residents through social media and town hall-style meetings.

As the father of children in the school system, I am proud of everyone involved in this effort and very relieved we can ease overcrowding. I can not wait to see the finished product at Sharon School and Pond Road Middle School, hopefully by September 2014.

As the mayor of Robbinsville, the referendum’s passing goes a long way toward keeping home values stable at a time when we are bringing several Fortune 500 ratables to the township. A well-run school district with upgraded facilities is among the primary things executives and employees with young children look for when relocating to another area. It is very important during times such as these that we leave politics aside and work together on behalf of the children in our community. We are very mindful that the Township and the Board of Education work for the taxpayers.

The referendum’s passage is just one of the many reasons I am proud of the people of Robbinsville and thankful to have spent another year in public service. For me, holding office is a privilege; I realize how very lucky I am to have served all of you for more than decade, including the past seven years as your mayor.

People ask me all the time what I like the most about being mayor. I got involved in politics to help people, and doing it when no one is watching is one of my greatest pleasures. Not a week has gone by that my administration has not aided someone in our community. We don’t advertise it, as others tend to do, because for us it is not about the publicity. It is about the act. That is public service and, more importantly, a true state of grace.

I again want to thank all of you for your patience in the aftermath of the Superstorm Sandy. Rest-assured we are dealing with JCP&L as I write this column, and I have petitioned Gov. Christie for his assistance in helping us make PSE&G the township’s lone utility provider. There are many hurdles to overcome in order to reach that desired result, but I will keep you informed of our progress.

Have a happy new year!

Dave Fried is the Mayor of Robbinsville Township.