mayors columnThere really is no such thing as “getting back to normal,” is there?

The tragedy of losing Steve Mayer, compounded by the stark reality of another young person’s life being forever altered by the April 19 accident, has caused most of us to step back and take stock like never before. This one hit far too close to home, and it hit us all extremely hard.

We have received dozens of requests regarding naming various landmarks around the town after Steve, who touched the lives of so many. We are going to continue to let his wife, Donna, and their three sons, mourn this tremendous loss and then allow them an opportunity to weigh in on what their wishes may be with regard to Steve’s legacy. When the time is right I will sit down with them, along with my staff, to discuss the various options and together we will come up with an appropriate way of commemorating Dr. Mayer’s life and his significant contributions to the Robbinsville community.

One of the last things Steve would want is for school district or township business slowing down on his account.

With that in mind I was pleased to announce May 12 that township council adopted the 2016 Municipal budget of $22.5 million.

The budget contains a second tax cut in three years with a tax rate of 52.6 cents per $100 of assessed value, down from 53.1 cents in 2015. That tax rate also marks the fourth flat or reduced rate in the last six years. When you consider the fact we have enhanced and improved our services to residents and are putting some of the final touches on our new municipal building on Route 33 to improve those services even further, I really cannot imagine a better budget. Tip of the cap to Business Administrator Joy Tozzi and Township Chief Financial Officer Debbie Bauer, along with council, for its recent adoption.

As I mentioned at my State of the Township address April 13, then again in this space last month, I will be asking voters to approve a modest increase in the Open Space Tax come November in order to preserve close to 400 acres—200 acres across from Robbinsville High and another 189 that comprise the former Miry Run Golf Club. This will be a pivotal decision, as the 50 proposed homes across from the high school are likely to produce more than 100 new children to school district rolls at a cost of approximately $1 million a year.

The first step is to get it onto the November ballot. Once that happens, it will not be my decision. It will be up to the voters.

This is your town, after all.

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The Robbinsville Farmers’ Market returns on Tuesday, June 7 (3 p.m.) at its new location behind the new municipal building. Patrons and merchants can enter via Union Street … Community Day will be held on Saturday, June 11 from 2-9 p.m. at Community Park. This year also will feature our 1st Annual Green Fair from 2-6 p.m. … The R*MAPSA Father’s Day Fishing Derby is on Sunday, June 19. Come on out to West Town Center Lake and enjoy a technology-free day of fishing and fun with the whole family. Great work by the Recreation Division putting together all of those terrific events for our community to enjoy.

Dave Fried is the Mayor of Robbinsville Township.