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Mayor Outlines Top Glen Rock Goals in 2013

Creating a shade tree policy, improving communications with residents and moving forward with senior housing are key issues for the upcoming year, Mayor John van Keuren says.

The borough has a few ambitious goals in their sights for 2013, according to Mayor John van Keuren.

Speaking at the annual reorganization meeting on Wednesday night, the municipal leader outlined three major challenges the council would like to make headway on for the new year.

While 2012 was defined in many parts by stronger communications with residents, van Keuren said there's room to improve.

Most of the related initiatives focused on utilizing technology to reach borough citizens. But if you weren't computer savvy, you didn't receive the full force of information, he said.

"I'm hoping that we can develop better ways to communicate with them [residents] during a similar emergency," he said, citing Hurricane Sandy. He stressing that daily communication with citizens is also desired. "And probably the best way is to start with our seniors, and people with special needs."

The mayor also called for forward movement to add further senior housing in Glen Rock.

"There is a senior housing committee that has been working diligently, and long, to develop a plan that would provide more housing in addition to what we have at Glen Court," he said. Ideally, van Keuren remarked, an established plan can be presented to the public for review in 2013.

Perhaps the most controversial of the goals in 2013 is to cement an improved shade tree policy.

Hurricane Sandy's wrath illustrated the dueling issues on trees; while they can present safety hazards to residents, they're a vital component of the borough.

"It's not going to be easy," he said of striking a balance. "Obviously from the storm we had in October, the safety challenges are clear. But to just wipe out the trees in the interest of maximizing safety is not a desirable or conceivable way to do it."

Mikka H January 03, 2013 at 09:03 PM
there's a relic for you.....how long has this guy been running the over taxed GR'er's? talk about term limits.....
Mark McCullough January 03, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Mikka, no need to be rude.
Mark McCullough January 03, 2013 at 11:05 PM
"This guy" has served for many years. Make a point if you have one.
milly January 03, 2013 at 11:37 PM
I like the part about "not being computer savvy" after the storm in order to get information when all electric was out and internet was also out for 10-17 days. Only a megaphone on a helicopter would have helped!! Is he serious?
James Kleimann January 03, 2013 at 11:42 PM
The borough also used the electronic sign and posted bulletins at municipal buildings; the mayor's point was that communication initiatives have been largely computer based and the town should look into ways to be a bit more encompassing. Although a good portion of the town was without electricity for an extended time, many received information from their smart phones and by charging up at Borough Hall, local businesses and friends' houses. I don't think it's fair to say it was ineffective just because it wasn't a total solution.
Mikka H January 04, 2013 at 01:03 AM
not being rude.....reverse 911 is not being tech savvy.....it's called working in the anno domini.....
Rene January 04, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Mikka H- , Obviously you are both rude and uniformed. "this guy" has more class in his pinky than you have in your entire being.
USAUSA January 04, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Well she has a right to her opinion Mark and Rene. John may have more class but she is right when it comes to mayoral term limits in small town, it is time for John to step down. I would love to know from GR or John when the sidewalks will be repaired that were damaged from town trees during Sandy?
Bruce Packer January 04, 2013 at 05:03 PM
We were without power for for almost two weeks but thanks to my smartphone, the library, friends' computers, etc, I found the email invaluable during that period. They were detailed and very much appreciated by me and many that I've spoken to. One can argue that it is long overdue but the town has made huge strides this past year with respect to technology and communication.
milly January 04, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Maybe FEMA can provide smartphones to all at zero cost....just another entitlement expenditure. Put it in the Sandy relief bill. Obama will sign it!
Mike January 04, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Unrelated to the mayor issue hear - but I thought the sidewalks were the responsibilty of the homeowner?
J.C. Lee January 05, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Mike, you are correct it does fall to the homeowner and see you don't see much concrete working being done in the cold weather we are all going to have to be careful until the spring when these issues can be attended to. Considering what communities like Point Pleasant and Seaside are dealing with we should be thankful our problems are so small.
Phil Brooks January 06, 2013 at 02:59 AM
Mikka, Given the circumstances (70% of the town without power), what would have been tech savvy? And I hate to tell you, but you were rude.
Phil Brooks January 06, 2013 at 03:01 AM
This time, the sidewalks should be the responsibility of the town. The homeowners should repair them then send their bills to the town. After all, it was the town's trees that caused the sidewalk damage.
USAUSA January 06, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Yes the town should pay for the sidewalks and I was told by the DPW when they were finally removing our tree that sidewalks would be taken care of by the town. My issue is I asked the town to remove the town tree last year when a major limb knocked out out power a year ago for 7 days, they refused now I have 3 sidewalk sections broken because of this town tree. This year was out for 10 days because of the same tree! I will NOT be paying for the sidewalk.

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