Greetings and happy post Valentine’s Day.  I had the privilege this year of attending a Valentine’s Day party held by the Cranbuddies program at the Cranbury School.  Much of what they do on this day has not changed since I was attending Cranbury Elementary.

Every child makes their own mailbox (a paper bag) and they hand out cards to each other.  Everyone was eager to tell me about their cards; one gave an Avengers card, the other pets, another Barbie.

One girl told me, “You know I am marrying these three boys.” She proceeded to name each one.  One boy she mentioned looked at me and said, “I’m not marrying her, you know.”

She looked at him and said, “That’s okay. I have the other two, I’ll marry anyway.”

Our school faculty should be thanked for allowing and supporting traditions like these to continue. I am convinced that they help our kids become better adults and provide memories to remember.

One of the jobs of Mayor is speaking with mayors in other towns and our elected officials.  I was speaking to one individual last week and we were discussing the sewer system issue of flushable wipes.  Flushable wipes are not actually flushable, and they are creating a lot of damage to the sewer systems and environment.

He mentioned that since Cranbury owns our system it must be a bad day when I get told of another repair.

I paused and responded, “If the Mayor of Chicago had a day where all he had to worry about was a repair due to flushable wipes, then I think he’d probably go home and celebrate.”

I raise this because what we in Cranbury deal with is not life changing in most ways. Our Township government really is simply tasked with ensuring the car remains on the road. For that reason, I want to highlight a couple of code changes we adopted this month.

We adopted an ordinance that requires dumpsters be coned off while on the street and requires those who place a dumpster on the street to notify the township when the dumpster is being placed and when it is being removed.

In the past we have had several businesses and residents place dumpsters on the street, which created potential traffic accidents and remained out well after the construction work was completed.  It is our hope this ordinance change resolves those issues.

We adopted an ordinance that prohibits individuals from placing and keeping debris at the curb. We had several locations where landscaper waste or debris was placed out along with general trash this past summer and fall.

With the winter months occurring the fear was that a snow plow may think a snow-covered pile was purely snow, when wood or bricks may be hidden underneath.  Naturally, a snow plow hitting a frozen pile of stone or brick creates a real safety hazard for Public Works employees.  This ordinance will help protect our workers along with keeping our streets clean.  This does not prevent the average person from putting “free” items at the curb for a day or two.

In terms of upcoming meetings on February 25th, our township engineer will present options to the committee on ways we can remedy the drainage issues along Plainsboro Road. We anticipate this work will commence sometime this spring after the budget is adopted.

For those concerned about drainage on Petty Road, I cannot go into detail yet, but the engineer is also working on a plan there as well.

In addition to the ordinances we enacted the township embarked on a path of increased community outreach this year.

I want to thank Committeeman Ferrante for doing a presentation on how government works at our last meeting.  That presentation is available on the township website.

We are also doing our best to communicate in various media whether Facebook, print mailing or working with the news outlets such as the Press. The Cranbury Press is dedicated to improving Cranbury coverage as you may have seen last week with the return of “Around Cranbury.”

I also brought back “Coffee with the Mayor and Police Chief.”  Our next meet and greet is February 23rd from 8-10 a.m. at Teddy’s.

This is one way the chief and I can interact with residents in a relaxed non-time sensitive setting where residents can ask questions and not worry that they are being asked in a public setting.

Lastly, I want to recognize the efforts of the Cranbury Historical Society.  This wonderful all-volunteer organization runs many educational programs during the year, maintains our local museum, and is dedicated to preserving our land and history.  It is my pleasure to donate the mayor’s salary for the month of February to this wonderful organization.  I encourage everyone to stop by the museum on Park Place and view our heritage.

James Taylor

Mayor

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