MICKLETON– At their meeting on Dec. 13, the East Greenwich Township Committee issued proclamations to local volunteers who gave their time during the macroburst storm that took place on June 23, 2015.
Mayor Dale Archer said that East Greenwich was declared as the hardest hit community in Gloucester County during the storm, according to the National Weather Service in Mt. Holly.
Archer added that maximum wind speeds reached 165 miles per hour during the storm. Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin said that about 3,000 trees and 100 utility poles came down in the township. “It was just a 20 minute storm, but the devastation it left behind was incredible,” he commented.
Honorees included Mayor Alan Schwager of Woolwich Township, and former Woolwich Mayor Sam Maccarone. Archer specially cited East Greenwich Director of Public Works Anthony Rossett.
“People don’t recognize what they do on a consistent basis,” Archer observed. “Rossett and his crew just showed up before we called them.”
The Committee also recognized another Public Works member, Superintendent Dennis Chambers of Harrison Township. “Harrison sent crews over to us without a thought,” Archer recalled. “We can’t be any more thankful than to have our neighbors help us.”
The Committee also issued a proclamation to the Harrison House Restaurant, who Archer said sent food to the command center on several occasions. Other honors went to Michael Shock, the John Dorman family, Art Ebert and Alex McDermott of the Community Emergency Response Team, and Mike Senkier and Robert DeMarzio of the Office of Emergency Management.
“Bobby DeMarzio communicated with the state, and he had the uncanny ability to create a relationship with all the people he spoke to,” praised Archer.
Children from the Golias, Newsom, O’Leary and Barton families were cited for helping to clean up the town’s baseball field, and Katie Cloman and Casey Johnson received proclamations for donating water, hot dogs and Gatorade to the command center. Jack Murphy helped to supply the center with sandwiches.
“It’s inspiring to see young people get involved and give back to their community,” commented Mayor Archer.
Archer pointed out that Committeeman Bob Tice sent the initial text message regarding the storm. “It’s time for action,” got their response.
He also had special recognition for Deputy Mayor Philbin, who Philbin said stepped up and took charge. “He was working two phones at a time,” noted Archer. “He made sure this town was safe.”
The mayor reported that East Greenwich received 100 percent of its money back from FEMA, “because we were organized, and took care of business.”
In resolutions, the Committee approved an item for the current budget: The 2016 Holiday Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Grant. Another resolution authorized the submission of a grant for the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse for July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.
Elsewhere, they approved the purchase of a 2017 Ford 450 Cab and Chassis through a state contract for $61,901. The Committee also adopted a mitigation plan for four New Jersey counties.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Committee adopted a resolution promoting Officer Tashon Wright to full-time patrolman, and hired Vincent Minnitti as Class II Special Officer. Archer pointed out that a number of policemen were in attendance at the meeting in support of the two officers.
Philbin said he’d heard great things about Wright. Tice congratulated Wright, saying, “Be loyal to yourself and the township.” East Greenwich Police Chief Chris Everwine noted that Minnitti would be assigned to the schools to provide security.
In other news, the Committee issued a proclamation honoring Grace Rose DeSimone upon attaining her 100th birthday on Dec. 18, 2016. DeSimone has been an East Greenwich resident for over 46 years.
Committeeman Richard Schober said, “It’s a pleasure to have you in the township that long.” Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri added, “It’s nice to know that people want to stay in the township that long.”
Also, the Committee accepted the resignation of CFO Robert Law. “Law came in when our last CFO quit in 2013, and he has done a phenomenal job,” Archer explained. “I accept his resignation with a heavy heart. This was a huge undertaking.”
“Mr. Law worked tirelessly to help us, and came here under difficult circumstances,” Bottiglieri added. “Without him, I don’t think the township could have recovered.”
Philbin called Law “a true gentleman, and a professional.”
by Robert Holt