VOTE

JUNE 2

ACHIEVEMENTS

REFORMED THE CULTURE OF THE MAPLEWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT READ MORE

 

IMPROVED TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY READ MORE

 

MADE LOCAL GOVERNMENT MORE ACCESSIBLE AND TRANSPARENT READ MORE

 

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP READ MORE

 

STOOD UP FOR OUR COMMUNITY'S PROGRESSIVE VALUES READ MORE

 

IMPROVED PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE AND BOARD OF EDUCATION READ MORE

 

EXPANDED AND IMPROVED RECREATIONAL AND CULTURAL PROGRAMS AND FACILITIES READ MORE

REFORMED THE CULTURE OF THE MAPLEWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT

  • During my tenure as Chair of the Public Safety Committee, we have taken significant steps to address the issues in our Police Department that became clear from the incidents of July 5, 2016.

  • We have replaced the leadership of the Department, appointing a new Chief and creating the Deputy Chief position, which is held by the highest ranking African-American officer in Department’s history.

  • We have greatly Increased and improved training of our officers, particularly in the areas of anti-bias, crowd control, de-escalation, and alternatives to the use of force.

  • We have made progress in the process of restoring confidence and rebuilding trust with community, including more engagement with residents and groups through the creation of the Department’s Community Services Bureau, and also outreach programs such as open gyms and restoration of the junior police academy.

  • We created a new Community Board on Police and appointed a talented and dedicated group of residents who will be able to review data and procedures, making recommendations for new policies or changes to existing procedures in our Department.  The Board will provide research and help develop best practices, as well as help to convey community feedback to the Police Department.

  • Despite all of these challenges and transitions, we have made great strides to reduce crime in our town, particularly violent crime.  In 2018, robberies are down 23% and assaults are down 58%.  Overall crime is down 9% from 2017.
     

 IMPROVED TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

  • We have recognized the need for increased traffic and pedestrian safety in town, and have addressed this issue through the “Three E’s” (Engineering, Education, and Enforcement).

  • The Township has taken measures to improve traffic flow in town (particularly around our schools), put up new and improved signage, implemented design changes to calm traffic in areas where speeding is a problem, and hired additional crossing guards for busy intersections.

  • With the Maplewood Police Department, we have implemented programs to help drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians learn to be safer, be aware, and share the road.  We have also distributed fluorescent armbands to help pedestrians be more visible in the early morning and at night.

  • We have created a new dedicated Traffic Unit in the Police Department, which has led to a significant increase in enforcement, traffic patrols, and radar details, with 1225 summonses issued in just the first 15 weeks.  This enforcement has focused on key areas where driver and pedestrian safety has been an issue, including Springfield Avenue, Burnett, Valley, Prospect, and Maplewood Village.

 

MADE LOCAL GOVERNMENT MORE TRANSPARENT AND ACCESSIBLE

  • I have been proud to be part of the most responsive Township Committee in history, placing a high priority on communication, transparency, and accountability.

  • My colleagues and I are constantly out in the community, attending events, community meetings, and neighborhood gatherings, interacting with residents, sharing information, and listening to concerns and ideas.

  • As Chair of the Communications Committee, I oversaw the development of our new Township website, which has made it much easier for residents to find information and also to submit forms and payments online.  We have also broadly increased our use of social media and email alerts to distribute information and build awareness.

  • We have created new senior and youth advisory committees to incorporate generational diversity into Township planning and decisionmaking.

  • We have appointed a larger, broader, and more diverse range of residents to town boards and committees, and implemented a process that has made it easier for residents to be involved.

  • Choosing the right people to run our Township departments and serve our residents is an important Township Committee responsibility and over the last 3 years we have made several significant and successful hires and promotions, including our Township Administrator, CFO, Police Chief and Deputy Police Chief, Township Engineer, Recreation Director, Construction Official, and Welfare Director.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP

  • Proudly continuing Maplewood’s proud tradition as a leader on the environment and sustainability

  • We have achieved Sustainable Jersey Silver status, the highest currently available.

  • We have supported a very active Green Team and Environmental Advisory Committee, which have helped to focus the Township’s sustainability efforts, including the expansion of solar power opportunities.

  • We have designated Maplewood to serve as the Lead Municipal Agency of the Sustainable Essex Alliance Energy Aggregation Program, which will support clean, renewable energy by pooling our purchasing and negotiating power with other nearby communities to secure better energy pricing and greater sustainability. This effort will help to both lower our community’s electric bills and decrease our impact on the environment.

 

SUPPORTED AND DEFENDED MAPLEWOOD'S PROGRESSIVE VALUES

  • Nancy and I, along with our Township Committee colleagues, have consistently stood up for our community’s values and principles in an age where they are increasingly under attack from Washington.

  • We have unequivocally supported diversity, inclusion, and integration, and led the charge to declare Maplewood a welcoming community.

  • On guns, healthcare, immigration, and other issues, we have taken and will continue to take positions of moral leadership

  • We have stood up for our Haitian and Latino neighbors, and also supported the LGBTQ community.

 

IMPROVED PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE AND BOARD OF EDUCATION

  • We have restored the practice of monthly meetings between town leaders of Maplewood and South Orange, the Superintendent, and BOE members.  This renewed commitment to partnership has helped to improve relationships and our ability to plan strategically and work together.

  • We have successfully lobbied for substantially increased state aid, including an increase of $484k in funding for 2018.

  • We have jointly created the Field Trust, a collaborative effort with South Orange and the Board of Education to promote long-term strategic improvement of our athletic fields and facilities.

 

EXPANDED AND IMPROVED RECREATIONAL AND CULTURAL PROGRAMS AND FACILITIES

  • The Township has greatly expanded our sports and fitness offerings for all ages.  For example, we have added programs such as self defense classes, drumming, and goat yoga.  Our summer kids camp is also much improved, with registration up 42% in 2018.

  • The Woodland has become a centerpiece of our community’s social, cultural, and artistic life.  It is a beautiful building with bustling energy in which Maplewood can take great pride.

  • Our community swimming pool was bleeding members and money for years, losing lots of both on an annual basis.  But this has been stabilized on both fronts thanks to greater attention by our staff and volunteer Pool Advisory Committee.  Thanks to expanded programming and providing a better member experience, membership has remained steady over past two seasons and overall revenues increased 10% in 2018.  Such improvement was desperately need to preserve this gem in our town.

  • Through the purchase and renovation of 106 Burnett Avenue, we have created a wonderful senior citizen center that allows us to offer more programming and activities for seniors without conflicting or competing for space with other events at DeHart Community Center.  The building also provides a great place for seniors to just drop in and engage with one another.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Paid for by Greg Lembrich, Born to Run for Township Committee, 50 Sagamore Road, Maplewood, NJ 07040
Dave Pressel, Treasurer