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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Feb 09, 2018

Mayor Murray’s Message to Residents

By Lori Draz

On January 7, Stephanie C. Murray was sworn in as Mayor of Middletown by Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. The Mayor took the time to share a message with residents as she begins her third time as mayor.

She said , “As Mayor, I’d like to continue to enhance our community by providing the best facilities and services possible. Our community events are strongly supported by our residents and we are lucky to have an outstanding Arts Center, municipal library, and recreational facilities that will continue to offer diverse programming for residents of all ages. Middletown is a not only of hub of education, culture and activity, but a paramount of a successful community due to the strong leadership and involvement of our residents.

In 2017, the Township was able to cut municipal taxes and we will continue our efforts to alleviate the tax burden through shared services and out-of-the-box thinking. Middletown spends the least amount of municipal dollars per capita in the entire state. We also have one of the lowest workforces per capita, if not the lowest.

As your Mayor, I will continue to support our Township’s world-class emergency services departments. Our community-minded Police Department, led by Chief Craig Weber, has helped our town earn the title as one of the safest places to live in the country four times over and our crime rate is the lowest it’s been in 25 plus years. We have the largest volunteer fire department in the world. Our Fire, EMS and OEM department volunteers are dedicated professionals and we are so fortunate to have them serving our community and keeping us safe.”

She continued, sharing her thoughts on being mayor and her goals. “This is the third time I’ve been Mayor so I’m as excited as ever but also filled with a healthy dose of reverence. I truly take public service to heart. Besides having my children, holding public office has been the most fulfilling yet challenging aspect of my life. Community is at the heart of what we do, and I strongly believe that if serving is beneath you, then leading is beyond you.

This year, I’d like to continue ramping up our public information. Few priorities are more important to a government agency than getting the right information out to the public in a timely manner. The trust of the community is something the township committee and I take to heart. That being said, we are in the process of upgrading our Municipal TV channels (Comcast Channel 20 and Verizon FiOs Channel 26) by running new programming including A Middletown Minute which will showcase our various departments so residents can gain a better understanding of what we do and how each department works. We will also be airing a new program called A Minute with the Mayor which will promote important information and happenings in Middletown Township.

We will also continue to provide information via our ever-growing social media platforms and sharing informational videos on our Township’s YouTube Channel.” (Middletown Township is also on Twitter and Instagram).

In late 2016, Middletown Heritage Tourism launched wildly successful walking tours and horse-drawn carriage rides through the 400-year-old Village Historic District. We plan to expand this to other historic districts in our town as well.

By this time next year, our new Town Hall complex should be well underway, with the anticipation of building a pad site which will offset the cost of this major project. We are finding innovative ways to finance this, with shared services agreements leading the way. We are working on agreements with regional partners, such as regional animal control, building and finance services, as well as dispatch and social services, to help alleviate the tax burden for all taxpayers as well as our partners.”

Congratulations and best wishes to Stephanie Murray as she leads Middletown.