By Dan Mulligan
I would like to first thank my fellow members of the Cranbury Township Committee for their support in naming me mayor of Cranbury for 2016. I would also like to thank each and every resident of Cranbury for allowing me to serve on the Township Committee since January 2011.
As we start the year, I realize that whatever plan we put in place today as the governing body of Cranbury Township will most likely change and morph throughout the year as has been the case during my previous five years of service on to Cranbury Township.
With this in mind there are a few things which we know will be a focus for us here in 2016 and which, quite frankly, just have to happen.
Municipal Budget: During the past five years we have made large cuts to discretionary spending while at the same time maintaining services such as police, fire, first aid, public works and more. We have also been able to reduce our municipal debt by more than $5,000,000. That’s right, reducing debt – not increasin it – to or beyond previous debt levels. This has not been easy as also during this time we have been up against stagnant property valuations for both residential and commercial property. That impacts the amount of tax revenue we can raise for the municipal services in our community. Further, we have not seen new commercial development of any substance in the township during the past five years, which would help to ease the finical burden for all of us here in Cranbury. We will once again this year be working hard as a township committee to balance our budget while at the same time maintaining the services the help keep Cranbury the special and unique town it is.
Affordable Housing: Over the past year we have been working with the Middlesex County court to navigate our state mandated affordable housing obligations. We feel we have a very strong plan that will once again help to keep Cranbury the special town it is. We also feel strong this plan will not negatively impact our K-8 school or our relationship with Princeton High School. However, as of this time our plan has not been finalized with the courts and will continue to be our No. 1 priority as a township committee.
Beyond our budget and the affordable housing obligations we have other initiatives we hope to accomplish. Among those are the continued investment and revitalization of our downtown; increased economic opportunity and redevelopment of our highway corridor by partnering with our planning and zoning boards; partnering with developers to bring in new warehouse customers while at the same time planning for and addressing the long term impact on our community and the surrounding area.
All in all, we have a lot of work ahead of us and everyone in Cranbury Township can be rest assured the township committee members are focused and ready to get the job done in 2016.
Thank you for your continued support.
Dan Mulligan is mayor of Cranbury Township and a member of the Cranbury Township Committee.
By Dan Mulligan