Mayor Rose Heck
Excerpts from the Mayor's Message
December 29, 2015

Highlights of work done since 2008

Under Mayor’s Leadership With the support of the Council, Administration, Volunteer Committees many accomplishments were achieved on behalf of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights.

  • Since 2008 I set a goal to stabilize the Municipal Tax Rate and in 2015 - Zero Municipal Tax Increase was achieved with many positive steps being taken including in 2011 the Borough authorized a Reassessment of Real Property in an effort to get tax appeals under control by adjusting values downward to reflect the current market conditions at the time. The reassessment values were effective for fiscal year 2012. My compliments to Borough Attorney Ralph W. Chandless Jr. and Finance Officer/Borough Administrator Michael Kronyak and everyone involved including the Borough Clerk Rose Marie Sees.
  • Hasbrouck Heights named one of the Top Ten in New Jersey:

Best & Safest Place to Live \ Best Place for seniors to Retire

One of the Healthiest Real Estate Markets – Thanks to a Police Dept. Led by Police Chief Michael Colaneri and all the men of his department. When I ran for the first time in 2007 for Mayor when the town was in trouble, I explained to my running-mates Sonya Buckman and David Gonzalez it was my goal to bring our Police force back to its strong reputation of exceptional law enforcement and service. It took time to accomplish because in my opinion several problems were put into play by our two previous mayors…

Let me recap:
In June 2003 Mayor Torre recommended the promotions of Lieutenants to Captain: Cronin and DeLorenzo and Bill Castiglione to Capt.of Detectives. At the same time he recommended the promotions of Capt. Robert Kroncke to Deputy Chief.

In December of that same year 2003, before he left office, he promoted to Lieutenant, Sgts. Miller, Archer and Krisinksi and from Patrolmen to Sgts. Corbliss and Rinke. These promotions totaled 9 for 2003.

Then on May 11, 2004, Mayor Jones recommended the promotions to Lieutenants of Sgts. Mullins, Ruroede, Tozzi and Lesho and from Patrolmen to Sgts. Caccavella, Vargo, Netelkos and Sisto. The total for that year was 8 promotions.

When I took office in 2008, I viewed a top heavy Police Department and set about on a path to not make any promotions until I could get to a place to limit the number of ranking officers to patrolmen. This meant I had to freeze promotions until I saw a certain amount of retirements of ranking officers and then wait to review the entire situation. You will recall I appointed myself Police Commissioner during that time to safeguard against any fallout to any member of the Council. Long story Short – I chose to not recommend any promotions in 2008, in 2009, in 2010, in 2011 and in 2012.

I asked the Chief to review our Promotion Policy and to gather ordinances from around the state so that I could present a more in depth way of handling and deciding on promotions. Historically the system was simple – The Police Chief and the Mayor would meet talk about who to promote then the Mayor would make recommendations to the Council. Looking at the recent past history, I decided this system was not working for the betterment of the Police Force, the Community or the Taxpayers of Hasbrouck Heights.

After many meetings, reviews, and consultations with a Police Attorney, The Borough Attorney, the Police Chief, The Police Commissioner, the Deputy Police Commissioner, the Borough Administrator, the Borough Clerk and me as Mayor, we came up with the final Ordinances March 26, 2013.

The first one Ordinance 2298 – 11 pages long – the heading reads -

"An ORDINANCE TO AMEND AND SUPPLEMENT CERTAIN SECTIONS OF ARTICLE I ENTITLED ‘CREATION AND ORGANIZATION’ OF CHAPTER 55 ENTITLED ‘POLICE DEPARTMENT’ OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS UPDATING THE SAME AS TO CURRENT APPLICABLE LAW, REGULATIONS AND PRACTICES.

Let me make it clear, I limited the authority of the Mayor to make Promotions and so "I" wanted to insure that proper procedures be followed and not misused.

A second ordinance, Ordinance # 2302, was adopted with Council Members Buckman and Semenecz voting against. It was carried by the vote of the marjority of the Council and established.

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND AND SUPPLEMENT SUBSECTION B OF 55 OF CHAPTER 55 ENTITLED ‘POLICE DEPARTMENT’ OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF HASBROUCK HEIGHTS INORDER TO UPDATE THE TABLE OF ORGANIZATGION

It was adopted on 28th day of May 2013 with Council Members Buckman and Semenecz voting against.

This limited the amount of ranking officers to patrolmen.

It calls for a Police Chief, two Captains, four Lieutenants, eight Sergeants and so many Patrol Officers as may from time to time be appointed, etc., etc.

Now we come to the first promotions made with me as Mayor in June of 2013 recommended as provided in the newly adopted, more detailed promotion procedures and recommended by the Police Committee that included the Mayor, Police Commissioner DiPisa and Deputy Police Commissioner David Gonzalez.

Promotions, the first made since I took office as mayor in 2008, included replacement of retirees.

They were from Sergeants to Lieutenants – Rinke and Corbliss; from Patrolmen to Sergeants Colaneri, Robertson, Baker and Adamo. Remember the date was June 2013. 6 promotions in 2013.

Next promotions, same system, with the Police Committee making recommendations were in December 2014 – I thought this was a great time for celebrations, so I chose the month of December.

Promotions made were Lieutenant Rinke to Captain.

Sergeants to Lieutenants Colaneri, and Robertson and from Patrolmen to Sergeants Werner and Kroncke. 5 promotions in 2014. Still not filling all the open positions.

I had planned to meet with the Police Committee to consider only three promotions this year for December 2015 – One Captain, One Lieutenant and One Sergeant – I never had the opportunity to do this.

In my opinion, the whole process was made murky by warnings by the incoming Mayor-Elect and Councilman-Elect and, in my opinion, misinformation given privately to several members of the Council without my knowledge in the presence of the Mayor –Elect and Councilman-Elect, and in addition, the inability of reaching anyone to hold a Police Committee Meeting in a timely manner.

I am in touch with others who will offer me legal advice as to the happenings, the two legal interpretations of the ordinances and I will, when I am out of office, ascertain certain procedural information and if and when necessary, make this information available to the proper parties, so that it never happens to another sitting mayor again.

And now my thanks to a fantastic, hard-working Borough Clerk Rose Marie Sees who wears so many hats and does an outstanding job at everything she is asked to do. We put together 8 editions of the Borough Business Bulletin that I introduced as one of the means of communicating with the Borough Residents and I hope it will continue.

You, Ro, were my right hand worker along with Business Administrator Michael Kronyak in introducing and putting together the Annual Street Fairs along with the Members of the Business Community Committee that I created in 2008. I hope it will continue.

I added to the Mayor’s Community Celebrations Committee and must say each of those volunteers are to be commended for giving hundreds of hours of work and dedication to all of the Celebrations we have held, even the newer ones. Thank you so much.

To all of you who worked to give input to better operate the business of the Borough. Thank You.

To Michael Kronyak for his patience and understanding in undertaking the many lists of jobs I kept giving him. Thanks so much. Thanks to his staff, the Tax Collector Chita Parker and Louise Balsamo, and the retired Angela Ferraro; to Laura French for all her due diligence as Registrar and Secretary to the Board of Health and to Dorothy Bernice for multi-tasking with the Zoning and Planning Boards and the Building Dept.

A Special thanks to Nick Melfi, Bill Spindler and Michael Kronyak, who took time to periodically ride throughout town with me , checking on a myriad of happenings and needs. And Nick, I am so proud of the new Ratables that we have over the past 8 years.

Terrace Avenue Townhouses
Meadowlands Nissan
Springfield Estatges (Townhouses)
24 Hour Fitness
Wine Emporium 65 Rte. 17 South Complex
Hasbrouck Heights Holiday Inn Renovations
4 New 2 Family Homes on the Sylvester’s/Old Homestead Site
Sonic on Route 17 North
Pep Boys on Route 17 South
Hasbrouck Heights Veterinary Hospital on the Boulevard
Hasbrouck Heights Hilton Renovations
Route 17 South – New Hilton Suites 2 Hotel

*Beautification of the Boulevard \ Circle – Free Design by Landscape Architect – New Welcome Sign – 8 years of consecutive Grants helping to pay for new lighting and Sidewalks -

*Beautification \ Upgrade of each of our Parks

Miers Park - expanded and playground additions made

Woodland Park – new Pavilion – paved entrance – parking areas - Planning stages for Expanded Playground Area with new equipment - Including Barrier Free Equipment

Veterans Park – sidewalks – Barrier Free Access – Landscaping – Lighted Flag Pole

Polifly Park - Landscaped and Gazebo refurbished

Central Avenue Park – Completed with Picnic Table and Pavilion cover

All Playgrounds to be completed with resilient ground cover

*Continued New Businesses\Restaurants on the Boulevard – Route 17 Business Growth bringing in new Ratables to help our Taxpayers while adding to our town’s good reputation

*Safety Programs - Walking School Bus for our children (As Mayor I helped get Grants) \ new Stop for Pedestrian Signs \ new equipment for our Police Dept. inclusive of Cameras that are connected into Police Headquarters and others registering and taping speed of cars \ infractions

*Communication Upgrades that began with the Message Board in front of the Municipal Building, Web-Site, e-mails, Modern Emergency Technology and my introduction of the first Borough Business Bulletin touting every Borough Department and listing all Personnel giving an over view of each Service to our People including our Outstanding Recreation Programs with Award Winning Programs and so much more

*I Introduced Enhanced Recycling Programs that brought the School District into the program along with the private schools including the Shredding Event that brings new dollars into the Borough and saves on garbage costs.

*Succeeded in getting the County to Repave the Boulevard and getting PSE&G to upgrade equipment after I used my office as mayor to highlight the power problems in several Borough Areas.

*I continued to highlight the needs of Hasbrouck Heights in numerous areas and have brought high level officials into town to address them. I still continue my efforts on behalf of the people of Hasbrouck Heights.

*Instituted needed environmental programs

*I have fought for commuters at the New Jersey Transit Board

*With my 13 years of experience as a leading Assemblywoman, I helped Hasbrouck Heights from being pushed by State Legislators to have Teterboro divided among surrounding towns, that could have resulted in Hasbrouck Heights being responsible for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in responsibilities added as we lost $200,000 in contract revenue from what would have been the "non-existent Borough of Teterboro" that would have been divided and made part of South Hackensack, Little Ferry, Moonachie and Wood-Ridge - All Democrat Controlled Towns with Hasbrouck Heights being the only Republican Controlled community.

I not only had the guts to go to Trenton to fight for Hasbrouck Heights, but had the foresight to have all documents gathered by Borough Clerk Rose Sees, Borough Administrator Michael Kronyak, Borough Engineer Ken Job, and Borough Attorney Ralph W. Chandless, from archives including the history of how Teterboro became a Borough, but I placed the focus on the matter front and center in the media. I testified at the quickly put together public hearing held in Trenton when all others had other pertinent Borough Business matters to be addressed –I drove to Trenton in the early hours and was there throughout the 9 am opening of the committee until late afternoon when the Bill came before the Committee and I gave my testimony, and the documentation to the Assembly Committee Chairman and answered all questions posed to me. Long story short – the bill lays dormant now with me ever ready to fight for Hasbrouck Height again whenever they dust off the plan and bring it up for a vote. Ask me about that day and I will be happy to share it with you.

*Open door policy: I was available on Saturday Mornings in the Library to meet and greet residents, answer questions, help resolve individual problems and often times just to give simple friendly advice to those who sought my input. I used my knowledge, experience and expertise to help serve the people of Hasbrouck Heights.

*My history of support for children of all ages is well known and documented; including laws to protect children; my sponsorship of Children’s Summits Statewide included Parents, Educators, Physicians & Children’s Experts; Four Regional Diagnostic & Treatment Centers were sponsored and formed by my legislation, one of them is the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House in Hackensack; Laws sponsored to aid Special Needs students and aid for Schools like The Bergen County Academy with the help of my friend Dr. John Rossi.

*The Read across America Program is one of my favorites and I continue to read to Children at Lincoln and Euclid Schools beginning with those in Kindergarten-Age. I hope that I will be allowed to continue doing that.

*As Mayor I made myself available to participate in School, Boy Scout and Girl Scout Programs.

*DARE continues to be a big program in Hasbrouck Heights. The Late Police Chief Howard R. Baker, me, and Juvenile Officer Lt. Edward Chermark started the DARE program 26 years ago In Hasbrouck Heights and it continues in the schools to this date.

I loved meeting with the children at every age level to teach them about Community involvement and encourage them to participate by learning more about the town and its Government.

Thank you to all Department Heads, to all Staff in every department who made my 8 years so memorable and enjoyable.

It is now time for me to work in other capacities to help my community and rest assured I will do so.

As I have so often said, I can lead and I also can follow. So whatever God has in store for me I am ready, willing and able.

I thank God for all of these wonderful 8 years. I thank all the volunteers again for their service to the community.

I have worked hard and enjoyed every minute.

As Mayor I thank you and bid you Farewell.

/s/ Rose Heck Proud Resident of Hasbrouck Heights

12/29/15

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