Dear Residents, Business Owners and those who work in Warren Township,
On Thanksgiving Day, we spend time with friends and family celebrating with gratitude the blessings we share.
The Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the New World in 1621. That “First” Thanksgiving was a three-day feast during which Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated together. Today we view that celebration as a symbol of how diverse people and cultures can come together to express gratitude and share their bounty.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863, to thank the Union Army and God for the shift in our country’s fortunes during the Civil War. America has been celebrating Thanksgiving Day ever since.
Each of us has much to be thankful for. I think back to my grandparents’ humble beginnings in Newark, and their struggle to achieve the American Dream. Like immigrants do, they worked hard, motivated by the desire to give their children and their children’s children opportunities for a better life than those they had. They were proud Americans who always flew the American Flag outside their home in Newark — never afraid to show their patriotism. I am grateful to them for their devotion to this country, and to this country for enabling them to succeed. Although I’ve never taken for granted the freedoms we enjoy in America, traveling around the world, from Greece to Pinochet’s Chile, has deepened my appreciation for them.
I am so very grateful to live here — Warren Township is one of the best places in New Jersey to live, work and be educated. I am humbled and doubly grateful to serve as our town’s Mayor.
Warren is one of New Jersey’s most desirable places to live precisely because the community works together to find pragmatic solutions to our challenges. As our town grows and evolves, we will continue to face challenges, and we must rely on that spirit of cooperation to maintain our quality of life.
Warren’s current challenge is to responsibly implement the recent Supreme Court ruling that forces New Jersey towns to provide for what is deemed “affordable” housing. The decision follows decades of legal wrangling. Throughout those years, Warren Township officials have responded by actively paving the way toward solutions, adopting policies, procedures and Municipal Plans that have put us head and shoulders above other municipalities facing the same issue.
The Township Committee continues to address this proactively. Although the State hasn’t yet given us the final number of housing units it will mandate, the Committee has already begun to identify possible appropriate tracts and responsible developers that will ensure our neighborhoods, schools and community remain vibrant and strong as we comply.
As always, the Township Committee appreciates the cooperation and thoughtful insight of both Boards of Education, Warren and WHRHS, the Township Planning Board and look towards that time when all residents from the many walks of life and the span of ages in Warren will come to the Planning Board meeting to publicly stand up and give their opinion and express their beliefs. Only by working together can we continue to keep taxes low, provide our children with a top-notch education and make sure that Warren Township remains one of the most desirable places to live for everyone who chooses to move here.
I wish you, your family and friends the best of everything in the upcoming holiday season.
Carolann Garafola, Mayor
Victor Sordillo, Deputy Mayor
Gary DiNardo, Township Committeeman
George Lazo, Township Committeeman
Mick Marion, Township Committeeman