Al’s Annual Address to the Community
Delivered at the Annual Borough Council Re-Organizational Meeting
What an incredible year it has been! New Providence’s unrelenting commitment to community, neighbors helping neighbors, businesses and organizations helping each other, and our community pulling together with the most generous outpouring of help, donations, contributions, and displays of human kindness and compassion, has been unlike anything we have ever seen. This has been so evident throughout our Borough during these challenging times and in the face of all our recent adversities. We came together and we worked together, united in our commitment to stay strong, persevere and help make things better. We have proven again and again that together we are at our strongest. Together we are at our best.
Our battle with the pandemic continued all last year deeply affecting our lives, our way of life, our businesses, and our children. Just as everything seemed to finally slowly subside and return to some sense of normalcy, we were hit again. First by the Delta variant, and then Omicron hit our community with a vengeance. Thankfully this very contagious virus appears much milder than previous variants, but unfortunately it has been very disruptive especially during this past holiday season. Please stay strong, continue to be vigilant and responsibly cautious, and we will get through this Pioneer Strong! We will continue to keep you updated with confirmed information so you can make the best and most informed decisions for your family. Thank you to the Regional Board of Health and especially to our Borough Nurse Jen Aranda for their hard work ensuring our community safety. We also thank all our healthcare providers, essential workers, everyone affected and on the forefront of this pandemic for their good service protecting us. We mourn our lost, and will continue to keep them, all our afflicted, and their loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this incredible PIONEER STRONG community. 2020 was the beginning of a new decade, our Tricentennial, the 300th Anniversary of the arrival of our first settlers here in New Providence. It was full of hope, excitement, and marked a proud long legacy of excellence and community. With year long celebrations, festivities, and community events planned, it promised to be a pinnacle and historic year for us here in New Providence. Within weeks of 2020’s arrival, the world and life as we knew it changed forever. The Pandemic descended upon us like a plague, bringing fear, heartbreak, isolation, economic hardship, illness, and death. Once filled streets were empty, thriving businesses were closing, momentous occasions went uncelebrated in our usual way, games went unplayed, work went undone, our bustling community was almost at a standstill. The future and life as we knew it, seemed so uncertain. It has been devastating beyond words, physically, mentally, and spiritually. 2020 was not the year we had planned. Like our first settlers in 1720, our limits were pressed, our patience tested, our resolves taxed, but we persevered. We experienced an incredible self awakening, re-shifting our priorities, and reconnecting to people, and the world around us in a way we never knew was possible. It has definitely changed life as we know it, but it has also brought forth such strength and perseverance in each of us that we never knew we had, as a people, and as a community. We came together and we worked together, united in our commitment to survive, doing all we could to help each other and to try to help make things better. Our Pioneer Strength shined like it never did before. Neighbors helping neighbors, businesses and organizations helping and supporting each other, and our community pulling together with the most generous and compassionate outpouring of help, donations, medical supply contributions, device and supplies collections, sewing, mask making and distributing, sandwich and meal preparations and contributions, grocery shopping assistance, buddy check-ins, inspirational calls, messages, pictures, lighting up our windows in support and in remembrance, and such incredible displays of human kindness and compassion unlike anything we have ever seen before.
2020 is going to be an exciting year for our community! It is our Tricentennial, the 300th Anniversary of the arrival of our first settlers in New Providence. We have put together an incredible team of volunteers who along with our borough will be hosting a year-long celebration to mark and give thanks for our 300 Years of Pioneers! A number of very exciting events have been planned and we invite you to participate and help us make it the best year ever in New Providence. Event celebrations will include:
February 22 – Tricentennial Kickoff at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 E. 4th St, 7-9pm
Share light refreshments donated by some of New Providence’s best shops and restaurants. Learn about how New Providence grew and evolved into the great community it is today.
April 25 – Turkey Dinner at the New Providence Presbyterian Church
A catered turkey dinner to honor the original name of our town, “Turkey,” being held at the site, which gave New Providence its current name.
May 25 – New Providence Memorial Day Parade
The Tricentennial Committee will take part in our annual Memorial Day Parade honoring community members and others who have been serving our country from 1720 through 2020.
June 14 – New Providence Heritage Day
Celebrate the history of New Providence from Turkey to today with food, music, contests, games and more.
September 26 – New Providence Fun Day at New Providence High School
An old-fashioned, fun-filled, family-oriented community carnival on the grounds of New Providence High School from 11am to 3pm featuring inflatable rides, games, crafts, fun foods, recreational activities, music, entertainment, and more!
It is going to be a great year!
There is no greater honor for this hometown boy than to serve you as Mayor of our great community. The past four years have been stellar for New Providence. We have made great strides and accomplished many great things together. We are a growing and evolving community with a proud tradition of excellence that has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve, uphold, and represent. Thank you for your faith in me and for your continued support. I would also like to thank my wife and family, friends, and neighbors, and all wives, husbands, families, and friends of all who serve. It is a team effort. Without their support, patience, and sacrifice, we would not be able to serve our community in the capacity we do, so on behalf of all of us here, we thank you.
Together we are at our strongest. Together we are at our best. Great people make a great community, and ours is pretty incredible. 2018 began with an unforgettable blizzard which dumped 23 inches of heavy snow upon us. Downed trees and power lines made transportation almost impossible. Full restoration took long agonizing weeks, but we never lost our resolve. We pulled together with neighbor helping neighbor in the most incredible display of generosity and compassion ever witnessed. Businesses, churches, organizations, the borough, and residents opened their doors and homes to help house, shelter, and feed those of us most deeply impacted. The strength, fortitude, patience, and compassion was beyond compare. I will never forget the kindness of so many and for the exceptional job our borough employees, especially our DPW and Public Safety, and our Emergency Management Team performed, even risking their own safety to help others. Continue reading →
A Banner Year
It has been another banner year for New Providence. Despite the many challenges faced, we had a record number of accomplishments this year. As promised, we have focused and promoted community at every turn, welcoming many new friends and neighbors to our beautiful borough including our new residents at Lantern Hill. We have helped foster inclusivity and promote our pioneer spirit of cooperation by providing many more community gatherings and events with the help and support of our very generous business community, our many organizations and committees including the Lions Club, our PBA, our Community Service Association, our Diversity Committee, our Recreation Department, our Municipal Alliance, our Education Foundation, our Athletic Foundation, and our Scouts, to name only a few, also our Board of Education, our employees, and especially all of our hard working volunteers. Volunteers are the fabric of small town living and the backbone of our community. Without generous donors and dedicated volunteers who continually give selflessly of their time, talent, and support, often thanklessly, we could not provide or do all that we do. Thank you! Continue reading →
New Providence has become synonymous with the word “COMMUNITY”. Community is what we are all about. Neighbors helping neighbors. Residents actively participating in numerous inclusive community events, activities, and drives, giving generously of their time and resource through our many community organizations including CSA, Lions, the New Providence Education and Athletic Foundations, Seniors, the Diversity Committee, the Community Activities Department, and our Scouts among others, all helping and working together to improve the quality of life for all. The Pioneer Spirit lives on!
Volunteers are the backbone of a community, and our signature trademark here in New Providence is VOLUNTEERISM. In 2016, our volunteer participation numbers soared to record highs. Volunteer commitment and dedication were an integral part of all of our community achievements this year. Many new, inviting, and engaging events and activities were added to the borough this year, and would not have even been possible without our dedicated volunteers. It is both heartwarming and gratifying to see such continued outpouring of generosity, kindness, inclusivity, and unity. Continue reading →
What a GREAT year for New Providence! Many years ago, there was a slogan contest held to best describe New Providence. Mrs. Young, of Woodbine Circle, won this contest with this slogan: “NEW PROVIDENCE. NICE PLACE. NICE PEOPLE”. Decades later, this slogan still tells the story of our town and our people. I am happy to report that New Providence had many impressive accomplishments this year, but most outstanding by far is that we really pulled together as a community. We held many community events and activities this year including fundraisers, service, and cultural events that not only were enjoyable, and entertaining, but helpful, educational, and inclusive. Over this past year, I have witnessed such countless acts of kindness and generosity unlike anything I have seen in a very long time. It is truly heartwarming. Neighbors helping neighbors. Residents actively participating in clothing, toy, and food drives, giving generously of their time, their service, their resources, and never asking for any kind of recognition. In fact, many activities are being continually done with little or no recognition at all especially through our CSA, the New Providence Education Foundation, Lions, our Seniors, our Diversity Committee, our Community Activities Department, our Scouts, and our high school students (who have been spotted periodically throughout our borough doing clean ups, and hosting special events for our families and for our seniors). Nothing says ‘community’, and ‘teamwork’, and ‘pioneer spirit’ than seeing our young people working and helping alongside our residents, hand in hand. Yes, New Providence is a unique place because our people are so special. The Pioneer Spirit lives on! Continue reading →
Our Pioneer Spirit
I am very honored, and extremely excited, to be seated in this center seat, especially with such a hard-working, dedicated council whose sole purpose is to help move New Providence forward with prosperity in our pioneer spirit of teamwork and cooperation. Our future is bright with many additions to our community. I have witnessed through my tenure as mayor that teamwork, tenacity, and communication, are the recipe for success.
Many different issues continually face mayor and council; therefore it is imperative to have a dependable and reliable system, trustworthy networks, and accurate information that are received in a very timely manner. Communication is key. Over the years, I have established contacts throughout our federal, state, county, and municipal levels of government, as well as, the private sector and with our business community. This helps us to make educated and well-informed plans and decisions. Municipalities large and small often have similar problems. The Union County League of Municipalities was a venue for local officials to discuss problems, issues, and exchange ideas, programs, and resources. Many of our local mayors are very interested in re-engaging this venture, and I am proud to let you know that New Providence will be leading that charge. Additionally, two former popular programs that were also very successful will be reinstated: “Mayor’s Forum” and “Chat with the Mayor”. The “Mayor’s Forum” is a television program that will be broadcasted our local channels, and designed to showcase different borough departments, volunteer organizations, programs, community highlights, and businesses in our community. “Chat with the Mayor” is a program that will provide our residents an opportunity to informally discuss concerns, ask questions, and have informal conversations about New Providence. I look forward to working closely with all of you to help promote our great community. Continue reading →