Just like that, June is here. With spring in full swing, most of us are enjoying planning fun summer events. The anticipation of the end of the school year is upon us. I want to congratulate all of our graduates from high school and wish them the best of luck as they move on to bigger things. Always remember, no matter where you go, you will always be from Heights!
With the summer approaching, so many of our young families look forward to the Summer Rec Program. Councilwoman Kathy Lange and her team have worked tirelessly to put together another great program. The amount of positive feedback we receive from this Program is impressive. Although the Program is completely full already, feel free to call Borough Hall at 547-7164, ext. 36 to sign up in the event there are registrants who cancel. There is always a waiting list but sometimes you can get in if you’re lucky!
Fast approaching will be our Fourth of July celebration which I know so many of us look forward to. Under the leadership of Council President Susan Griffith, this year’s parade and celebration promises to be a great time in Heights. The Parade will proceed down Station Avenue to Tenth Avenue and then back up West High Street ending at Hoff’s Park. As always, there will be lots of entertainment and fun family activities at Hoff’s Park for everyone to enjoy.
Onto the business of the Borough. We have just completed our annual budget process. Councilwoman Jackie Valvardi and CFO Christie Ehret did an excellent job on this time consuming and somewhat cumbersome process. We strive to balance keeping taxes under control while making sure that we provide the level of services necessary to maintain our quality of life. This process involves requests by department heads, careful and thorough reviews at many levels of the needs of the various departments, and a very close look at our property tax rate, which is our primary source of revenue. After that, requests are modified, scrutinized and prioritized so that we can meet our goals. This year we have continued to keep property taxes under control and are able to provide the level of services our residents are accustomed to. Keep an eye out for infrastructure improvements which will include road maintenance. We will also be working hard over the remainder of the year on tree maintenance and tree removals. One of the characteristics we all love about Haddon Heights is the beauty of our tree-lined streets.
Last week I was driving down 295 at night and saw something that caught my eye. As I came near the Devon Avenue underpass, I saw the bright new lights on McCullough Field at our Soccer complex. We are proud to say we got this job done on time and on budget. The fields look terrific too. I have received a lot of very nice comments about how great everything looks down there. This is a great example of how with good planning and careful budgeting, we can accomplish great things for our town. Councilwoman Lange tirelessly led this process, in close collaboration with the Haddon Heights Soccer Club.
I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to thank the many volunteers who make our town a wonderful place to live. From those who serve on our boards, commissions and committees, to those who serve our various civic organizations and everywhere in between, we simply could not function as a borough without you. Your town stands behind you and is always there to help in any way we can. Sometimes, in the course of all of the busy things that we have going on, we forget to stop and say thank you. But it is our volunteers that keep our civic spirit alive and make the town the place we all love to call home.
As always, if you have any issues you would like to address, please do not hesitate to call me or email me at or stop by Borough Hall during my established Mayor’s hours listed on the front page of this edition of the HEIGHTS REPORT. Thank you to you and your family for the opportunity to serve you.
Mayor Jack D. Merryfield