Residents of Lacey:
It has a been a very emotional first quarter of 2022. We entered 2022 with hope and optimism that the 2020 coronavirus pandemic was behind us, however we as a governing body and as a community were faced with another challenge, the loss of our fellow committee member and Mayor Nick Juliano. So here we are in the first quarter of a new year, having gathered with our respective families only three months ago on New Year’s Eve to curse 2021 and to say good riddance to a difficult year, the same routine we followed last year and the year before that and the year before that and so on. It seems that our annual message, starting with New Year’s 2012 (two months after SuperStorm Sandy) often followed that theme, saying goodbye to a rough year and having high hopes for the new year. I guess that is not a bad way to approach life, using the lessons of the past year to drive your hopes and dreams for the coming year. It truly puts life into perspective and how precious time is. As we re-structure and move forward, it is truly bittersweet that I fulfill the role of Mayor for the remainder of 2022.
I am proud to say Lacey Township is my home. The cornerstone to that pride comes from you, the people who live and work in our community. We are people who care about one another and work hard to build not just a place to live, but a community in which we can learn from and share with one another. We strive to be better than we were yesterday, with an eye always on the new challenges of tomorrow. We ask you to pause a moment and remember what it means to be a Lacey citizen. Think upon the many positives in our community and the people who make us great. Perhaps if we can focus upon those things, we can more clearly see the way to a peaceful, respectful, and safe outcome for us all. I am proud to be a Lacey citizen, and I thank you for helping make Lacey truly, the Town that Cares.
We in Lacey are blessed with a strong, positive, and citizen-focused work force. Our Police Department whose leader, Chief Michael DiBella, places the highest priority upon officers and police dispatchers being a visible, tangible, active part of the community. For LTPD, "Community Policing" isn't just a fancy term, it's a way of life and the foundation for how they operate on a daily basis. Our officers are not just "in" the community, they are part of the community. It is those relationships, built upon mutual trust and mutual respect, that help to keep us safe and secure in our town. Our Public Works department prides themselves on the beauty and safety of our town, providing outstanding service grooming our parks, preparing our sport fields, maintaining our facilities, managing solid waste and recycling collection, cleaning, paving, and plowing streets and roads, maintaining our beaches, ensuring the safety of our municipal fleet and offering the best recycling center in the County for the residents. Our Recreation Department is passionate about providing ample activities for all ages of our community. Our Director is constantly planning and juggling dates to provide a fun-filled calendar to our residents and visitors so we can stay close to home for little to no cost to our participants. Lets not forget the Administrative staff in our municipal offices of the Assessor, Collector, Finance, Police, IT, Court, Building, Zoning, Registrar, Clerk and Administration. They are the support staff that makes the Township a well oiled machine. They work behind the scenes answering your calls, addressing your needs and filling your permits and forms to give you the best experience in the community. Our staff members receive accolades for the respect and responsiveness they provide to the public.
Are we perfect in how we handle our calls for service? No, we aren't, for the simple reason that we are all human. We take responsibility for our actions, we own the issues, and we try constantly to learn from today so tomorrow will be better. We're never going to please 100% of the people - that's just not possible. And some people we please today will get angry with us tomorrow. We are subject to constant criticism, and almost everything we do will be wrong in someone’s opinion. We understand and respect that, just as we respect that every person we meet has things happening in their personal lives we can't possibly know or understand. Just like everyone, though, our staff, our Police and our volunteer Emergency services of Fire and First Aid do their best, day in and day out, to be fair, honest, transparent, and most of all caring.
Serving in local office can be rewarding and productive. For many, it is more important than being in Congress or the state legislature because the local municipal level is the real world where elected officials can make good things happen for their fellow citizens.
I look forward to a fulfilling, productive year to build on our infrastructure, to encourage and welcome business growth and to continue to show our pride and support the residents of the community in the most efficient and cost effective way.