mayor & council
Honorable Michael J. Mahon
A Message from Our Mayor
November / December 2015
Oceanport is a wonderful community. Whether you were born and raised or settled here later in life; you call this beautiful place home. We each develop a sense of concern with the journey ahead, and have strong opinions on the right or wrong path we need to navigate along the way. The Oceanport journey is full of twists and turns. First, we must determine the location and vision for a new Borough Hall to replace the one lost in Sandy. Second, we must resolve the question of a new school and its impact on our property taxes. Third, we must work with FMERA to create the best outcome for Fort Monmouth. Finally, we must solidify our partnership with Monmouth Park Racetrack.
The cost for a new Borough Hall and a new school at the same time has the potential to bankrupt our taxpayers. Happily, FEMA funds obligated for Borough Hall cover 90% of the value of the old building. A new building, sized appropriately, can be rebuilt, newly constructed or purchased with very little cost to the taxpayer. The school is another issue entirely with much depending on whether the percentage of state support is real or fantasy. The public is rightfully concerned and hopeful the Board of Education will respond to calls for inclusion and transparency while partnering with the governing body for the benefit of all residents.
How the impacts of growth at Fort Monmouth are managed is a question for the short term and the long term. The reuse plan and the market place will determine the pace and each potential reuse. Will the vision plan provide a suitable reference to judge all proposals or will the market place seek constant changes rendering the current plan obsolete. Will anything be a certainty, or will FMERA and the Borough consider all possibilities? What is the impact on schools? How will the statutory and court ordered Affordable Housing requirements be addressed. These and many other factors will weigh on each decision.
Monmouth Park Racetrack remains the one constant is our community and a partnership with roots dating back to 1874. Its importance to our past, present and future cannot be overstated. As the largest taxpayer, Monmouth Park’s economic value is a cornerstone of the municipal budget and its most fragile. The relationship with management, the Horsemen, and the NJSEA as the property owners is a dynamic one requiring attention, support, cooperation, advocacy, and protection. Preservation of this historic gem has been a source of great pride and motivation. A strong, active relationship with Monmouth Park is essential to the future health of horseracing and our community.
Finally, the voters have spoken. My time as your mayor is at an end. I have enjoyed the last eight years serving this community. I am proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved and give credit to the many participants that helped along the way. My hair is grayer than it was in 2007 when you elected me Mayor at the age of 47, and much grayer since I was elected to council in 2001. Much has changed in this Borough and I have worked hard to protect, to preserve, and to improve it. Thank you all so much for the opportunity to echo your voice in local government and the honor to serve Oceanport as Mayor. Best wishes to the Oceanport Family for the approaching holidays and may God bless you all!
Honorable Michael J. Mahon
Mayor, Oceanport Borough, NJ