State of the Borough

2019 State of the Borough

Council President, members of the Borough Council, members of my administration, dignitaries and guests.

Let me start my remarks by addressing the most recent newspaper articles about the re-evaluations in the Borough. In 2019 we will be doing a Borough-wide reassessment of property, both residential, commercial and industrial. Assessors will personally visit and make notes both inside and outside of the properties. The properties will then be given a value based on current market values. Presently our assessed value is approximately 50% of market value. To judge if your taxes will increase or decrease, double your current assessed value and ask yourself whether you would see for that price. Keep in mind that if property values double, the tax rate gets cut in half - thereby keeping taxes the same. In a typical revaluation one third of property taxes go up, one third stays the same and one third goes down. Properties that traditionally go up are properties where improvements were done without permits or no improvements were made and property values have increased. Please do not stress out until you know your results. By the way, if you don't allow the assessors into your property, they will assume the property has features that it doesn't, like fireplaces and golden plumbing fixtures. The goal is that everyone pays their fair share, no more - no less.

This year I am asking the Board of Recreation to institute background checks on all youth coaches, which may include fingerprints. The cost will be borne by the Borough and not the sports organization or the individual coach. The Board will formulate policy as to how often and what would exclude someone from coaching. All of this is being done to protect our children, and I believe the inconvenience of going through the background check will be minor compared to the fact that we will know who are coaching our children.

By now I hope you have had a chance to visit our new website www.hawthornenj.org. The redesigned site is user friendly and has a lot of important information. In addition, please sign up for Nixle messages and alerts. We have begun talks with Burbio about adding Hawthorne to their site which will enable you to customize a calendar with events of your choosing.

Last fall I formed a pool advisory committee, and there are plans for bathroom improvements and a new slide for this year, as well as some other changes. Our aim is to make your swimming environment as pleasant as possible.

Our Band shell continues to be the centerpiece of summer entertainment. The events are funded through donations; the events have been great and the feedback has been tremendous.

Hawthorne Day continues to grow and is a great community event at no expense to the community.

I couldn't do what I do without the great people who work and volunteer for the Borough. There are too many to name, but know that I am grateful for all you do.

Also, thank you to our first responders, police, fire and EMS. You make it possible for residents to relax knowing someone is watching and protecting us.

Finally, a thank you to the Borough Council. We have worked together since 2008 to make Hawthorne a great place to live and work. You  have shared my vision, and I trust we will continue to work well together. Thank you, and God bless you all, and may God bless America.

Mayor Richard S Goldberg