The major highlights of the Allendale Borough Council’s meeting included the commemoration of the borough’s first Armed Forces Day, the honoring of local heroes, the swearing-in of new police officers, and the live broadcasting of the meeting on Facebook for the first time.
The day was dotted with poignant moments of recognition and gratitude, as local military families were honored in a moving ceremony. 23 local military families were recognized, led by Mayor Amy Wilczynski and military parent Joe Hart. “Our military members do not swear allegiance to an individual, group, or political party – their oath is to the United States Constitution,” Mayor Wilczynski stated, emphasizing the significance of the occasion.
In a touching personal account, the Mayor revealed her father’s admiration for Colonel Richard C. Jackson, an Allendale native with an extensive military service record, including work with the U.S. Marine Corps and assignments in Iraq, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. Colonel Jackson reciprocated the admiration, expressing his affection for Allendale and describing it as “special and unique” for service members.
In a surprising twist, it was disclosed that two Allendale servicemen had a serendipitous meeting in Okinawa, Japan, underscoring the unbreakable bond of the Allendale community, irrespective of geographical boundaries.
Council members engaged in fruitful discussions on diverse subjects. Among other matters, they discussed budgetary issues, highlighting a significant achievement of a zero percent municipal tax increase. Councilman Daloisio reported on the completion of a variance package to simplify the process for residents interacting with the land use board.
Further, Mayor Wilczynski shone light on significant projects including the 220 project and water sale. Councilman Yaccarino announced that Crestwood Lake would be opened earlier to accommodate requests from families, signaling the council’s keenness to respond to the needs of its constituents.
The Borough’s dedication to honoring the past was seen in its homage to the late Stiles Thomas, an Allendale resident whose contributions were profound. He had been instrumental in converting Crestwood Lake into a swimming facility and securing funding to purchase the Celery Farm. A proclamation was passed declaring June 17th, 2023 as Stiles Thomas Day, with plans to place a memorial bronze bluebird at the Allendale library in his honor.
The meeting concluded with the swearing-in of three new police officers: Christian Michael Moore, Justin Peter Cougarich, and Dimitri Vincent Ford.