A Message from the Mayor

5/21/20 - According to the numbers supplied by the county last night in Washington Township, we have had approximately 98 confirmed positive Covid-19 cases. We continue to update the confirmed cases number on the website a couple of times per week. The Town Website and Facebook pages contain a great deal of Covid-19 specific resources and data.
 
Town Hall continues to be closed to non-employees. However, we are waiting for the protective equipment ordered to arrive to ensure the safety to the public and employees. As soon as it arrives and is installed, Town Hall will start a gradual reopening. It will start by appointment only visits. All Town Buildings are currently and will continue to be professionally sanitized every week.
 
I am happy to announce that the Household Bulk Debris program will resume on June 1st. If you see the DPW crew out, please give them a wave to show your appreciation to them.
 
The Library, the Senior Center and all Senior activities, Municipal Court, Spring Rec Sports including the Summer Rec program remain closed. It was a tough decision for all involved after the fantastic year we had in 2019 to cancel the popular Summer Rec program for 2020. We could not adhere to the recommendations put out by the CDC. The program will be back better than ever next year.
 
All township parks and playgrounds are closed or suspended until further notice. I would like nothing better than to reopen them. However, social gatherings and contact sports are still not permitted under the Governors Executive order. The topic also came up in my conference call this week with my fellow Pascack Valley Mayors. Those that have reopened their parks are seeing many out of town people congregating and taking part in organized sports, causing their Police Departments to have to interact with people to break them up. When we are able to reopen the parks to organized sports, I am happy to announce that we will have two new basketball courts at Memorial and Gardner fields. That rehab project will take place in June.
 
The new drop box outside of Town Hall is working very well for depositing all tax payments, fees, correspondence, etc. for the Township departments.  Please do not leave cash in the mailbox. 
 
Just a reminder that the grace period for quarterly property taxes ends June 1st. Any taxes not paid by that date will incur interest from May 1st.
 
Once again, I cannot thank all of our first responders enough, both paid and volunteer, for stepping up during this crisis.
 
A great deal of our local merchants are up and running with revised hours and services. I have spoken to many of them and they appreciate your past, current, and future patronage.  Please give them your support whenever possible.    
 
As always but especially during these times, be safe and kind to each other. 
 


5/1/20 - I have consulted with the Township Police Department and Office of Emergency Management as well as the Mayor of Westwood and Superintendent of the Westwood Regional School District regarding the opening of the town parks. The decision was made to keep the parks closed until further notice. The school properties will remain closed also. The basis for the decision is as follows:

Governor Murphy's Executive Order #133 specifically prohibits and continues the closure of park facilities including picnic areas, playgrounds, exercise stations and equipment, pavilions, restrooms, and other buildings. It further continues the ban in parks of organized or contact activities or sports and gatherings of any kind. The townships parks differ from state and county parks in that, for the most part, they are specifically designed for the types of activities that are still banned by the governors directives. I realize this creates a continued inconvenience on some residents. However, I would like all to know this decision was made by placing the utmost priority on the continued health and safety of the Township of Washington and its residents.



4/14/20 - I apologize that you haven’t heard from me during the past two weeks. I had two deaths in the family during the past two weeks.

As your Mayor and fellow resident, I want to say that I am proud of our town and our citizens’ response to following the guidelines recommended by public health professionals. In Washington Township we have had approximately 72 confirmed positive Covid-19 cases.  Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and do your best to pay your respect to them by continuing to follow the social guidelines and keeping yourself, your family and the public safe. It is working. We will update the confirmed cases number on the website a couple of times per week. The Town Website and Facebook pages contain a great deal of Covid-19 specific resources and data.

Town Hall continues to be closed to non-employees. The staff in Town Hall are working in the office two days a week and remotely three days a week. The building is closed to all employees on Fridays to further provide the building with a 3-day Cooling Off Period.  All Town Buildings are being professionally sanitized every week.

The DMF staff are working staggered hours and shifts. 

I’m pleased to report that the Garden & Grass Collection program began last week as scheduled.  If you are normally scheduled for a Friday pick-up (Zone 5) – your pick-up day will now be on Thursdays. Due to variations in staffing, if the department doesn’t get to your residence on the assigned day, they will get there the next Town Hall business day.

The DMF yard, Household Bulk Debris program, the Library, the Senior Center and all Senior activities, Municipal Court, Spring Rec Sports, all township parks and playgrounds are closed or suspended until further notice. 

There is a new drop box outside of Town Hall for depositing all tax payments, fees, correspondence, etc for the Township departments.  Please do not leave cash in the mailbox. 

Our faithful first-response volunteers continue to impress me with their dedication to serve.  The Fire Department is still currently available 24 / 7 to handle their usual calls and the Ambulance Corp is still in service whenever possible.  If you should find yourself experiencing mild symptoms associated with Covid-19 please contact your healthcare provider First - before calling emergency services.  Medical practices have all necessary arrangements in place to treat you remotely without putting anyone at risk. 

On a happy note, the Easter Bunny was driven around town by the Fire Department this past Saturday April 11. I heard from many residents that it was very uplifting for the children and adults this year.

Many of our local merchants that fall within the Governor’s definition of essential business are up and running with revised hours and services.  They have taken precautions to keep both you and them safe and I’m certain they appreciate your patronage whenever possible.  There is a page on the Town Website listing the current status of many of our merchants. 

Finally, be safe and be kind to each other.  The human spirit always triumphs, and we will get through this.  I wish you all well. 



4/6/20 - This month’s report is all information relevant to the current Covid-19 Pandemic which is affecting our lives in an unprecedented way.  As your mayor and fellow resident, I want to say that I am proud of our town and our citizens’ response to following the guidelines recommended by public health professionals.  The sad news to report is that in Washington Township we have had approximately 51 confirmed positive Covid-19 cases and 5 deaths.  Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and do your best to pay your respect to them by continuing to follow the social guidelines and keeping yourself safe. 

As far as town services, here is the most current information:  The staff in Town Hall are working in the office two days a week and remotely three days a week.  This has been the routine for a couple of weeks now and it seems to be working well for everyone.  It’s keeping our employees safe and the town running effectively. As a reminder, the Town Hall building is closed to non-employees.  There is a new mail/drop box outside for depositing all tax payments, fees, correspondence, etc for the Township.  Please do not leave cash in the mail/drop box. 

All Town Buildings are being professionally sanitized every week. Town Hall is also closed to all employees on Fridays to further provide the building with a 3-day Cooling Off Period. 

Our faithful first-response volunteers continue to impress me with their dedication to serve.  The Fire Department is still currently available 24 / 7 to handle their usual calls and the Ambulance Corp is still in service whenever possible.  If you should find yourself experiencing mild symptoms associated with Covid-19 please contact your healthcare provider First - before calling emergency services.  Medical practices have all necessary arrangements in place to treat you remotely without putting anyone at risk. 

On a happy note, the Easter Bunny will be driven around town by the Fire Department this Saturday April 11 from 11am to 4pm.  While there won’t be any candy given away, there will be lots of distance greetings for people waving from their doorways. 

Onto DMF … The DMF staff are working staggered hours and shifts. It’s that time of year again and I’m pleased to report that the Garden & Grass Collection program began today as scheduled.  No excuses to not spend some quarantine time outside in your own yard getting some exercise and fresh air.   PLEASE NOTE that if you are normally scheduled for a Friday pick-up (Zone 5) – your pick-up day will now be on Thursdays.

Household Bulk Debris program has been POSTPONED until further notice due to staggered shifts and scheduling considerations. 
The DMF yard is closed until further notice. 

As is the Library, the Senior Center and all Senior activities, Municipal Court, Spring Rec Sports, All township parks and playgrounds. A reminder to everyone about social distancing yourself from others.  We all understand how trying a time this is and we are all missing our “normal” social contact.  Times like this do bring out the creativity in people and I encourage you to find new ways of interacting with friends and family that don’t violate social distancing recommendations.  Our police department would much rather come by your house to give your child a birthday shout-out than to have to ask you to disperse.  Please take what’s best for everyone into account and we will all get through this. 
 
Local businesses and merchants …….

Many of our local merchants that fall within the Governor’s definition of “essential” business are up and running with revised hours and services.  They have taken precautions to keep both you and them safe and I’m certain they appreciate your patronage whenever possible.  There is a page on the Town Website listing the current status of many of our merchants. 

Speaking of the Town Website – it contains a great deal of Covid-19 specific resources and data.  In addition to what I’ve mentioned, there are links to county and state websites where you can obtain accurate up-to-date information and notices. 

Finally, be safe and be kind.  The human spirit always triumphs, and we will get through this.  I wish you all well. 
 

 
3/25/20 -  I hope everyone is doing well during these trying times. I am proud to report that I have heard from many people since the start of this crisis, and I can say that our residents are truly the best! Many are reaching out to their neighbors in need and offering help in any way possible while maintaining their best CDC practices and keeping social distance. I’ve seen many examples of people helping people on some of the Facebook pages that our Town residents put information out on.
 
I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure the residents that myself and the administrator, as well as the heads of the emergency services, office of emergency management, and all Town employees are in constant communication with one another and our counterparts at the county and state level. All appropriate measures are being implemented to manage the township through this crisis. As of this moment we have 9 confirmed cases and unfortunately 1 fatality in Washington Township. While I am realistic that this number may continue to rise, I will hope and pray with all of you that it will be minimal and that those directly affected will be ok.
 
We will continue to update the Townships information sources. So please consult the townships website and Facebook pages for the most updated information. We are making use of the Swiftreach telephone, text and email service to disseminate more information. If you aren’t signed up for this service, please go to the townships website and sign up. 
 
You can reach out to me any time through my email address with any questions or concerns you may have.
 
Stay safe! Practice social distancing! Stay calm and remember we will get through this together!
 


 

3/13/20 - The safety of our residents is our top priority and a declaration of a National Emergency regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a matter that we are taking very seriously here in Washington Township.

We have been consistently meeting to educate our staff as well as to carefully receive, discuss and implement state mandated instructions.

The current state of emergency and health crisis facing our nation has led us to the following changes which went into effect at 4PM on March 13th and until further notice:

  • The municipal building is closed to the public. However, municipal functions will still be operational and borough employees will be available via phone or email.
  • All Township parks and fields will be closed to organized and non-organized sporting and private events.
  • All Child and Senior Recreation programs are cancelled until further notice.
  • The Township Library will be closed until further notice.
  • Please check with your House of Worship regarding potential cancelling of services.
  • For additional and updated information please visit the Township website at www.twpofwashington.us.


WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF, YOUR COMMUNITY AND ITS FIRST RESPONDERS FROM THE FURTHER SPREAD OF Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus spreads through contact with respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. You should be using the same prevention methods as you would to avoid a common cold or the flu. The best ways to protect yourself include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Try to keep 6 feet away.
  • Stay home from school or work when you are sick.


Because it is still cold and flu season urgent care centers continue to see a significant number of patients with symptoms like fever, cough and body aches. Right now, if you’re feeling ill, it is still much more likely to be a cold or the flu rather than the coronavirus. As with the flu, most people who get coronavirus only experience mild viral symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle pain or weakness, and fatigue, and will experience a complete recovery.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS

If you are in respiratory distress, call 911. If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms of respiratory infection, call Your primary care physician. Do not call for an emergency transport.

We encourage residents to remain calm, kind and mindful to others in need (check on your elderly neighbors) and use the following resources from the New Jersey and New York Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prepare and prevent the spread of infection.

NJ Department of Health:
• 24-hour public hotline: 1-800-222-1222
• Website: https://www.nj.gov/health/…/topics/covid2019_resources.shtml

NY Department of Health:
• Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
• Website: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Your cooperation at this time is imperative while we manage to get through this crisis together.

As always, I encourage you to reach out to my office and staff if you have any questions or concerns and remember that kindness and common sense go a long way. I wish all township residents the very best in health, a positive attitude and a strong sense of community as we get through this together!

Sincerely,
Mayor Peter Calamari
mayor@twpofwashington.us