Morristown Reflects on 2012, Looks Ahead to New Year

Town's annual reorganization meeting was held on Tuesday.

In a non-election year, much of Tuesday night’s Morristown reorganization was routine, with board appointments and responsibilities for council members remaining mostly as they were in 2012.

Five volunteer firefighters were sworn in, as is the annual custom. With no objections from the other council members in attendance—councilman Kevin Gsell did not arrive until during the regular Town Council meeting—Michelle Dupree Harris was again named council president and Rebecca Feldman was again named council vice president. 2013 will be the pair’s second year’s serving in those roles.

One council member, however, was noticeably absent: longtime member Anthony Cattano Jr., who died in September.

“It was a sad year,” noted Town Clerk Matt Stechauner during his opening remarks. 

Cattano’s passing was not the only former member of Morristown municipal government to be lost in 2012, however, as the clerk read off six names, including two former mayors (David Manahan, 87, and Emilio Gervasio, 102), three former Alderman (Henry Hoyt, 97, Thomas Zennick, 88, and J. Robert Tracey, 87) and Cattano, who was the youngest on the list, at 63.

An extended moment of silence followed.

Mayor Tim Dougherty, following his annual reorganization speech, noted he had been thinking a lot about Cattano leading up to Tuesday night’s reorganization meeting.

However, the mayor—who is expected to run for a second term later this year—focused his speech mostly on the positive aspects of Morristown, including its continued growth and status as a desirable place to live and do business. This included references to several businesses that opened in 2012, approvals for the Speedwell Redevelopment Plan—including the CVS Pharmacy, set to be built at Spring and Speedwell on a former used car lot, and construction of new townhouses on Maple Avenue.

After reading from his prepared speech, Dougherty pointed to Superstorm Sandy in October and the work of everyone on the Morristown payroll as well as its volunteers. “My success only comes on the back of what they do,” he said. “It’s a combined effort of all.

“We seem to be doing pretty good here in Morristown,” he said, noting that despite downed trees, power outages and other inconveniences, this area fared much better than others that are still in recovery.

“Try to keep this in perspective and have some humility in your life,” he said. “This is not about politics, R’s, D’s or I’s. The community is working better as a whole.”

Cletus January 11, 2013 at 04:56 PM
"Government crossing cones"? Lordy, John, what about them gubmint stop signs, red, yellow and green lights, white and yellow lines on the roads and the roads themselves? Not everyone can be self-reliant like you, living in a tree in the woods surviving on pine needles and slow squirrel.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk January 11, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Sorry cletus, If you need cones to cross the road, you can have them. You must be really handicapped. Do you want me to send you some money? That is heart breaking.
Cletus January 11, 2013 at 05:11 PM
John, take a stand already, it's not the cones, it's the evil government ROADS that are to blame. Without the damned things you wouldn't keep getting jaywalking tickets!
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk January 11, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Just don't feel comfortable without a parent figure telling you what to do, right cletus? You should grow up and be an adult one day. It really is not that bad.
Cletus January 11, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Cletus don't subscribe to Freudian theories, John, Cletus obeys only his pet gopher Arlo, who is a Jungian.


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