Government

Mayor’s Office

Under Vernon’s mayor-council form of government, the mayor is elected directly by the voters and serves as the township’s chief executive. In this capacity, the mayor oversees the day-to-day operations of Vernon, enforces all ordinances, appoints department heads and prepares a budget, all with the assistance of a business administrator.

The mayor attends council meetings and takes part in its discussions but does not have a vote, except when a tie vote in filling a council vacancy occurs.

About Mayor Harry Shortway

Mayor Harry Shortway
Mayor Shortway

Mayor Harry Shortway was sworn in on January 1, 2016 for a four-year term and is the second directly elected mayor of Vernon under the township’s new form of government.

Mayor Shortway graduated from Ridgewood High and resided in West Milford before moving to Vernon in 1992, where he and his wife of 34 years, Cherie, have made a loving home for their four children. Harry and Cherie are also the grandparents of four wonderful grandchildren.

Mayor Shortway earned a BA in criminal justice studies from Alfred University in 1979 where he played lacrosse and earned varsity letters in his junior and senior years for his efforts. This began a life-long love affair with lacrosse.

Mayor Shortway has coached a number of different lacrosse teams, winning several league championships. Mayor Shortway, personally, has also won several awards including the Pooley Conference Coach of the Year, Herald Coach of the Year and Rizk Conference Coach of the Year among many others. Mayor Shortway currently serves as both the Vernon Township High School boys varsity head lacrosse coach and Vernon PAL volunteer youth girls lacrosse coach. He is also the director of Mad Dawg Lacrosse.

Mayor Shortway has always had an interest in government and in 1982 became a police officer in Ridgewood; in 1988 he transferred to the West Milford Police Department where he served until 2003. During his law enforcement career, Mayor Shortway earned 7 police valor awards and 70 letters of commendation as well as MADD Police Officer of the Year, Upper Greenwood Lake First Aid Squad Officer of the Year, and UGL Volunteer Fire Department Officer of the Year.

In 2004, Mayor Shortway became a certified social studies teacher and taught at Jefferson High School until 2011. From 2010 to 2011, Mayor Shortway served as deputy mayor and a council member to Vernon Township. Mayor Shortway also worked as an investigator for Skyland’s Medical Review and as a security officer at the Vernon Township High School.

Mayor Shortway is currently a member of several organizations including the NJSIAA Lacrosse Coaches Association, Police Benevolent Association, NJ Police Honor Legion and US Lacrosse.