Monthly Archives for March 2020

Vernon Township Mayor’s Updated Statement on the Coronavirus

Posted: March 31, 2020

Vernon Family, this is one of my saddest COVID-19 updates yet, because I must report to you that Vernon Township has had its first COVID-19 related death—a 63-year-old male.

In addition, there was one other COVID-19 related death in our county—a 75-year-old male from Sparta.

This gives our county a total of five such deaths.

Vernon Township also had two more confirmed COVID-19 cases—a 49-year-old male and a 57-year-old female. This brings our total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 16. While we have the largest population in the county (24,000 residents), at this time we don’t have the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county; that unfortunate title goes to our neighbor Sparta (20,000 residents) with 24 cases.

Let me use this opportunity to address four COVID-19 related questions that have come my way over the past few days:

1. Through the resources of the Vernon Police Department, I checked into the allegation of a Zumba class being conducted at the Minerals Sports Club in violation of the governor’s Executive Order No. 107. The Facebook post concerning this class is probably related to the instructor’s current live streaming of his Zumba class—the Minerals Sports Club is fully closed; there is no exercise or other normal activity being conducted at the Minerals Sports Club.

2. I have no authority at this time to prevent individuals, whose primary residences are in NY City or other locations, from coming to Vernon and living in second homes that they own. The governor has “urged” individuals to stay at their primary residences, and has specifically urged them not to leave their primary residences for the purpose of moving into those second homes/summer/temporary residences that they own in places like Vernon or in shore towns.

It’s unfortunate that many individuals have not heeded the governor’s urging. However, unless some law is changed or some legal directive is issued, I don’t have the authority to prevent individuals from occupying those part-time/temporary homes that they own in Vernon. Nor do I have the authority to remove individuals from their part-time/temporary homes.

3. For those of you who have questions concerning COVID-19 related symptoms, or about if/how/where you might get tested for the COVID-19 virus, you should contact the COVID-19 call center at 1-800-962-1253. The call center is open 24/7.

Individuals who need specific medical advice about COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider.

4. These are stressful times, and individuals who may need counseling, emotional support and/or information and assistance in getting behavioral health services for yourself and/or a loved one can call the toll-free, confidential COVID-19 help line at 1-866-202-HELP (4357).

This coronavirus crisis has brought a lot of unexpected things our way. These are not the best of times, and I don’t believe that things always happen for the best. However, I do believe that it’s possible to make the best out of those things that do happen.

Let’s make the best of this situation in which we find ourselves by continuing to take care of each other—#VernonCares; and by continuing to pull together to shortening this virus’ life by reducing/preventing its spread—#VernonStrong.

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

2020 Proposed Municipal Budget Online

Posted: March 31, 2020

Mayor Howard Burrell has made the 2020 proposed municipal budget, which was introduced at the March 30, 2020 council meeting, available for review.

The township council public hearing date for the adoption of the 2020 budget is April 27, 2020.

Vernon Township Mayor’s Updated Statement on the Coronavirus

Posted: March 29, 2020

Vernon Family, I communicate to you for the second day in a row with news that probably does not surprise you—as it does not surprise me. The news is that I have just been informed by the Sussex County Health Department that on today, March 29, 2020, three new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Vernon Township. These cases are a 46-year-old male, a 49-year-old male, and a 63-year-old female.

These new cases bring our town’s total up to 11.

As I said, these new cases do not surprise me, because COVID-19 has been spreading with exponential growth throughout the United States; in fact, our country now has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world.

Until I see scientific/medical evidence that we as a town, a county, a state and a nation have:

  • Drastically slowed the rate of spread of this virus;
  • Dealt with our nation’s dire shortages of medical and personal protection supplies, as well as supplies/equipment needed to adequately diagnose this COVID-19 virus; and…
  • Prepared our health care system to deal with the current and on-coming surges in COVID-19 patients;

I will not relax the one tool that has proven to reduce/prevent the spread of this virus—i.e., SOCIAL DISTANCING—nor will I be patient or forgiving of those who blatantly, arrogantly and/or uncaringly ignore this practice in our township.

This is a crisis, and not a joke, and we should all start acting with an understanding of that fact.

I know and understand that we feel like this coronavirus has taken away many of the choices we have in the way that we live. However, there are two primary choices that we always have in life; and those are to either accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.

Let’s accept the responsibility for changing the spread of this virus by practicing social distancing, avoiding large crowds and gatherings, practicing good hand hygiene, and staying home if we are sick. KEEP THE FAITH!

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Vernon Township Mayor’s Updated Statement on the Coronavirus

Posted: March 27, 2020

Vernon Family, I have just finished participating in another phone conference meeting with Sussex County mayors and the Sussex County Health Department.

Since my last update on March 25, Sussex County has reported 40 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases. Three of those additional cases were Vernon residents—a 33-year-old female, a 76-year-old male and an 81-year-old male.

So far, the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sussex County by town are Branchville, Green, Montague, Ogdensburg, Lafayette, and Sandyston with 1 each; Andover, Hamburg, Hampton, Fredon and Stanhope with 2 each; Franklin with 3; Byram with 4; Frankford and Vernon with 5 each; Hardyston and Hopatcong with 6 each; Newton and Wantage with 7 each; and Sparta with 13.

This brings our county’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 72.

I want to use this update to address two COVID-19 related issues that have been the subject of many of the e-mails and phone calls that I have received this past week, plus much of this week’s Facebook traffic—and that’s (1) the lack of social distancing by walkers on the boardwalk section of the Appalachian Trail in our town, and (2) the lack of social distancing by those (almost all young people) who have chosen to play the types of games/participate in the types of activities that don’t allow social distancing.

1. The Lack of Social Distancing by Walkers on the Boardwalk Section of the Appalachian Trail in Our Town

As I stated in a previous update, my drives around selected sections of our town revealed that a large number of individuals that are walking those portions of the Appalachian Trail that are in our municipality are not practicing social distancing. This disturbs me because I believe that this lack of social distancing works counter to our efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve by preventing/limiting its spread.

The Appalachian Trail is under the authority of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and I as a local mayor have no authority, on my own, to close it or prevent individuals from walking/hiking it. However, I am pleased to report that our close work with The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the New Jersey State Park Service has produced positive results—effective at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2020 the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the New Jersey State Park Service will be closing those portions of the Appalachian Trail that run through our town. They will close these portions by obstructing the entrance with snow fencing and a message board.

You and I know that there will be some individuals who will still walk the Appalachian Trail, and will do so in groups that are not consistent with social distancing—there has always been, and will always be, people who won’t act in the best interest of our society as a whole; they only care about what they want to do.

Vernon Township has taken action to discourage individuals from walking the Appalachian Trail boardwalk by putting up no parking signs on Route 517 in the area near the boardwalk.

2. The Lack of Social Distancing by Those (Almost All Young People) Who Have Chosen to Play the Types of Games/Participate in the Types of Activities That Don’t Allow Social Distancing

A key factor that’s causing many of the young people in Vernon, as well as many young people in other parts of the world, to ignore the recommended actions for preventing/stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the fact that they feel invincible, which they are not. As I also remember, I felt that way when I was a teenager/young adult.

New evidence from Europe and the U.S. suggests that younger adults aren’t as impervious to COVID-19 as originally thought.

In Italy, the hardest hit country in Europe, almost a quarter of the nearly 28,000 COVID-19 patients are between the ages of 19 and 50. Similar trends have been seen in the U.S. Among nearly 2,500 of the first COVID-19 cases in the U.S., 705 were aged 20 to 44, according to the CDC. Between 15% and 20% eventually ended up in the hospital, including as many as 4% who needed intensive care.

Here in Sussex County, we have already had 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases involving individuals in ages that range from 19-35—18% of the county’s total.

It’s up to us/it’s our responsibility to talk to our young people, and to behave in a way, that will make them understand the seriousness of the challenge and danger that we face during this pandemic.

To discourage/prevent group gatherings and non-social distancing activities in Maple Grange Park, I have:

  • Had all playground equipment roped off, and have posted signs stating that the playground is closed.
  • Posted new signs (today) near the playing fields/basketball court directing individuals to practice social distancing, and advising them that if they don’t, I will have no choice but to close the park.

I visited the park at three different times today, and found it to be highly used by individuals of all ages. The walking paths, playing fields and the basketball court were all being used, however, they all were being used in accordance with the social distance guidelines. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Maple Grange is a beautiful facility that’s widely used by citizens of all age groups, and I don’t want the ill-guided actions of a few individuals to result in this facility being closed to the majority that need and use this facility as a physical, mental and emotional outlet during this stressful time.

On today, the Sussex County Health Department announced that our county had the first individual to pass away as a result of the COVID-19 virus—a Newton resident that passed away two days after being admitted to Newton Medical Center.

Let’s look out for each other, and DO THE RIGHT THING!

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Vernon Township Mayor’s Updated Statement on the Coronavirus

Posted: March 25, 2020

Vernon Family, I had hoped that I would not have to give you another Coronavirus update this soon, however, today the Sussex County Health Department informed me that there had been another 10 Sussex County residents who had tested positive for the Coronavirus, and that one of those individuals was a 64-year-old female Vernon resident.

The other nine new confirmed cases are in Newton, Wantage, Sparta, Sandyston, and Hampton with one each; with Frankford and Hardyston having two.

This brings our county’s total number of cases to 32.

While I don’t like hearing this news, I am never the less not at all surprised—as I have previously said, there are significant increases in Coronavirus cases throughout our nation and our state.

Of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities, Vernon Township has a larger population than 467 or 82% of them. That fact, combined with the fact that over 60% of the approximate 19k workers age 16 years and older commute out of Vernon for work to some of the Coronavirus “hot spots” means that we will likely get our share of cases.

At this point in time, there is no vaccine to protect us against the Coronavirus and no medications approved to treat it. However, what has been proven to prevent/limit the spread of this virus is (1) practicing social distancing, (2) avoiding large crowds and gatherings, (3) practicing good hand hygiene, and (4) staying home if you are sick.

Most of us who are alive today have never experienced conditions like those that have been forced on us by this Coronavirus but I ask you to join me in keeping your personal hope, along with the hope of our town, our county, our state our nation and the world alive. For hope is the mode via which we transport ourselves from fear to courage.

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Vernon Township Mayor’s Updated Statement on the Coronavirus

Posted: March 24, 2020

Vernon Family, the number of reported Coronavirus cases throughout our nation and our state is rising quickly. There is both increased and ongoing spread in most communities.

During today’s 4:00 p.m. phone conference call between the Sussex County Health Department and Sussex County mayors, we were advised that there are seven new confirmed Coronavirus cases in Sussex County, which increases our county’s total number from 15 to 22. The seven new confirmed cases are in Branchville, Hamburg, Stanhope, Frankford and Hardyston with one each; and Sparta with two. There is still only one confirmed case in our town.

However, we should not become overconfident or complacent in terms of our practice of behaviors that have been proven to flatten the Coronavirus curve by preventing/limiting its spread—i.e., practicing social distancing, avoiding large crowds and gatherings, practicing good hand hygiene and staying home if we are sick.

Due to the limited number of Coronavirus test kits, health officials have recommended that individuals with no Coronavirus symptoms not be tested. Additionally, they recommend that individuals with mild symptoms stay home if they are sick, and follow the guidance of their health care provider.

If any Vernon resident or other member of the public has Coronavirus related questions, you can contact the Sussex County Division of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 973.579.9488 to speak with a Sussex County Division of Health staff member or a Sussex County Medical Reserve Corp volunteer. The hotline’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Vernon residents can find additional information at the Sussex County Coronavirus website.

While chance plays some part in all of our lives, history has proven that it’s CHOICE, and not simple chance, that is the primary influencing force in our lives. Let’s continue to make the kind of good, smart, safe and healthy CHOICES that will contribute to our town, our county, our state, our nation and the world ending this Coronavirus crisis!

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Nominating Petitions for June Primary

Posted: March 19, 2020

Pursuant to Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 105, effective immediately as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, candidates can now obtain signatures electronically on a nominating petition. Please be advised that these are only supplemental signature pages. A candidate/designee will still need to complete all of the required documents (i.e. Oath of Allegiance, Certificate of Acceptance, etc.) All of the statutory requirements will remain the same.

Although things are changing rapidly by the day, the deadline for submitting nominating petitions for municipal office and county committee still stands at Monday, March 30, 2020 by 4:00 p.m. Currently, the municipal building is closed to all public access.

Guidance When Submitting Nominating Petitions

Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.

Vernon Township Mayor’s Updated Statement on the Coronavirus

Posted: March 18, 2020

During each of my communications concerning this Coronavirus crisis that our municipality, our county, our state, our nation and the world is currently enduring, I have committed to you that I would keep you informed—it’s my way of fulfilling my responsibility to do all that I can to the residents of Vernon safe.

It is with regret that in this communication I must inform you that for the first time in Sussex County, two individuals have been confirmed to have the Coronavirus. And, one of those individuals is a Vernon Township resident.

This information came to me today at about 3:15 p.m. from the Sussex County Health Department. For understandable privacy health reasons, the information that I was given was limited. What I know is that the individual is a 53-year-old male who has been self-quarantined for the past seven days, and he remains self-quarantined. He started this self-quarantining process after he was exposed to another individual at his job (outside of the county) who had been confirmed as having the virus. The county obtained the results of his Coronavirus test from his health care provider.

Our town government does not have, nor do we seek, any contact or other information concerning this individual; all contact and/or information concerning this or any other Coronavirus case will be through the Sussex County Health Department.

At this point in time, you know all that I know. Let’s continue safe practices and to look out for each other; I will continue to keep you appropriately informed.   

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Maple Grange Park Open to Walkers, Runners & Other Non-Group Activities

Posted: March 17, 2020

Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2020: We have been notified by the New Jersey Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management that all playgrounds in parks which are open should be roped off and remain closed until further notice.

As one of the several actions that I have taken as mayor to protect the residents of Vernon by doing what I considered to be proactive and prudent things to prevent/limit the possible spread of the Coronavirus, I made the decision to close Vernon Township’s municipal parks.

After listening to very reasonable feedback from a host of Vernon residents, plus researching what other mayors, governors and others in political leadership positions have done as it relates to closing outdoor parks, I have concluded that my decision to close our municipal Parks—and specifically Maple Grange Park which is heavily used by walkers, runners and individuals walking their dogs—did not adequately weigh the danger of group gatherings versus the physical, mental and emotional benefits of healthful outdoor recreation.

And therefore, after listening to very reasonable feedback from a host of Vernon residents, effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, I have opened Maple Grange Park for non-group recreation such as walking, running and individual walking of animals, all to be done while practicing the recommended social distancing of staying at least six feet away from one another.

All sports and group activities in the parks remain cancelled/discouraged until further notice.

It’s clear from the guidance of county, state, national and international health officials that avoiding group gatherings and exercising social distancing are the key means of preventing/limiting the possible spread of the Coronavirus; therefore, I hope that you understand that if we find that opening Maple Grange Park to non-group recreation such as walking, running and individual walking of animals results in group gatherings, I will have no choice but to close the park.

Below are two other Coronavirus related pieces of information that Vernon residents may find helpful:

  • Because of the economic strain that this Coronavirus crisis can put on individuals and families, JCP&L has committed to discontinue power shutoffs for those who are past due on their electric bills. In addition, residential customers who are facing a hardship due to the lack of income during this time should contact JCP&L at (800) 662-3115 as soon as they are aware that paying their bill might become difficult. Options include budget billing, a program that averages usage over 12 months to offer the same bill amount each month, as well as energy assistance programs or other payment arrangements based on a customers’ situation.
  • To support the effort of encouraging individuals to stay home to prevent/limit the possible spread of the Coronavirus, the NJMVC will extend expiration dates for driver licenses, registrations and inspection stickers. Effective immediately, the NJMVC will grant a two-month extension for:
  • Driver licenses expiring in March, April and May
  • Registrations expiring in March, April and May
  • Inspection stickers expiring in March, April and May

All residents who have their driver’s licenses, auto registration, or vehicle inspection due for a renewal by May 31 will receive an automatic two-month extension.

In great part because of your cooperation, your willingness to look out for each other, and other responsible civic actions, as of today, there are still no confirmed Coronavirus cases in Vernon or Sussex County. You have my commitment that I will do everything that I can to keep it that way!

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Vernon Township Mayor’s Updated Statement on the Coronavirus

Posted: March 16, 2020

After coordination with the Sussex County Office of Emergency Management and the Vernon Township Office of Emergency Management Coordinator, Mr. Ken Clark, plus a brief discussion with the Governor’s office, as an additional proactive and prudent action to prevent/limit the possible spread of the Coronavirus, I have decided to declare a state of emergency for Vernon Township. Promised in my initial update on actions that I as your mayor am taking/have taken in response to the Coronavirus crisis, I am hereby updating you on new actions that I have chosen to take for the safety of our town’s residents and employees.

As you are aware, effective at 4:00 p.m. Friday, March 13, 2020, I closed the township senior center until we receive additional information from appropriate public health officials that it is safe to reopen. In conjunction with this declared Vernon Township State of Emergency, an additional measure that I am taking to minimize exposure to the Coronavirus to our town’s residents and employees includes temporarily closing the municipal center to the public until further notice. That temporary closing will take effect as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, March 16, 2020.

During this period of our municipal center’s closing, our staff will take turns at staffing the municipal center and other municipal facilities via a “half staffing” method—i.e., half of our personnel will work at their municipal work locations for a two week period, while the other half will work from home where they will “self-quarantine” themselves for two weeks (the CDC’s estimated incubation period of the Coronavirus).

During this period that the municipal center will be closed to the public, we have implemented plans that will ensure that residents are able to still get the town services that they need—i.e.:

  • For normal municipal services such as requesting permits/applications; paying taxes/fines and other fees; delivering documents, etc., residents will be able to use the drop box located outside of the municipal center.
  • For contact purposes, posted on the front entry door to the municipal center and our website will be a sign containing the phone numbers and the e-mail addresses of the various municipal departments.
  • Access to our police department, which is also located in the municipal center, may be gained by activating a buzzer located outside of the department’s front door.

In order to discourage the gathering of crowds and encourage social distancing, I have also made the decision to temporary close both Maple Grange Park and Veterans Memorial Park. All sports and group activities in the parks are now cancelled until further notice. Please help spread the word.

Also, while we navigate our way through this unprecedented situation, if you or anyone you know is in need of assistance with meals, groceries, food for pets, online ordering or anything they are not able to do while we deal with this crisis, please contact the Vernon Police at their non-emergency phone number at 973.764.6155. We have a team in place and we are here to help.

Our community is strong, and together, we will get through this.

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Vernon Township Mayor’s Statement on the Coronavirus Crisis

Posted: March 13, 2020

The Vernon Township Mayor’s Office has been monitoring the latest information on the Coronavirus by the constant review of sites sponsored and managed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New Jersey State Department of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other trusted sources.

We are also working close with our municipality’s Office of Emergency Management coordinator, Mr. Ken Clark; the Sussex County Health Department, the organization which provides health services to our municipality under a shared services agreement; and our county’s point of contact with the governor’s office on matters related to the Coronavirus.

As we proceed through this public health emergency, we will be managing this emergency through the following two sources:

  • Our municipal health service, i.e., the Sussex County Health Department, which under the public health emergency declared by Governor Murphy on March 9, is granted broad authority to manage public health emergencies, and is given an array of tools to curtail the spread of communicable diseases.
  • The authority that I and the town council have to cancel local government gatherings—I will be consulting with the town council on this issue.

While state laws give local governmental officials clear authority over decisions to cancel or postpone their own events, such authority over events hosted by others is not clear.

Efforts taken within the municipal town hall to protect both, visitors to the town hall and town hall employees, and to prevent/limit the possibility of the spread of the Coronavirus include:

  • Providing our employees with protective rubber gloves.
  • Ordering sufficient quantities of hand sanitizer that will enable us to be able to place sanitizers strategically in the main entrance and foyer of the town hall.

Given the strong recommendation from health professionals that we discourage large gatherings as a way of preventing/limiting the possible spread of the Coronavirus, effective at 4:00 p.m. Friday, March 13, 2020, we will be closing the township senior center until we receive additional information from appropriate public health officials that it is safe to reopen.

We have not forgotten our seniors who rely on the nutrition center meals that are served at the township senior center. For those individuals, we have made arrangements to ensure that meals will be provided at their homes during the period that the senior center is closed. During this period, if anyone knows of a senior that needs assistance, please call the non-emergency Vernon Township Police line at 973.764.6155.

We are also ordering our first responders and other appropriate employees protective masks.

As of noon on March 13, 2020 there has not yet been a single confirmed case of the Coronavirus in either Vernon Township or Sussex County.

Public health officials recommend that those residents who are experiencing respiratory symptoms should stay at home; those who are over the age of sixty with underlying health conditions avoid crowds and gatherings; and that to the extent possible, travel by air or by mass transit be avoided by this vulnerable population.

Public health officials also ask that we please remember to wash our hands rigorously for not less than twenty seconds with hand soap and warm water; to cover coughs and sneezes with our elbows; to disinfect door knobs, handles and frequently used surfaces; and to avoid touching our face, mouth, eyes and nose.

No other actions are prescribed at this time.

Vernon Township will adhere to any additional actions that are recommended by appropriate health officials, and the public will be advised of any changes or new recommendations that are issued as the situation develops.

During the almost 40 years that I have lived in Vernon, I have learned that we are a strong, proud and resilient town, and, by working together and looking out for each other, we have gotten through other difficult times, and we will get through this crisis also.

Howard L. Burrell, Mayor

Senior Celebration Luncheon

Posted: March 9, 2020

The luncheon is postponed with a new date to be determined once we are through the current COVID-19 situation. Registration will not take place March 18, 2020.

The Senior Celebration luncheon will be held at the Crystal Springs Resort on Monday, April 27, 2020 from 12 noon to 3:00 p.m.

Featuring music and dancing and your choice of Sole Francaise, Chicken Marsala or sliced steak

Tickets are $12.00 per person and registration for the event will be held at the Vernon Senior Center on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Proof of residency will be required (driver’s license, tax bill, etc.). There are a limited number of tickets available!

Bring a non-perishable food item for a local food pantry and receive a ticket for a chance to win a door prize.

Need more information? Call 973.764.4055, ext. 2261.

Get Rid of Bulky Waste Items in June

Posted: March 9, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the original date of April 25, 2020 has been cancelled and the event rescheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2020.

The Clean Communities program will be hosting a bulky waste clean-up day on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at the DPW complex located on Riggs Way in Vernon Township from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This free event is being held for Vernon Township residents only. Please bring proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill for verification.

Bulky items that will be accepted include the following:

  • tires (no tires accepted on rims)
  • furniture
  • mattresses
  • carpets

Residents are allowed four tires per household which must be removed from rims. No truck tires, construction debris or hazardous waste type items will be accepted.

Brush will also be accepted at this time free of charge, however, it must be separated from bulky waste items. Leaves will not be accepted. DPW employees will be available to assist residents.

For any questions or further information, please contact the Vernon Township Department of Public Works at 973.764.3021.

Vernon Participates in Mayors Wellness Campaign

Posted: March 6, 2020

Vernon Township has been named as a 2019 New Jersey Healthy Town to Watch by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, which is a silver designation and a level up from our 2018 “NJ Healthy Town in the Making” award.

Innovative programs such as mobile fresh food markets, community walks, weight-loss challenges, healthy corner stores, outdoor yoga, bike trails and health fairs helped New Jersey communities win recognition through the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s annual Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) “New Jersey Healthy Town” designation.|

Each year, communities participating in the MWC complete a comprehensive application outlining the research they’ve done to identify their community health needs, explain how they have organized their local MWC committee, and highlight the actions they’ve taken to make their communities healthier places to live, work, and play.

The Vernon MWC has traditional health goals for Vernon such as encouraging healthy activities in all seasons, unplugging and getting outdoors, providing educational resources for healthy eating habits as well as ways to fit fitness into your life. The town also focuses on creating a more sustainable community, bringing more arts to the community and implementing appealing family friendly activities. Additional goals extend beyond the scope of a specific wellness and look at the overall health of the community and its future.

Former Mayor Harry J. Shortway initiated and was successful in many battles to protect Vernon’s overall health and Mayor Howard Burrell is ready to continue the charge with issues such as a failing sewer system, unsafe living conditions in an abandoned hotel, securing abandoned properties as well as continuing to collaborate with local citizens groups, plus county, state and federal elected officials fighting illegal dirt dumping in our town.

Mayor Howard Burrell states “It is indeed a significant achievement for Vernon Township to again be recognized as a Healthy Town. This award and the rigorous standards of performance that are necessary for its achievement are validation of the success of our on-going efforts to make Vernon Township an even better town in which to live and raise a family, as well as a town where businesses want to locate and prosper. I want to thank Mishelle Downtain, our town’s director of recreation and community affairs, for the key role that she played in leading our Mayors Wellness Team in the planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating functions required in researching and gathering the information and data required for the application to be considered for this prestigious award.”

Movie Night

Posted: March 2, 2020

Cancelled due to the COVID-19 precaution advisory.

Vernon Township presents Beat the Winter Blues Indoor Movie Night, brought to you by the Vernon Township Education Association, Vernon Recreation, Vernon PAL and the Vernon Coalition.

Join us March 27, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Vernon PAL Building, 25 Church Street in Vernon for a free family-friendly showing of Disney’s Frozen II and beat the winter blues! Come in your PJs, bring your blankets and sleeping bags and get comfy for the show! Please, no alcohol or pets.

Have questions or need more information? Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this e-mail address) at 973.764.4055, ext. 2261.