Serving as Mayor of Wayne, the township where I was born and raised and where my wife and I choose to live and raise our family has been an honor and a privilege. To me, being Mayor, has always been, and continues to be about one thing…serving the taxpayers and residents of our great community to the best of my ability. An anonymous writer said “Those who preserve their integrity remain unshaken by the storms of daily life. They do not stir like leaves on a tree or follow the herd where it runs. In their mind remains the ideal attitude and conduct of living. This is not something given to them by others. It is their roots…It is a strength that exists deep within them.”
As I have said many times, one of the most important jobs that I have as your Mayor is to prepare a budget that is fiscally sound while, at the same time, sensitive to the needs of our residents. I believe that we have accomplished this task and am extremely happy and proud to inform you that, for the second year in a row, I have presented the Council with a budget containing a decrease in the municipal portion of your taxes. Through sound, fiscal management and a commitment to smaller government my administration was able to achieve this goal and I would like to thank our Business Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Township Council and all Township staff for making this possible.
When I first became your Mayor in 2008 we were at the beginning phase of what now is called “the great recession” and Wayne and its residents were not immune to the effects of this financial downturn. Tough times and problems called for creative and innovative solutions and “outside of the box” thinking. Bold ideas! At my direction, we looked at a number of different options, some implemented, some not, some popular, some not but, in order to keep growing and moving in the right direction, it was imperative that we be proactive and not reactive. Because of this philosophy, we were able to make it through the toughest years of this recession without utilizing one-time gimmicks such as pension deferments, employee furloughs or a reduction in services. Because of this philosophy we were able to attract many new businesses to the Township and have seen the redevelopment of the DMV Building on Rt. 23 and the Wayne Town Center, Driscoll Foods, FedEx, to name a few, resulting in the greatest expansion of Wayne’s commercial rateable base since 1993. I am very proud to say that, in recognition of the success of the path that we have all walked together, Wayne is one of only seventeen communities throughout the state to achieve an AAA bond rating, a distinction we have held since 2012.
Once again, the Township, the Mayor’s Office, along with the Wayne Board of Education, will be sponsoring the “Wayne Community Forum”, a program that is designed for the parents and guardians of high-school and middles school-age students. This anti-drug initiative, which has been positively received by those in attendance, provides the most up-to-date information about the current trends in our community. I have always felt that one of the best ways to help overcome this most challenging issue is by encouraging an open dialogue between all stake holders. The “Wayne Community Forum” presents such an opportunity and is but one of many tools that can be utilized for this purpose.
We live in a time of extraordinary change, change that’s reshaping the way we live, the way we interact, the way we communicate and the way we operate. During my tenure as Mayor I have always maintained an “open door policy” encouraging my fellow citizens to voice their thoughts and concerns, because the stifling of this free exchange of ideas often times leads to a sense of stagnation. Yet, while we embrace change it is important to remember that change for change sake is never a good thing. So, even while we continue to move Wayne forward I am very cognizant of the need to maintain the wonderful fabric of our community, the attributes that make us great, and the things that set Wayne apart from other towns. As further evidence that what we are doing continues to move in the right direction, Wayne was just named the Best Town for Families in Passaic County for 2017 by New Jersey Family Magazine.
I would like to express my gratitude to those who help make Wayne a great place to both live and work; our first responders, Police, Fire and First Aid, our dedicated Township employees, the Township Council, the members of the many Township Boards and Commissions and all of the volunteers who donate countless hours of their time. Together, you have all made a difference in the lives of our residents and your contributions are greatly appreciated by all.
Thank you for your continued support to serve as your Mayor and please feel free to contact me at 973-694-1800, ext. 3200 or Email the Mayor with any thoughts or concerns you may have.
Christopher P. Vergano