Ending year on holiday high, Morristown mayor, council recognize hunger charity, Sandy relief and honest workers
‘Tis the season for charitable deeds, and several were recognized Tuesday at the Morristown council’s final regular meeting of 2012.
Move for Hunger has teamed with the town to promote its unique charity to fight hunger. Established in Neptune in 2009, the nonprofit collaborates with moving companies to collect nonperishable foods that generally are discarded when families relocate.
“When people move, they throw away stuff,” said Adam Lowy, whose family has been in the moving business in New Jersey for more than 90 years.
Morristown will promote Move for Hunger on the town website, and it’s searching for a storage space where local movers can drop off the food they collect, said town First Lady Mary Dougherty.
Mary, who works for a corporate relocation company, heard Adam Lowy address the New Jersey Relocation Council at the Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster and was sufficiently impressed to introduce him to her husband, Mayor Tim Dougherty.
“They’re helping everyone in need,” Mary said.
Adam told the council that 40,000 people in affluent Morris County go to bed hungry. Half of them are children, he said.
“It’s not okay that this many people here don’t have enough to eat,” said Adam, whose charitable venture was awarded $125,000 last year on the Chase American Giving Awards on NBC. Morristown is Move for Hunger’s first municipal partner.
Working with the Morristown Fire Department, Berit Ollestad collected a truckload of Hurricane Sandy relief items from area residents over the weekend and drove them to Seaside Heights on Monday.
It was the second delivery that she has spearheaded for the battered Shore town, which is appreciative of Morristown’s generosity.
“Our town has been transformed into an area filled with military, electrical and utility companies,” wrote Lou Nardone, battalion chief for the Seaside Heights volunteer fire department.
“Nobody was prepared for the devastation that we experienced. Ninety percent of our department’s membership are either displaced or lost almost everything except what they had with them at the firehouse the night the storm hit. It is the continued efforts of our surrounding brothers and sisters that allow us to keep helping our citizens.
“I want to personally thank the members of the Morristown Fire Department and the generous people of Morristown and surrounding areas for providing us with the supplies that we desperately need,” the chief wrote in a letter to Morristown, read aloud by Berit at Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilwoman Alison Deeb commended Berit and suggested that Morristown establish a “sister city” relationship with Seaside Heights, where Alison, like so many others in New Jersey, celebrated after her senior prom.
Berit organized relief efforts for Alabama tornado victims last year. In between humanitarian missions, the mother of two writes for MorristownGreen.com…which might qualify in that category, come to think of it. Way to go, Berit!
In a state known for political corruption, it’s important to “recognize when employees do the right thing,” said Mayor Tim Dougherty, who publicly commended two town officials for reporting an attempted bribe.
James Gonroski, plumbing subcode official, and Mark Stepper, electrical subcode official, turned down $1,000 last January from a North Plainfield man who is trying to start a Portuguese restaurant on Spring Street, reported the Daily Record.
Without admitting wrongdoing, the would-be restaurateur has been admitted into pre-trial intervention, a community service program, according to the newspaper.
“This shows a fine example of outstanding employees,” the Mayor told the council. The officials received a standing ovation.
FORMER MAYOR GONE AT 102
In other business, the council voted 6-0 (Councilman Kevin Gsell was absent) to approve Paul Haley’s requested liquor license transfer, enabling him to take over Hennessey’s Washington Bar early in 2013.
A quarterback at Morristown High School, Emilio went on to theUniversity of Notre Dame. He became a Morristown policeman in 1931 and rose to chief of detectives before joining the Morris County Prosecutors Office.
He served his first mayoral term in the early 1970s, when the town still had a board of aldermen. He was elected to another term as mayor in 1982.
His son, Jimmy Gervasio, ran for mayor as a Republican in 2009.