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Residents Thank Mayor, Town For Sandy Efforts

Governing body places blame squarely on electric provider JCP&L.

For the first time since a storm of epic proportions cut electricity from 96-percent of the town’s residents, the Washington Township Committee held a regular meeting and spoke with the public about the situation.

Heading into the meeting, there was speculation residents would come out in full force to air their grievances with town leadership for poor communication, and even the absence of Mayor Ken Short in the final days before full power restoration was complete.

But the crowd of approximately 50 residents did just the opposite, with a handful publicly thanking the mayor and committee for efforts given during the two-week period of closed schools, impassable roads and dark homes in the municipality.

Short began the meeting with a lengthy, detailed synopsis of what took place between him and Jersey Central Power & Light during Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, along with debunking rumors that began to swirl during his absence from town.

“Let me clear up a couple of rumors, because rumors hurt,” Short said. “I was not on a trip with Vice Mayor Bill Roehrich.”

Short also cleared any falsehoods about his taking a generator from the town for his own home, and that he does not own stock in First Energy Corporation, JCP&L’s parent company.

Resident Roger Marvin, and employee at Morristown Medical Center, told Short and the committee he was the only one of his colleagues receiving information of some kind from his elected officials regarding power outages and restoration.

Short made a point to explain that much of the information he was given by JCP&L–if given–was incorrect and erroneous.

“We can’t trust JCP&L,” Short said. “[During the outage] I saw trucks from North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio–but I never saw a single truck from JCP&L, which is located here in New Jersey.”

On the final weekend of the outages, when Duke Energy of North Carolina set up a command post at the Long Valley Middle School, it wasn’t JCP&L, rather three committeemen coordinating and instructing the workers where to go.

“[Duke Energy] was here and ready to go,” Committeeman Jim LiaBraaten said. “But no one was there to coordinate. We laid out maps on the hoods of their trucks and showed them where certain roads were. The township committee shouldn’t have had to do that; that’s JCP&L’s job.”

Short concluded by telling residents the town would work together to make sure an extended outage wouldn’t happen again, and if it did, the town’s people would be better taken care of.

“The steps the township took were to make things a little easier,” Short said of actions created during the outage. “It was like placing a band-aid on an open wound. The wound, in this case, was JCP&L."

Video clips from the meeting can be played at the right of this article. 

12345678 November 20, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Had to reword that.... The actual physical address is listed once you click on the event on the calendar.
Eileen Stokes November 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM
In-the-dark, clicking on the event DOES bring up the particulars including meeting place. Any of the Township related Committees and Commissions--Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Board of Health, Environmental Commission, Shade Tree Committee, Historic Preservation Commission, etc. including the Township Committee itself meet in the Municipal Building either in the large Court Room or one of the smaller meeting rooms unless otherwise noted and publicly posted. Please note that the two school boards are not considered part of the Township government, but rather come under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education and the West Morris Regional School District and therefore meet at their own specified locations.
KEE November 21, 2012 at 01:37 AM
I can not forgive the Mayor for going to Aruba during the crisis. His supporters attended this meeting. Many of us are still annoyed. I am sure if he had pleaded his case he could have gotten a refund since this was a state of emergency and he is an official. I can not wait to VOTE!
NJ Bullet November 21, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I'm still undecided as to how I feel about the mayor and his vacation trip. However, if Kevin Nedd is starting a recall petition that seals the deal for me. His petition will become a joke and he will continue to be the laughing stock of Washington Twp.
MountainMan November 22, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Haters gonna hate. Happy Thanksgiving to those who actually were positive influences during the storm.
MountainMan November 22, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Observer Tribune Headline November 21, 2012: SHORT GETS LOVE, BUT NOT UTILITY Mayor, Others Praised for Work During and After Hurricane
Tracy Tobin November 22, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Kevin I respectfully disagree with your earlier post re the audience at the Nov. 19 Township Committee meeting being composed of "fifty loyal Republicans". There were three Republicans who are recognizable as involved regularly in political activities, none of whom spoke at the meeting. Approximately seven residents spoke, of which I recognized two from their posts on Patch. The majority of the audience seemed to have come to hear what the Mayor and Committee had to say. They neither applauded, booed, or yelled out comments pro or con. I believe I am going to be the first Committee person eligible for recall, under State law, so the residents who did not come to the meeting will have the opportunity to express their displease at the polls in 2013.
MountainMan November 24, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Mr. Tobin, Rather disappointed to hear the word "respect" used toward this man, especially from a Republican committeeman.
Jerry Gordon November 24, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Kevin, think again who's ignorant? Running a hateful recall campaign against a popular mayor when you have a criminal conviction for harassment hanging over your head. You have no credibility in this town. BTW, your one term on the committee was an epic fail and doesn't compare to Mr. Short's service to the town. Everyone knows you have a personal hatred for the mayor born out jealousy.
Jerry Gordon November 24, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Kevin, Let me get this straight, you're going to run a recall campaign in 2014 with people who voted for you in 2008? What happens if your supposed 3700 supporters finds out about your harassment conviction? How far do you think you will get then? You sound very bitter, is your recall effort personal towards Mr. Short? Wouldn't your time be better spent making friends or giving back to the community in some way?
thewordgo November 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I have not lived in LV for too many years, but from what I have seen the charge you talk about re: Mr. Nedd is irrelevant to this issue as it did not involve Mayor Short. I agree with Mr. Nedd and many others in LV that the mayor was wrong to leave the township in the middle of our major crisis. Mr. Nedd's past and/or present has nothing to do with it. He and I do not know each other so this is not a personal issue between us and the same for Mayor Short. My feeling is based purely on extremely poor judgment shown by an elected official. Why do the posters on this site make everything personal? I would support the recall petition 100% in theory but I would have to see who the options are for replacement. Obviously, the vice-mayor who also left town would not be suitable.
Jerry Gordon November 25, 2012 at 04:50 PM
wordgo, you're so disingenuous, you know about Kevin Nedd's past that he was convicted of harassment and you're afraid to publicly be associated with him.That's why you're afraid to post in your own name. Mr. Nedd's past has everything to do with it, don't trust your feelings.
Jerry Gordon November 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Kevin, you say that it's not personal with the mayor. But the truth is, you're still angry because you weren't appointed Mayor when you were on the Township committee. Did your wife support you the last time? Isn't that why you live in Hawaii?
thewordgo November 25, 2012 at 06:42 PM
No Jerry, I don't post in my name because of nasty, immature people like you who make these things personal. I have a family with young schoolchildren and I have become aware of the very small town atmosphere in LV. But you are free to continue in your ignorance and go off topic.
Jerry Gordon November 25, 2012 at 08:58 PM
thewordgo, you don't post in your name because you are a COWARD, stop lying to yourself. It is embarrassing for your family to be publicly associated with Kevin Nedd.
Jerry Gordon November 25, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Kevin, You're not sure? you're only pretty sure? that your wife voted for you in 2008? Doesn't sound like she's on board. My point is, this must be wearisome for your family.
thewordgo November 25, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Since I am not associated with Kevin Nedd, you once again look ridiculous. And I can only imagine how embarassed your family must be by your childish attacks on a stranger. Have a good night, Jerry. I know I will.
Jerry Gordon November 25, 2012 at 10:50 PM
wordgo, you supported his positions despite his reputation, an old proveb says, "he who lies down with dogs gets up with fleas."
Jennifer Simon November 26, 2012 at 03:09 AM
The library was magnificent, I agree!
MountainMan November 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Mr. Tobin, can you address my question? Any criticism of the town's handling would have to begin with the assumption that residents were negatively impacted by you being transitioned into running the final power restoration on site. Do you feel that is true? The word "respect" is disgusting in this instance, It will be remembered.
Mark November 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Mr. Nedd, Please get over yourself and this democratic vs. republican mind set and for once think about "the people of long valley" as a team or a group in need of help. People keep harping on someone taking a vacation, so what!!!, What in the world would Mr. Short done here anyway that the second third forth or tenth in line couldnt do. Coordination went on and well in my opinion. The Police, Firemen and Town employees did a superb job. Now be nice and construtive or please keep to yourself we are tired of hearing negative and we know what party you support, so what !!!!
MountainMan November 26, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Pathetic hater. So, how much are you willing to bet you will win a recall election? How about the money goes to the town emergency services. I'm sure the townspeople will raise that to cover your bet for a good cause. How about $35k in a account? Put your money where your mouth is. Respectfully, of course.
Tracy Tobin November 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Mountain Man In a response to earlier criticism of the Mayor, I made the point that I felt there was nothing more he could have done than I did in his absence. He had set all the plans for responding to Sandy in motion, but a "key player" (JCP&L) didn't come to the game or follow the plan. Our collective rear ends were saved by Duke Energy and other Out of State utilities. I feel that I can respectfully disagree with another person where we disagree on facts and/or opinions. In this case it was a disagreement about whether the public attending the Nov. 19 Township Committee were all Republican supporters of the Mayor. Some people prefer to respond more aggressively. That is their choice, but I prefer a softer approach.
Jerry Gordon November 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Kevin, you can't find me on the tax rolls because my house is not in my name. So much for your sleuthing around acting like a DETECTIVE on the Patch. The rest is none of your business. The point here is, that you have made a complete joke of your self in politics in this town, YOU! HAVE! NO! CREDIBILITY!. With a conviction hanging over your head, WHY, do you want to put your family through the mud again? You like to brag about your financial successes by letting everyone know that you live in Hawaii.... (BTW,Good for you, hope you're enjoying the sun while we get ready for a snow storm):-(.... If everything is so peachy in your life why would you waste your time on caring about what the mayor does? Unless of course you have a grudge against him?
MountainMan November 26, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Really? You respect Kevin Nedd and his brand of "politics"? That's what you said, right? Yes or no? Nothing "soft" involved here, this is good and evil from what I can read.
MountainMan November 26, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Weren't you offering to bet on the last election? Come on, just 30k, then. Nothing to a big exec with three homes. And the proceeds go to your biggest concern -- Long Valley safety.
Jerry Gordon November 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Kevin, STFU yourself, think about what you're say? You would be doing your poor wife a favor by cutting out all of this childish arguing with your neighbors...I don't live too far from you.
34fire November 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I want to say that I think the town and Mayor Short and Mr. Tobin and the hundreds of employees and volunteers did a great job, and I wish I was at this meeting to relay that. I think it would be great if the political disagreement here could result in our emergency services benefiting by 35,000, as I understand the discussion is. Mr. Nedd, I think this is called "walking the walk"? How about it? It is a win-win, and you seem so confident it wouldn't be money out of your pocket, You adversaries would have to make a donation on top of losing a recall. We could use the money! Take the bet!! Go Kevin !!!
Jerry Gordon November 26, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Kevin, are you really that stupid? Do you think I live here and not pay property taxes? I pay more taxes than you do. I owe you no other explanations about my personal housing situation. If your so confident about the recall, take the bet, pocket the money instead of donating it. 35K is a nice hunk of change for doing nothing.
34fire November 26, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Can you name one person who agrees with you? I read a bunch of anonymous stuff here that sounded like you....then no one showed up with a single complaint. So who is working with you on this recall? One name. And take the bet! It helps the whole town.

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