Hazlet Mayor Joe Belasco says Hazlet had a good 2013, but he knows the Township Committee and the next mayor can probably do better.
“Of course everybody an do better,” he said. “I was very happy with the budget and some of the things we accomplished this year.”
Mayor Belasco was chosen to serve as mayor for 2013 by his fellow Township Committee members. On Saturday, at Hazlet’s annual reorganization meeting, a new mayor will be selected to serve.
But before he steps down, Mayor Belasco took a few minutes this week to look back on the past year. While it was successful, he said, it wasn’t without it’s disappointments, and he hopes the township can address some of those disappointments in 2014,
Infrastructure improvements are at the top of his “to do” list for the coming year. He said the Township Committee is aware of road work that needs to be done locally, and he thanked residents’ patience.
“We have an extensive road repair program, and we need to go and work on the roads in Hazlet,” he said. “I know a lot of them haven’t been done in years and years…every year we put money aside and of course it’s never enough. We have to go out to bond or look for grants to get more money to work on the roads. People been very patient.”
In addition, he said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone has been working with the township to widen and improve Union Avenue.
Mayor Belasco said he is disappointed with Keyport’s
decision to opt out of a regional municipal court agreement. According
to a report in The Independent, the Keyport Borough Council voted
unanimously Dec. 17 to opt out of the joint Municipal Court of Hazlet, Keyport
and Matawan, citing revenue concerns.
“I’m a little disappointed and still want to work with Keyport. I’m still going to try to communicate with them and try and make the relationship better,” he said. “I was against the project in the beginning but now I’m seeing how it’s worthwhile."
Mayor Belasco also said the township will have its eyes on bringing in new ratables while balancing the desire to preserve more and more open space.
“We have established a committee with Business Association and other groups and we’re trying to look into bring in new businesses. We can always use more ratables…we want still be looking for open space. We don’t want to build, build, build, so trying to make everybody happy in way.”
The Hazlet Township Reorganization meeting will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4, at noon in the Township Municipal Building.