By JOHN T. WARD
Delayed a few days by last week’s snowstorm, Little Silver residents turned out on an icy night for the annual government reorganization Monday.
For their trouble, they were treated to Mayor Bob Neff’s state-of-the borough message delivered, as is his custom, in verse.
The meat of the event was the swearing-in of two new council members: Democrat Chris Healy and Republican Mike Holzapfel, who outpolled their respective running mates, Matthew Cohen and incumbent Dane Mihlon, in a close election in November.
But the side dish, added to the proceedings in 2012, was Neff’s cheesy poem, a vehicle he uses to spotlight events and people in town.
Noting that elected officials in other towns use the reorganization as an occasion for a “lengthy, bombastic recitation of events” of the past year, Neff said that instead, “I write a piece of really bad poetry.”
Here is his latest contribution to his ouevre:
Iceboats on the rivers, skaters on the lakes, Jack Frost is more than nipping, the snow came down in swirling flakes,
A frigid start to twenty eighteen, we’re glad to see you’re here — come what may, we’re confident, our team is always near
And so it was in twenty seventeen, every emergency handled, our EMS and fire too, fire police to see us through
Our police caught bad guys, near and far, and sent the burglars packing, National Night Out’s a town event, the spirit’s never lacking,
The Homestead’s second floor was opened, though its cold, but just for now, history comes alive right here, the trustees show us how.
Improvements all around began, our sports field topped the list, but small things too, a fence, a light, and potholes asphalt-kissed.
There’s more to do — there always is — some sidewalks need attention, grants are key, so we’ll apply, seeking state pol intervention;
In our schools, we walked and rode, Liz Gearon got students out, and on our streets, utility work, made drivers change their route;
Over the summer, tower meetings, everyone was heard, communications improved, we’re on Facebook, pass the word;
Brickwall at Little Silver, won the nascent liquor license, parking issues held things up, soon a plan, and public comments;
Boy Scouts gave us AEDs and markers for our track, Girl Scouts too improved our town, they teach us to give back;
Our Environmental Commission brought us water refill stations, and hopes to further help our town, sustain its innovations;
Not all was bright, Dan Denton left us, a councilman for all, his memory and his colleagues’ live, right here in Borough Hall,
A Taste of Little Silver from the Foundation crew to you, they’re following up this year in June, with a Little Silver Day part two.
Our kids excelled, in major leagues, in cyber space, on stages, Charlie Novara raised her voice, our vets were serenaded,
Our Library Built a Better World, our community reading place, and across the street, Acme worked to beautify its space
Prepaid taxes, or audit plaudits, our staff is tops in service, they helped the new guys (Lauren), feel a bit less nervous.
Lit crossing signs finally came, to Prospect and to Kings, and the Homestead cleared a trailer, of historical farming things.
This year there’s not much atop, our volunteer brigade, we thank Nick and Tom and Rick — again — and their teams, who come, to save the day
Change does come this year to council, we’ll miss Dan and Dane for sure, but Mike and Chris have come to help, public service will endure
So much was done, so much to do, thanks for listening to my rhyme, I’m almost done, we’ve had some fun, and we’ll get you out in time.
So for Corrine and Mike and Davide, and AJ, Chris and Don, Happy New Year to all of you — it’s cold out there, stay warm!