Letter to Atlantic Highlands Residents:
Letter to the Editor:
I would first like to thank our dedicated Borough employees who have worked every day since October 29th and through Hurricane Sandy for their quality of service to our community. Our street, sanitation, harbor, water & sewer, police and administrative workforce have gone well above their call of duty to help those in need during these trying times.
ITo our emergency volunteer fire department, ladies auxiliary and EMS squad members – THANK YOU for your service and for standing by at the Emergency Services Building for tehh past week. Your response to many calls for emergency service are most recognized as well as your professionalism and understanding. I also want to recognize those volunteers who worked night and day preparing food for our emergency services and law enforcment personnel.
We also want to thank the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, the Sheriff, Prosecutor’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, the National Guard, New Jersey State Police and other out of state law enforcement departments for assisting us with law enforcement resources in securing our municipal harbor which took a devastating blow from Hurricane Sandy.
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I have been criticized by a few uninformed citizens that they have not heard from me over the past week regarding what efforts have been put forth prior to, during and after, Hurricane Sandy. I can tell you that I have been at Borough Hall, the emergency services buidling, and out on the street with our hard working employees working side by side. My policy is that the police chief is the borough’s primary Swiftreach 911 broadcaster. Through my office and the Office of Emergency Management, he has broadcasted over 13 Swiftreach 911 messages to all of our residents. Our Administrator and OEM Coordinator has issued more than 11 briefing updates keeping our Governing Body informed. Any and all information contained in those briefings have been relayed to everyone so listed in the Swiftreach 911 messages.
I can assure all of our resident that all of your Borough officials have been involved with the response and recovery of this storm. We have been in daily communication with JCP&L who assures us they are working on the problem and although we have not seen any trucks in town for the past few days, we continue to call in frustration as should you.
It is imperative that all residents without power continue to call JCP&L call center at 1-888-LIGHTSS.
The Habor employees along with Miller’s Towing and Salvage are working to right the boats that were blown over during the storm and we have hired a local landscaping company, Jeff’s Landscaping, who has been working side by side with out men to clean the harbor. They have made great progress and on Friday, some boat owners will be allowed entry to check their boats. For the most part, much of the debris has been collected and disposed of with the help of Red Bank Recycling.
Working with SeaStreak, we expect the ferry to be back in full service starting Monday, November 12th.
Our street and sanitation department has worked 24 hours/ seven days a week since this storm to keep our water system up and running and although our water plant was flooded, they have kept the system functioning.
Overall our employees have kept the continuity of government up and running through these difficult times. Within days of the storm, we have held 2 emergency meetings for the Governing Body and the Harbor Commission to keep borough operations functioning at capacity. As your Mayor, I will continue to stay involved every step of the way untll we can resume normal operation.
We will continue to send Swiftreach 911 messages to keep you up-to-date. If you have not registered for the Swiftreach 911 system, please visit our website www.ahnj.com and print out a registration form. Please include your home number and/or work number and/or cell phone number or all of them. You can drop the completed form at the police department or borough hall.
FEMA has established a residential and business claim center at the Henry Hudson Trail Activities Center on Highway 36 just west of the Getty Gas Station. Please register at www.DisasterAssistance.gov before going to the center. You may visit FEMA there or log onto www.fema.gov for further information.
I have the full faith and confidence in our leadership staff and will not micromanage the operations that are needed to assist our community. They have done a fantastic job time and time again.
I want to thank all of our citizens for your patience and understanding and wish you the best in the coming months. With all of us working together, we will succeed in rebuilding our community as we always do.
Fredrick J Rast III
Atlantic Highlands, NJ