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Mayor: 'We Have Experienced a Week of Many Challenges'

Chris Vergano recaps tumultuous week; commends volunteers, first responders.

Editor's note: The Mayor Chris Vergano wrote this letter to Wayne residents on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Dear Residents: 

As I write to you today, over 4,100 of our families still have not had their power restored by either PSE&G or JCP&L. This is totally unacceptable to us. We can only describe the actions of both power companies as extremely disappointing. I want to personally assure you that that we have been communicating our dissatisfaction to both utility companies on a consistent basis since the restoration phase of the hurricane started. 

PSE&G is now making a more concerted effort to get their Wayne customers back on line and as of this morning 80% have been restored (4,000 were restored on Saturday). We are being told that approximately 95% should be restored within the next few days. As far as JCP&L is concerned, we are being told that 51 percent of their customers have been restored. Obviously, this is not acceptable to us and I pledge that we will not stop reaching out to both companies until all of our residents have power.

We, as a community, have experienced a week of many challenges.  Most of us were without power for a majority of the week. Many of us still are. The Township has recorded over 550 downed trees, many of them still having live wires in them. Our tree crews cannot remove any tree that has wires in them until the utility company has confirmed that the wires are no longer live. To date, we have been able to remove 290 trees.  This process is ongoing and we will continue to have our crews on the road until the job has been finished.

I want to take this opportunity to thank and commend all of our volunteers (Wayne Fire Department, Wayne First Aid Squad, our CERT members, and the Wayne VOAD) for all of their outstanding efforts this past week. I would also like to thank those Township employees who have been working non-stop since the beginning of the Hurricane. Once again, they have proven that they are the finest workforce in the state. 

The members of the Police Department have also gone non-stop since the start of the Hurricane performing in a herculean manner throughout. I ask all of you to say a prayer for Officer Robert Franco who was severely injured during the height of the Hurricane Monday night.  We wish Officer Franco the best on his road to recovery and will keep him in our prayers along with firefighter John Neukum who was injured during the storm.

This has been a difficult time for all of us.  I want you to know that the Township is doing everything humanely possible to return all of our lives to normal.

Christopher Vergano

Mayor of Wayne

Mattie November 05, 2012 at 03:19 PM
It's a disgrace how slow it is to get rid of the trees on Webster Dr by Theunis Dey. My son could have been in school going back to his routine. When are you up for re-election?
stewart resmer November 05, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Mr Mayor it is altogether fitting and right for you to come forward an address the state of the city at this time when a nor easter now approaches adding to the burdens already carried by so many through out the region, especialy Officer Franco and his family. We see our city workers out here day and night and appreciate their efforts. We see neighbor helping neighbor and stranger alike. Let us continue to critique our state of the city in the hopes we form a more perfect union. Regards
JMMEF November 05, 2012 at 04:05 PM
completely unacceptable Mr. Mayor! my neighbors across the street have their halloween decorations lit up yet my family and i have been freezing cold for 7 nights! can you lower my $14k annual real estate tax bill paid in full to Wayne township?
Mattie November 05, 2012 at 04:43 PM
We pay a premium to live in this town. Do we not? Why else am I paying over $17K a year?
bobby November 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM
HOW ABOUT 12 GUYS STANDING AND WATCHING ONE GUY CUT DOWN A TREE,HOW ABOUT A SUPERVISOR DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THAT ME MAYOR!??? THIS IS A DISGRACE WE ARE FREEZING COLD And jcp&l has once again forgot about its wayne residence! disgusting!!!!
ilovemydogs November 05, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Just spoke to your office with "Beverly " and all she said is that you are calling PS&G 3 to 4 times a day ...REALLY!???? That's what your doing??! It's been 7 days now and you think sitting in your WARM office and calling 3 to 4 times a day is going to do something??? Shame on you ....
JMMEF November 05, 2012 at 07:52 PM
beverly's response is pathetic - my RE taxes are paying her salary? Chris Vergano - why dont you answer your phone???
W.elk November 05, 2012 at 08:13 PM
The jcpl spreadsheet says 501 Wayne restorations today, Nov 5th- yet the outage report updated every 15 minutes has not changed since this morning. And slated for tomorrow, Nov 6th? ZERO. This is going to take until this weekend, with people living in frigid conditions. How is this happening????
JMMEF November 05, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Please bombard the mayor's office with emails and phone calls. This is ridiclous, my husband and I thought we were "moving up and out of" the neighborhoods we grew up in to Wayne to provide a better quality of life for our future children. This is the second storm in 2 years that we have been without power for several days.
stewart resmer November 05, 2012 at 09:10 PM
I for one am glad to see line crews from Arkansas @ Alps rd near the 2r so arrive and get right to work! Hang in there folks. Your're next!
the dude November 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Maybe he is at work...you do know that he has a full-time job in addition to serving as mayor. Beverly is his secretary. It's pretty common for an executive's secretary to answer his phone calls...very common actually.
the dude November 05, 2012 at 09:41 PM
And how are storms the mayor's fault? He doesn't run JCPL or PSEG...he is their customer...just like you.
JMMEF November 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM
To The Dude - do you have power? if so then sit down and stop trolling articles attempting to start issues. If the mayor has a full time job outside of being Mayor then why are my RE taxes paying him a salary of $86k (refer to annual budget if you are serious about having a conversation instead of just trolling articles)?? answer me that. So, if he is a full time mayor and a full time whatever outside job he has and is getting 2 fulltime salaries, then i believe he should be answering phones, communicating with residents, and showing his face and concern somewhere. He is MIA, i have tried to contact him several times and nothing. He is the Mayor of Wayne, not NYC, he should be communicating with his residents.
Sunflwr1330 November 06, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Not sure what budget you're looking at. From what I know, his salary is $18k as Mayor of Wayne is a part time job. Get your facts straight! I think he's doing a great job and is doing the best he can given the circumstances, short of removing live wires himself from tree's. Maybe you should call the Board of Public Utilities instead of yelling at him as town employee's can't do anything until live wires are removed by PSE&G or JCP&L. I emailed him and got a response. Maybe that's what you should do instead of ranting on this blog.
JMMEF November 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM
sunflower i beg you to forward me his email response to you. so i can show the 30+ people on my block that have also emailed him and did not get a response. i will believe it when i see it, or maybe you are personal with him that is why you got a response? i have emailed him everyday since losing power 8 days ago. i have called everyone pseg, cops, mayor office regarding a hanging overhead utility pole which isnt even flagged with a cone, caution tape, nothing. and "from what you know" regarding his 18k salary, is that a fact or just "what you know"? also if you have electricity in your home, please get off this article.
Robert Pignatello November 08, 2012 at 02:46 AM
You cannot otherwise conclude that town officials could have done more. Lets remember JCP&L response to last years storms was not any different. 10 days after the storm and we still have trees blocking roads and street lights down and too many of us freezing in our homes. This is a public safety emergency and it is not being treated like one. Public officials where are you! Why have we waited 10 days!!

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