A Poem to Start the New Year in Little Silver
Mayor Robert C. Neff, Jr. delivered his state-of-the-borough message in verse at the Jan. 7 reorganization meeting.
It's become something of a tradition for Little Silver's mayor to ring in the new year with a message in verse that highlights the challenges and successes the borough faces at the outset of each year.
Mayor Robert C. Neff, Jr. did not disappoint at Monday's reorganization meeting, delivering a poem that recognized the hardships realized in 2012 — notably the passing of Councilman Jon Bitman and Hurricane Sandy — and the efforts of many of the borough's volunteers and professionals to assist residents following the storm.
Neff was also clear that he did not wish to make light of residents' struggles to recover after Sandy but to commemorate and look forward to 2013.
Neff shared a copy of his message with Patch, which follows in its entirety:
Where’s the poem, when we’ve been hurt, by Sandy’s wet attack?
Where’s the joy, when Frankenstorm, slouched in, took Santa’s sack?
Jon Bitman’s loss, had left us low, before she came ashore;
His passing hit us hard indeed, then Sandy gave us more.
A snow storm came before the power, came back to light us up -
No heat, no gas, no house, for some, no spoon, no plate, no cup.
Here’s the thing – we’re here tonight, planning for the year.
FEMA grants to help rebuild; our streets, at last, are clear.
Our people gave us confidence, Les Mathis stood his ground;
Dan Kelly takes his place this year, though Les will stick around,
Our firemen, our EMS – they answered every call,
Exhausted at the firehouse, from caring for us all.
With Frank Salerno at the helm, Pete Gibson at his side,
We got folks out, before the worst, the others safe inside.
Chief Dan took charge to guard our homes, the bad guys stayed outside,
While the ‘M’ states gave us troops to help - their smiles eased the ride.
Their chainsaws sharp – but safety first – our roadmen cleared the way;
Jim Gannon’s guys kicked butt, for us - improvement, day by day.
We volunteered, we looked to help; Wyoming came to town.
A truck with clothes, for those in need, they sure got spread around.
This year we’ll build on what we’ve done, so much was much improved,
Though finances were held in check, with austere measures moved.
Ball field ‘potties,’ as Suzy’d say, facilities built for all,
Emergency communiqués improved, long before the fall.
A quarter mil for Parker House, the county helped us out;
A safe new bridge, new woodland paths – please come check them out!
On council, Richard Scott, M.D., joins the borough’s leaders,
We welcome him, and others too, new faces, new ideas.
We’re smarter now, we learned a lot, though much is left to do,
Build up, or not? We’ll help our folks, to navigate the gloom.
So down, not out, and never fear, our people brought us through,
For there’s the poem, and strength this year – you - our Little Silver crew.