Keith Ramos was re-elected as Frelinghuysen mayor by his fellow Township Committee members at the Jan. 3 reorganization meeting.
Committeeman Chris Stracco was elected for another term as deputy mayor.
During his previous term as mayor and committee member, Ramos said launching the township fire department and getting high-speed internet access increased to 90% of residences were among the accomplishments he’s most proud of.
“We started out at 3%,” Ramos said of the internet access. “Now we’re at about 90% connectivity, so we’re pretty close to having our whole town connected. And there will be a level of redundancy.”
Even before the pandemic, Ramos said, high-speed internet should have been considered infrastructure in the way electric and water services are.
“Using the word ‘infrastructure’ is key,” Ramos said. “For many years, our government and state officials have viewed high speed internet access as a matter of convenience. With the world moving to a paper-free and fingertip accessible type of environment, high-speed internet is no longer a matter of convenience but a matter of necessity.”
In addition, he pointed out, with remote-work arrangements becoming the norm in many businesses, high-speed internet puts rural communities such as Frelinghuysen on a level playing field with suburban and city work environments.
Ramos said he is also pleased that the township budget has been balanced the past three years, with an average tax reduction of $500 two years ago and a modest average increase of $12 last year.
One ongoing issue he would like to see is more participation from residents in Frelinghuysen’s governance. All Township Committee regular meetings are open to the public. Ramos said he encourages townspeople to keep up to date with the township website at www.Frelinghuysen-nj.us.
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.