The gavel returned to a familiar hand when Frank Van Horn was elected mayor by the Knowlton Township Committee at its Jan. 3 reorganization meeting.
Van Horn, who has served on the Township Committee for almost four decades, has served as mayor for numerous terms during that time. He said that in his new term he would like to share his experience with upcoming generations of Knowlton residents.
“I really think it’s time to spread around responsibilities and get more young people involved in our government,” Van Horn said.
While governance in a lightly populated township like Knowlton may not require the resources of a bigger town, good stewardship of the community is just as important.
“We need to get people to feel invested in the community,” he said.
Also sworn in at the reorganization meeting was Michael Bates, who is beginning his first term on the Township Committee. A longtime member of the Knowlton Township Fire and Rescue Squad No. 1, he has served as chief and captain of the department.
One of the concerns Bates plans to address is the increasing truck traffic, particularly on Route 46, and massive warehouses and distribution centers taking root in nearby towns.
“Knowlton has long been an important geographical location in transportation,” Bates said. “Now trucking is a big piece of life living in Knowlton, and it does raise legitimate concerns to the safety of our residents. I don’t like increasing truck traffic, especially past the school.”
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.