The Camden County Board of Freeholders held their monthly meeting last week at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Daisies Troop #30346 and Brownies Troop #30672. The National Anthem was performed by Kylie Young, a Stratford resident.
Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez presented a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) check for $23,200 to Mayor Josh Keenan and members of council. The federally funded CDBG grants provide a way for municipalities to fund projects that improve community facilities and enhance municipal services.
Freeholder Director Cappelli recognized the Stratford Fire Company’s 911 Memorial and presented them with a $100 gift. The Stratford Fire Company #1 was organized in 1908 and incorporated in 1909. The Fire Company is a 24 hour a day 7 day a week volunteer run operation. The Stratford Fire Company plans on creating a 9-11 memorial site at their facility on East Laurel Road. The Fire Company has a piece of history from all three 9-11 sites: a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, a piece of limestone from the Pentagon, and soil from Shanksville, Pa. The Stratford Fire Company #1’s memorial will honor those who died that day and be paid for with donations.
Freeholder Bill Moen presented a community award to Word Fellowship Church, accepted by Pastor Markus Ehrich. Word Fellowship Church has grown tremendously since the purchase of its first building on Stratford’s Pennsylvania Avenue in 1979. The church has since purchased several other buildings and/or properties which house the church, its administrative offices, and the Candlelite Prayer House. Word Fellowship Church offers many ministries to the local community such as counseling struggling homeowners, to Heaven in Business and various other ministries for children and adults. In 2015, the church began spreading their evangelism to the Borough of Stratford through donations totaling over $13,000 to assist the municipal budget.
Freeholder Jon Young presented a Young Community Leader Award to Krishna Patidar. Krishna is an 8th grade student at Samuel S. Yellin School. She is a member of: The National Junior Honor Society, the Green Team, and the Leo Club. Krishna actively participates in all the service projects at her school. The canned food drive and “Pennies for Patients” coin drive benefiting local children battling Leukemia and lymphoma are just a couple. Krishna volunteers at her Temple on weekends by setting up and serving food at meetings. She volunteers as a Tutor at the Lindenwold Library. When Krishna has some free time, she enjoys arts and crafts, particularly drawing and she takes great pleasure in reading.
Freeholder Bill Moen presented a proclamation to the Camden County Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. The Society was formed in 1995 by members of the Emerald Society of the State of New Jersey’s Chapter 10. They are comprised of active and retired Police Officers, firefighters, EMT’s and former United States military members. They have played for the Archbishop of Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s Day, the Camden County Hero Scholarship Club and Police Appreciation days. In 1998 they were called upon to perform the solemn duty of playing at the national memorial service for 2 U.S. Capitol Police Officers that were killed in the line of duty. In 2001 they responded to New York City to assist with the 9-11 recovery efforts and play at 44 funerals and memorials. The Society helps to raise funds for families residing at the Ronald McDonald’s house.
Freeholder Jeffrey Nash presented a proclamation to the Camden County Municipal Utilities Association, accepted by Executive Director and Chief Engineer, Andrew Kricun. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) named the CCMUA it’s recipient of the 2017 National Environmental Achievement Award- Water Resource Utility of the Future Award. The coveted award is designated to member agencies that demonstrate bold, transformational leadership in managing resources, partner effectively in local economic development, and engage stakeholders – resulting in environmental, economic, and social benefits. The CCMUA has always been on the forefront of technologies to better serve the residents of Camden County. The CCMUA treats 58 million gallons of waste water every day through 135 miles of pipe and 27 pumping stations. The CCMUA has planted rain gardens throughout the City of Camden to help with storm water runoff. A 1.8-million-watt array solar panel array installed at the CCMUA main treatment plant was the first phase of CCMUA’s overall green energy initiative. Ultimately, CCMUA’s goal is to use 100% green energy within the next five years.
Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez presented a proclamation recognizing American Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross does immense good for the community. The Red Cross’ mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Every year, the American Red Cross launches hundreds of disaster relief operations. American Red Cross also assists with international disaster relief and has trained over 8,000 local professional responders and lay persons in life saving skills.
Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez presented Camden County’s Employee of the Month to Mattie Jones, a Supervising Clerk in the Camden County Board of Social Services. Mattie has been with the Board of Social Services 27 ½ years. She began her career as a student assistant in 1989 and has worked in several departments at the agency and has had several titles. One of the struggles at the agency has been keeping up with the enormous task of filing. Mattie has been the driving force in not only cleaning up the file rooms but maintaining them. You can often hear Mattie cheer her employees on and motivates them to work as hard as they can by using positive reinforcement, and sometimes doughnuts or muffins. Mattie is one of the greatest assets at the Board of Social Services and is an inspiration to all and is proof of how hard work pays off. Mattie leads by example and inspires those around her to do their best, even when the task seems impossible. Mattie lives in Camden City and has four children.