Public to See Push on Strategic Plan
Green Brook officials seek input on key ideas ahead of plan adoption.
Hoping to get residents to "buy in" to the Green Brook strategic plan under development, officials will be looking to talk about the plan with residents, neighborhood groups and key local leaders.
The strategic plan was launched at a June 23 brainstorming session, with Township Committee members, emergency services representatives and residents which identified several keys areas to help the township achieve a goal of keeping Green Brook "a place with a small town feel providing good, quality municipal services."
At a meeting Tuesday to review notes from the initial meeting and set the next steps, consultant Regan Burkholder, of the Summit Collaborative Group, recommended officials make every effort to gain public involvement on the strategic plan before adopting specific goals in December.
"The idea, I think, is to start out talking to a lot of people, then as you move along, you have fewer and fewer people involved," Burkholder said. He suggested officials decide how they will spread word of the plan to the community.
To help, Township Administrator Kelly Cupit said the report of the first meeting would be posted on the township website, and a small handout could be prepared for officials to use to discuss it with residents. The website may also add a mechanism for residents to comment on or offer ideas for the plan.
The group also addressed one goal which may be moving to the top of the list: establishment of a Green Brook-only ZIP code. Township Committeeman Eddie Pfiefer said he has been discussing the process for having 08813 assigned to Green Brook with postal officials at the Kilmer Postal Distribution Center in Edison.
Tuesday's meeting also included representatives from the Green Brook Board of Education, who had missed the initial meeting. Board member Gerry Binder said the school board was about to begin its own strategic planning, and said the township and school board should try to "marry" their plans.
"It seems to me, if we can make it happen, we—the community—will be in a much stronger position to make it happen," Binder said.
Township Committeeman Ken Hermann noted some of the goals of the strategic plan—such as making Green Brook more pedestrian and bicycle friendly—would probably match goals the school board will have.
Burkholder recommended the township try to determine what goals may be most achievable and helpful, suggesting the township try to recruit a graduate student from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers to perform the work as a masters degree project. Cupit said she's been in contact with the school to see if an internship can be started.
Deputy Mayor Pat Boccio said the ongoing process establishing the strategic plan will be a "distillation process."
"This isn't going to be set in stone," he said.