SENIOR SERVICES ACTIVITIES CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Mayor John G. Ducey is taking the precautionary action of cancelling all scheduled activities at the Brick Township Senior Outreach Services Center until further notice. The cancellations take effect at the end of regular business on Friday, March 13.

The Brick Office of Senior Outreach Services will remain open for regular hours and will provide services by appointment only. Regular services such as telephone outreach and welfare checks will continue as normal.

The Brick Township Senior Shuttle will continue to operate and provide transportation for seniors to grocery stores and pharmacies. Senior Shuttle transportation to recreational destinations is cancelled until further notice. Transportation to medical visits will continue to be offered by Senior Services.

In addition, the nutrition site at the Senior Center operated by Community Services, Inc. will be closed from March 16 through March 27. CSI will continue to deliver meals through their Meals on Wheels program.

The Township will continue to monitor and assess the COVID-19 crisis and will provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, please call the Brick Township Office of Senior Services at 732-920-8686.

 

SENIOR SERVICES ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION POSTPONED

As a precautionary measure, Mayor John G. Ducey is announcing that the annual Brick Senior Outreach Services Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 is being postponed until a later date.

 “As older Americans are among the most at-risk during the current coronavirus outbreak, we have decided the best course of action would be to postpone the annual St. Patrick’s Celebration until the risk has passed,” said Mayor Ducey.

 The new date and time for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be announced in the future. Any resident who has registered for the event will be notified of the cancellation and the new date when it is established.

 “The safety of the public is our number one priority and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during this time,” said Mayor Ducey. “We urge everyone to continue to take the necessary measures to protect themselves and the public as this crisis continues.”

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM THE TOWNSHIP OF BRICK

Mayor John Ducey and the Township Office of Emergency Management are closely monitoring the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and are in regular communication with the State of New Jersey and the Ocean County Health Department.

During this time, all residents are urged to follow the practices cited by the CDC to help protect you, your family and the public during this time. These include:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve – not your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash hands often with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds – especially before eating or after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home when sick and keep your children home when they are sick. Do not return to work or send your children to school unless they have been fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects

Residents who are at higher risk such as the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease should take additional steps such as avoiding crowds, travel and should stay home as much as possible.

Should you have more questions or concerns, the New Jersey Coronavirus Hotline is available 24//7 and can be reached at 800-222-1222 or visit www.nj.gov/health. The CDC website is www.cdc.gov.For information about Brick Township Public Schools and their plans, visit http://www.brickschools.org/COVID-19#0309.

In the meantime, Mayor Ducey, the Township Council and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to work to take necessary precautions to keep township staff and visitors to town hall safe.

MAYOR DUCEY ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS AND SENIORS

Mayor John G. Ducey would like to inform high school juniors and seniors in Brick Township about a scholarship opportunity offered by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The League is offering three $1,000 scholarships through the Louis Bay 2nd Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition. The statewide competition centers on the theme “What My Municipal Government Does Best” and seeks to advance the virtues of elected members of municipal government.

“Brick Township has many exceptional young students. I encourage all juniors and seniors to participate in this scholarship competition and show just how exceptional, talented and dedicated the young people of our community are,” said Mayor Ducey.

Applicants will be required to write an essay of approximately 500 words with the theme “What My Municipal Government Does Best.” The essay should be based on the applicant’s perceptions and experiences with your municipality’s local government and should consider the public contribution of the municipal government. Judging is based solely on the essay including originality, technical composition and appropriateness and effective articulation of theme.

Students wishing to apply for the scholarship competition can download an application packet. If you would like to request an application by email, please send an email to emoroney@twp.brick.nj.us.

The scholarship is open to all high school juniors and seniors. Residents who live in Brick but attend schools in other communities should return their application to Mayor Ducey’s office.

A committee will select one essay from Brick Township as a semi-finalist. That application will be forwarded and reviewed by the NJSLOM Scholarship Committee. That committee will select 15 finalists and 3 winners. The winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship and their essay will be featured in New Jersey Municipalities Magazine.

All applications must be returned to Mayor Ducey’s office by March 13, 2020. Completed applications should be mailed to Mayor John Ducey, Attention: NJSLOM Scholarship, 401 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick, NJ, 08723.

BRICK HERO AWARDS TAKES PLACE ON FEBRUARY 21; SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATIONS!

The Annual Brick Hero Awards will be held on Friday, February 21 at Brick Township High School, 346 Chambers Bridge Rd. Doors open at 6 pm and the ceremony begins at 7 pm. The event honors Brick residents and businesses that exhibit a remarkable effort to make the community a better place. The event will include performances by local school choirs, theatre groups, dance teams, and more.

The Brick Hero Awards are hosted by the Mayor’s Teen Advisory Council, known as “The Society” in Brick Township High School and Brick Memorial High School. This year’s ceremony will feature remarks from Mayor John Ducey, Township Council and Sue McNamara, Director of Planning, Research, & Evaluation for Brick Township Public Schools. The goal of the Brick Hero Awards is to create a school and community effort to award acts of kindness and put those who actively do good deeds in the spotlight.

Mayor John Ducey created the Brick Youth Initiative to give young people a greater voice in our community. Mayor Ducey regularly meets with the Teen Advisory Councils at each high school to discuss Brick Township and listen to their thoughts and suggestions. “Our young people are a vital part of Brick Township and its future,” Mayor Ducey said. “I see how remarkable they are, with great ideas for our town and our future, and want them to grow and succeed into adults that carry with them the importance of being civic-minded and giving back to their community.”

All proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Brick Teen Center, Lounge 270. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults and can be purchased at the door. For more information on the award ceremony or to nominate someone in the community who exemplifies being a hero in everyday life email Brandi White at bwhite@twp.brick.nj.us.

MAYOR DUCEY STATEMENT REGARDING RECENT SHOOTING AND CRIME IN BRICK

Mayor John G. Ducey has released the following statement regarding the recent shooting and crime in the community:

“As a parent of a 7-year old son, I fully understand and appreciate the fear we all experienced when news broke of a shooting near Brick Memorial High School. October 22 was, without a doubt, my worst day as Mayor. As the person who bears the ultimate responsibility for every single resident of this town, I recognize and continue to be fully committed to enhancing safety.

Many people have contacted me in the wake of this incident and shared their fears. Some have suggested that crime is rising in Brick Township. The statistics show this is not true. Yes, we have had several high profile incidents in the past few weeks. However, crime has been trending down in our community.

In 2018, Brick Township had 65 violent crimes. This is the lowest amount since 2005. Also, property crimes from 2014-2018 are down 21% compared to 2009-2013. This isn’t perception or conjecture. These are facts. These are statistics from the FBI Crime Report.

That being said, even one violent crime is too many. That is why the Council and I have been working with the Brick Township Police Department to ensure that they have the staffing and the resources they need to better protect our community. Over the past five years, we have taken many measures to do just that. These include:

  • Appointed Chief Riccio as police chief. I wanted a “boots-on-the-ground” leader and have been so pleased with my decision. He is a great leader of a great force.
  • Staffed our Police Department with the highest numbers of police officers in Brick Township history.
  • Restored the Selective Enforcement Team formerly known as the gang task force. We just added 4 officers to support their work.
  • Identified areas with high crime activity and designated them as special districts. These areas have 24-hour police presence. As a result, there has been a significant decrease in crime in these neighborhoods and a much better partnership with residents who are equally committed to a safe neighborhood.
  • Increased training for officers, particularly for active shooter situations.
  • Adopted a responsible landlord ordinance that will hold landlords responsible when their tenants commit crimes. We can’t control who lives in our community; we can’t make people leave. But, we can impose monetary penalties and force legal action when tenants don’t respect out community and our laws. We can – and did – take measures that will continue to encourage landlords to better vet their tenants and get rid of them if they prove to be bad citizens.

These measures have been paying off. The FBI’s statistics show that.

In response to the recent shootings that occurred in Brick Township, Chief Riccio has stepped up patrols and special enforcement in areas known for criminal activity. Among other initiatives, manpower has been added to the department’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and Selective Enforcement Team (SET). Recently, Brick detectives joined forces with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office in a joint effort to target areas known for illegal activity. These units worked together to aggressively target these areas which included those frequented by the juveniles arrested in connection to last week’s shooting incident. These cooperative efforts led to the arrest of nineteen (19) individuals over a three-day period.

In terms of actual statistics, there were 65 violent crimes in Brick in 2018; the lowest since 2005. Violent crimes over the past five years are down 18% from the previous 5-year period; property crimes are down 21%. By these measures, Brick Township is becoming a safer community.

Few things evoke fear like school shootings – the fact is that this happened near a school as kids were let out. Parents were rightfully scared. Also, Brick Township unfortunately has had a few high profile incidents over the past few weeks. Two murders that were the result of domestic violence and the two drive-by shootings including the one by the school, which turned out to be connected. These were not random acts of violence. When high profile crimes happen, they are posted on social media and shared and take on a life on their own, often not based in fact but based on instilling fear. It creates a narrative that Brick Township is a dangerous community. Statistics show we are trending the other way.

Also, gangs are not geographically exclusive to Brick Township. These people are members of gangs that are region-wide, if not nation-wide. That is why the fight against gang violence involves several layers of law enforcement. Our Police Department works with other local departments, the County Sheriff and Prosecutor’s Office, the State Police, the FBI and other agencies to combat gang presence and violence. This interdepartmental cooperation and the dissemination of information is essential for these efforts. Our Police will continue to work with them diligently and I have nothing but the utmost faith and confidence in Chief James Riccio and our officers.

With regards to what citizens can do to help us in this fight, first and foremost, I would encourage everyone to first think about your safety and the safety of your family before doing anything. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If you see or are aware of any activities that concern you, call our Police Department at 732-262-1100. They are best equipped to deal with any issues.

Again, I understand the fear that was felt upon the first reports of shots fired at a school in town. It must have been similar to the fear that Brick Township parents felt in 1990 when news broke of a student holding his classmates hostage with a shotgun at a Township high school.

I absolutely will continue to focus on ensuring our police have the tools they need to keep us safe and know that our residents will work with them to whatever extent possible. Together, we will experience joys and face challenges and grow stronger in our commitment to our Town.

Sincerely,

Mayor John G. Ducey”

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO BE FOCUS AT COUNCIL MEETING

October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in an effort to help raise awareness and put a spotlight on domestic violence within the community, the Brick Township Council and Mayor John G. Ducey will welcome local organizations and professionals who work with domestic violence victims to the October 22, 2019 Council meeting.

“Domestic violence is a problem that affects every community in America. It affects every gender, every race, every age, every sexual orientation,” said Mayor Ducey. “This month gives all citizens the opportunity to learn about domestic violence, its impact on our communities and how all of us can help educate and empower people to get help and stop the violence.”

Mayor Ducey has proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Township Council will be voting on a resolution recognizing the same at the meeting. The proclamation and resolutions will be presented to the guests at the meeting.

In this past year, there have been 3 homicides in Brick Township – all of them domestic in nature, all 3 victims were in relationships with the people who are accused of committing these homicides.  These were not random acts of violence; they were perpetrated by people closest to the victims.

The Township Council and Mayor Ducey have invited Providence House and Dottie’s House to the October 22 Council meeting. Providence House assists residents with emergency assistance in Brick Municipal Court. Dottie’s House provides short-term housing for victims who have fled a violent relationship and need a fresh start. The Township supports both of these organizations with Community Block Development Grant funds.

“Providence House and Dottie’s House are both outstanding organizations that work to help victims of domestic violence and the Council and I are proud to be able to support them through our CDBG program,” said Mayor Ducey.

Also attending and speaking at the October 22 meeting will be Monmouth University Professor and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Lawrence R. Jones. Prior to retiring from the Bench in 2017, Judge Jones served as the President of the New Jersey Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and authored over 60 opinions on novel issues of law, including   significant published and unpublished opinions on issues of domestic and dating violence.  During his years of service on the Bench, Judge Jones also served as a member of the faculty of New Jersey’s Judicial College, and was the creator of the N.J.  Judiciary’s 2016 training program, “Harassment:  Drawing the Line between Domestic Disagreements and Domestic Violence.” Jones was recently appointed  by Monmouth University to create and teach  what is believed to be possibly  the nation’s first-ever undergraduate course  on domestic violence law and social policy at a major university to (a)  be  both developed and taught by a former domestic violence judge.

“It is our hope that raising awareness and providing information gives people who are being abused the strength, courage and knowledge they need for them to seek and receive help before it is too late,” said Mayor Ducey.

FEMA CANCELS TOWNSHIP’S $5M SANDY LOAN

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce that the Township of Brick has been informed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that they have fully forgiven the $5 million Community Disaster Loan that was issued in 2013. FEMA had previously rejected a request by the Township to forgive the loan.

“This is great news for the taxpayers of Brick Township,” said Mayor Ducey. “The recovery from Super Storm Sandy has been a long and costly process for our community. The cancellation of the $5 million will remove a significant burden from our taxpayers, many of whom experienced tremendous loss during Sandy.”

FEMA’s evaluation of Brick Township’s request to cancel the Community Disaster Loan showed an operating deficit of $15,010,062 during the time period. The deficit was largely created in the immediate aftermath of Sandy and was due to expenses and loss of tax revenue.

Super Storm Sandy hit New Jersey on October 29, 2012. Brick Township was one of the communities severely impacted by the storm.

Mayor Ducey appreciates FEMA’s reevaluation of the cancellation request. “On behalf of the township and our taxpayers, I would like to thank FEMA for fully forgiving this loan. We did what was necessary after Sandy to start Brick Township on the path to recovery and the Community Disaster Loan was a large part of that. With the loan forgiven, it is one more step in moving forward.”

PERMITS FOR BEACH VEHICLES AVAILABLE AGAIN

For the first time since Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, the Township of Brick will be making permits for operating motor vehicles on beaches available. The permits will allow beach access to vehicles from October 1st through April 30th.

“After nearly seven years, we are pleased to finally reopen our beaches to vehicles in the offseason and allow people to once again enjoy activities such as surf fishing,” said Mayor John G. Ducey. “We thank everyone for their patience and understanding throughout the recovery and replenishment of our beaches.”

Beach vehicle permit applications are available online and in the Municipal Clerk’s Office. The permit application fee is $35.

Beach access will be available at Brick Beach One only.

All vehicles are subject to an inspection by the Brick Township Police Department before a permit is approved. The inspection schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesdays – September 4, 11, 18, 25 – 6pm-9pm
  • Fridays – September 6, 13, 20, 27 – 6pm-9pm
  • Saturdays – September 7, 14, 21, 28 – 9am-3pm

Applications must be completed prior to inspection. Applications must include $35, copy of valid driver’s license, copy of valid vehicle registration. Applications can be submitted in the Clerk’s Office, to Traffic Safety at the time of inspection  and mailed to the Clerk’s Office. Applications submitted to Traffic Safety and through mail are payable only by checks payable to Twp of Brick.  Permits for applications submitted to Traffic Safety and through the mail will be mailed the following business day.

For more information call the Township Clerk at 732-262-1001.

SENIOR SHUTTLE TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO CONCERTS

The Brick Township Senior Shuttle will be providing door-to-door rides to and from the Traders Cove Concert series to residents ages 60 and over who lack their own transportation. Seating is very limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The concert schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 7 – Basso Brothers (rain date 8/8)
  • Wednesday, August 14 – Tim McLoone & The Shirleys (rain date 8/15)
  • Wednesday, August 21 – Motor City Revue (rain date 8/22)
  • Wednesday, August 28 – DJ Chris Anthony & Peter Carter’s Tribute to the King of Pop (rain date 8/29)

Concerts are free to attend and begin at 7pm. Seniors attending the concerts by bus will be provided chairs in a designated location. Any eligible resident wishing to schedule a ride to the Traders Cove Concert Series should call Senior Services at 732-920-8686.

The Senior Shuttle is a new transportation service introduced by Mayor Ducey this year. The Senior Shuttle offers transportation for residents ages 60 and over to the Senior Center, local shopping areas and points of interest.