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Jordan Hands Over Reins, Looks Back on 'Banner Year'

Moorestown's first-ever female mayor Stacey Jordan gave up her title Monday, but not before looking back on all the progress the township saw in 2013.

Moorestown's first-ever female mayor Stacey Jordan gave up her title Monday, but not before looking back on all the progress the township saw in 2013. Credit: Rob Scott
Moorestown's first-ever female mayor Stacey Jordan gave up her title Monday, but not before looking back on all the progress the township saw in 2013. Credit: Rob Scott

To the editor:

As we start a new year, I look back on the last 12 months with a great sense of satisfaction and pride. When I was elected by my fellow council members last January to lead our town as mayor, I knew we would have our work cut out for us. With large projects underway throughout town, business districts in need of revitalization, and the harsh economic realities facing our entire country, 2013 was set up as a year of many challenging issues. But as we in Moorestown always do, we faced these challenges head-on, and I am proud to say 2013 was a banner year for our community.

First and foremost, I am extremely happy with the progress that has been made on the new town hall and library complex. When Deputy Mayor Chris Chiacchio and I first sought to serve on town council, we made a clear promise to our residents that we would see this project through to fruition. I am delighted to report the complex is on track for completion in April.

This year, work was also completed on the renovations to the Church Street Recreation Center and its doors were reopened to the public in early December. In addition to the newly redone gymnasium and third floor recreational space, the township now has offices within the building for Parks and Recreation staff.

The revitalization of the Moorestown Mall is officially underway, with both Marc Vetri’s Osteria and Firebirds Wood Fired Grill opening their doors over the last few months. The newly renovated Regal Cinemas held its grand reopening in December, the mall unveiled the new “Secret Garden” children’s play area near Macy’s, and a number of new retail stores are now available for shoppers of all ages. On top of all this, 2014 will see the opening of Jose Garces’ Distrito and The Corner Bakery as well. The Moorestown Mall is quickly becoming a premiere destination to shop and dine, and I am proud of the volunteers on the Economic Development Advisory Committee who have supported efforts to revive the mall over the last few years.

The good news doesn’t stop there. In 2013, Virtua opened its new state-of-the-art Health and Wellness Center on Young Avenue, and Destination Maternity, the world's largest retailer and designer of maternity apparel, announced it will be relocating its headquarters and distribution center to Moorestown in fall 2014.

Buffalo Wild Wings announced they will open a new location in East Gate Square, and local developer Bill Burris announced he will be opening a French bistro on Main Street at the site of the vacant Friendly’s this spring. All of these developments are great news, bringing with them more local jobs and increased commercial ratables to our town.

Over the past year, council has also taken additional steps to be accessible to residents and give a voice to the people we were elected to represent. We officially moved to reinstate the “Residents Requests and Presentations” portion of all council meetings, allowing individuals from around town to address council on any matter they feel is critical or important. We also began holding office hours outside of regular council meetings, giving the taxpayers the attention they deserve and offering a way for our citizens to feel comfortable addressing their issues somewhere besides a microphone in a crowded room. Last but not least, council launched a “Business Outreach Tour,” meeting with business owners/officials, touring their facilities, and making sure the business community knows they have elected officials ready to work with them and help them succeed.

As I look back on the past year, I feel it was one our town can be proud of.

Moving forward, there are many things we want to accomplish. We as a council will look to improve our municipal parking lot; continue improvements to our infrastructure; begin the process of maintaining and improving a great asset in town, Strawbridge Lake; find a permanent space for our police department; and keep the quality of life we as Moorestonians have come to appreciate and expect while continuing to be fiscally responsible.

As we move forward, I am taking this opportunity to turn over my role as mayor to another councilperson—not because I am not up for the challenge, but because I truly believe other individuals I serve with deserve the chance to “rotate” into the role of mayor. So Monday night, I stepped down as mayor to make way for one of my colleagues to have the chance to take the reins for 2014. Leaving this role is bittersweet. But more than anything else, I feel an unmitigated gratitude not only to my fellow council members, but to all of Moorestown for affording me the incredible opportunity to serve our community first as councilwoman, and then as mayor.

Our town is a truly special place to live, and I have no doubt it will only get better in the coming years. Thank you for your trust, and I will see you around town!

Stacey Jordan
Moorestown Deputy Mayor

_______________________

Have something to say? Send letters to the editor to rob.scott@patch.com.
John J January 07, 2014 at 09:37 AM
It is sad to see a Women step down when she has so much more to offer. It is also very sad of who will take over & MOST important that the public had no say.
Anne Smith January 07, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Mayor Jordan did a really great job for our town, and I have no doubt that Mayor Chiacchio will do just as great of a job! John J: the public votes for the five Counci lpeople knowing that they select the Mayor, so we have a say when we choose who to vote into those spots. It was a unanimous decision and both the Republicans and the Democrat on Council voted for it to happen. It's going to be another great year for Moorestown!
Donna Morgan January 07, 2014 at 09:50 AM
Thank you for all you have done for our town, Mayor Jordan!
Paula January 07, 2014 at 09:57 AM
Thanks for everything, Stace. You leave big shoes to fill, that's for sure! Our town is very lucky to have you!
Anne Smith January 07, 2014 at 10:18 AM
John J: Mayor Jordan said one year ago that she only planned on serving for one year since she felt rotating the role was important. She never tried to hide that fact. As far as Council goes, I've always found them (All five, from both parties) to be very Moorestown-minded. They listen, they care about the town, and they are always willing to chat anytime about concerns or problems. I know the privatizing trash issue is one you seem to be unhappy about, and I can understand that. A couple of people losing their jobs is no fun matter. But if our town saves millions, they need to do what's best for all 20,000 of us, not just for a couple of people (though I hope some of those that are laid off can be placed in other departments somewhere in town). And at the end of the day, if we as the voters disapprove, well, that's what elections are for. My recommendation is to chat with our councilmembers. I know some would have you believe they are big bad government types, but they are all truly wonderful people who are doing their best.
John J January 07, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Anne Smith Yes the public votes for Town Council but, I ask why can't we vote for our Mayor ??? We should have the right to vote for all. Key point does it have to be a secret?? Anne Smith I am not sure if you have been attending the past monthly meetings but I have ,and nothing was ever mentioned that Mrs. Jordan would be stepping down in the new year. I would kindly suggest to attend the meetings if you don't. You will then see that council only talks about what they want not truly what our residents want.
Cassandra Allen January 07, 2014 at 10:43 AM
Good year, and alot left to do. Thanks for servign the town for the last year , it was a good year
This Is Our Town January 07, 2014 at 11:29 AM
Mayor, we are grateful for your service! Our local businesses thank and appreciate you and wish you the best in your role as Deputy Mayor!
Marsia Mason January 07, 2014 at 01:07 PM
The year flew by, Stacey, without the rancor of past years. we wish you could stay on as da Mayor!
Bella Pelosi January 07, 2014 at 01:35 PM
What exactly did the council accomplish or initiate in 2013? I know the Lenola task force started but nothing has been improved yet and by the looks of things, nothing will be improved any time soon. Of course after the dedication shown during last weeks storm, someone posts we will save millions (where are the figures) on firing a few sanitation employees. On the bright side, shiny new offices for management and new telecom equipment for 400,000!
Joe Johnson January 07, 2014 at 01:43 PM
Bella, take the time to read the above letter. Council did a significant amount. Hey, remember when Democrats were in charge and raised taxes 20 something percent? The "good ol days", huh???
Bella Pelosi January 07, 2014 at 01:47 PM
Joe, what did they initiate? I'm open minded but I don't recall much. How much would taxes have risen if these leaders didn't use all of the liquor license money? I have heard it is all gone. I hope that is not true.
Edmond George January 07, 2014 at 04:03 PM
They didn't make any of these things happen - not one single thing. This is the worst kind of grandstanding I've seen. Its aweful. She should be ashamed.
NObama January 07, 2014 at 04:14 PM
Edmond George, registered Democrat, doesn't like the Republican Mayor. Yawn.

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