Letters from Mayor Lieberberg

Mayor’s Message 3/27

Updated: March 27, 4:00 p.m.

Good afternoon Millburn Township Residents—This is your Mayor, Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg, and today is Friday, March 27th.

As of this message, there are 28 cases in the Township. There are two resident patients that are hospitalized.  Essex County currently has 789 cases. I must reemphasize that we are not able to give specifics about patients, including location or other protected information. If the health department finds, through contact tracing, that you need to be contacted, then you will be. We are under a “stay at home” order from the State of New Jersey and Governor Murphy and for that reason we should all, with the exception of essential employees, be at home in self-quarantine.

The Essex County testing site opening went very smoothly yesterday, according to reports from the County. Staff from St Barnabas and University Hospital were on hand for medical testing and additional logistical assistance was provided by the County that ensured a successful service for which we are grateful. The site, however has appointments booked through April 3rd and is not accepting any further appointments at this time. There are some private medical offices that are now able to provide testing and they are listed on the Township’s website. Unfortunately, these are not free of charge and will likely require insurance, but it is an option I wanted to communicate with you all. https://twp.millburn.nj.us/472/Updates-from-State-Federal-Offices

The Millburn Police Department has shared important information regarding scams and fraudulent activity that are taking advantage of our current situation. These tips and reminders will help keep us from being victims or impacting our acts of kindness and generosity. The information can be found on the Township’s COVID-19 information hub.  Please verify what or who you are donating to and ensure they are a trusted source. https://twp.millburn.nj.us/483/Fraud-and-Scams-Related-to-COVID-19

Please continue to patronize local restaurants that need our support.

The names and pick up hours are listed on the Township’s Website under our Coronavirus information hub. https://twp.millburn.nj.us/481/How-Residents-Can-Support-Local-During-C. Also, know the Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of commerce is partnering with our local restaurants to supply meals to 350 St. Barnabas personnel working with COVID-19 patients. To donate please visit the events page of the Chamber’s website. https://millburnshorthillschamber.org/events/covid-19-donations/

Seniors we are here to help. Please call us at 973-447-1223 to assist with your essential needs

We are now heading into another weekend where our daily lives will again be temporarily altered.  In my travels through various news articles or social media, I found a short quote by Aristotle that I felt was particularly poignant. “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” That fruit is normalcy, a hug from a friend, a sporting event, a social gathering, a birthday celebration.  We must be patient first.  Please continue to do what’s right as a community, for our community. Stay home. Social distance. Check in on our neighbors. Continue to take these protocols seriously even if it seems to drag on.  Find new ways to lift your spirits. A new hobby, a craft project, a social distance walk, read the book that has sat on your shelf or simply cherish the time to relax a bit from our normal break-neck pace. We will get through this and we will persevere. We are MILLBURN SHORT HILLS. We are an Extraordinary Community. Stay safe. Thank you.

Mayor’s Message 3/25

Updated: March 25, 4:00 p.m.

Good afternoon Millburn Township Residents—This is your Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg and today is Wednesday, March 25.

Let me begin by saying how very proud I am of our community and the generosity of residents to help one another. Yesterday, the Township’s First Aid Squad, Police and Fire Departments received numerous charitable donations from the Millburn Short Hills Chinese American Association.  Special thanks to Louie Shen for organizing and mobilizing our residents in record time. The gift of 3,000 protective masks, PPE equipment, and cash donations were given to the departments. They also received Gift cards for their use at local restaurants for takeout food, while they are on the job working tirelessly for the safety and protection of our community.  We are very grateful for their donations.

Actions like this are another reminder of how extraordinary a community we are!

I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to our Millburn Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad.  I am not sure if everyone knows that this organization operates solely on donations; they are an all-volunteer organization and are out there on the front line for our residents at this critical time. We ask that you be judicious when you call 911 for their services. Please know that supplies are in critical shortage and each call requires the utmost of care. If you are sick, call your doctor first for guidance.  If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID 19 or any other illness that constitutes a medical emergency, please call 911 and explain clearly what your symptoms are to a dispatcher.   

As of this message, there are 20 cases in the Township. 

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Freeholder President Brendan Gill and Vice President Wayne Richardson announced this morning that Essex County will be opening a drive-through testing site for Essex County residents who are symptomatic of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Essex County at Weequahic Park in Newark.

The site will open on Thursday, March 26th and Saturday, March 28th when 100 tests per day will be administered; it will then be open next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when 150 tests per day will be administered each day. The testing site is for Essex County residents only; appointments are mandatory. Residents must arrive by car. The appointments will be scheduled from 9 AM to 3 PM.

A copy of the full press release can be found on the Township’s website with further instructions for those that need to be tested and meet the criteria.  Residents that are symptomatic for COVID-19 can go to www.EssexCOVID.org to fill out a survey to determine eligibility for testing or if you are without internet access you can call (973) 324-9950 between the hours of 7am and 11pm and an operator will help complete the initial survey.  Residents must bring a confirmation number, meaning they are eligible, to the testing facility—Do not go to the facility without proper paperwork.    Again, additional details can be found at www.twp.millburn.nj.us

Residents, please continue to follow the social distancing protocols. The health of our community depends on each and every one of you. Thank you for listening to our recommendations. It will help us FLATTEN the curve. As the weather gets warmer, follow the safety guidelines; walk against traffic and ride bicycles with traffic and slow down when you see pedestrians both in your neighborhood and in crosswalks.

Please continue to patronize local restaurants that need our support.

The names and pick up hours are listed on the Township’s Website under our Coronavirus information hub.   https://twp.millburn.nj.us/bizsupport

Seniors—we are here to help you— call (973) 447-1223 with any shopping or essential service needs.  We have helped numerous qualifying seniors thus far and continue to reach out and check in on our most vulnerable.

I would also like to thank Alex McDonald, Steve Roth the President of First Aid Squad, Police Chief Brian Gilfedder, Fire Chief Rob Echavarria, Fire Capt. Chris Beady and Police Captain Ed Blazinski, our volunteer MSHVFAS and all our first responders in Police and Fire who have been at the helm of our emergency response. We are so grateful for their commitment to our community. An additional thank you to all my fellow Township Committee members who all care deeply about the health and well-being of our community.

Stay safe Millburn Short Hills Residents—We will persevere—Stay positive—Call your neighbor

Send an email—watch a silly movie—listen to a free audio on audible—We will get through this!!! Thank you.

Mayor’s Message 3/23

Updated: March 23, 4:00 p.m.

This is Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg with an update for the residents of Millburn Township. Today is Monday, March 23rd, 2020.

I want to start this message out with just how very proud we should all be of our Millburn Township community. We are all rising to the challenge, finding ways to stay positive and manifesting true community spirit. We see residents starting food drives for hospital workers, getting people to rally around making masks or donating supplies for the nurses and doctors battling so hard for us and of course the positive chalk messages in walkways and driveways. We hope to see more fresh inspiration after the rain has passed.

As of this message and including data from this weekend, the Township’s total number of COVID-19 patients is eighteen (18). This represents 6.6% of the Essex County total. We as a community have control over the spread here in Millburn. We can accomplish that by doing the following;

  1. First, take it seriously! If you are not already abiding by the strict guidelines-- you must immediately. The steps that have been taken by the State of New Jersey will save lives and will take time. Stay positive but also remain resolute in your commitment to stop the spread. This goes for all of our children, teens and college students. They are not exempt nor immune. Please talk to your kids about their ability to be a massive part of this solution.
  2. Second, keep your social distance while passively recreating. Township staff and police are carefully monitoring our passive spaces. Please do the right thing and maintain social distance outside of the family members that are self-quarantining with you. While everyone is home, these areas will tend to crowded, but use good judgment and continue best practices with regard to social distancing.
  3. Lastly, Stay Home and keep washing your hands. This is the most important. On Saturday, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 107, which closes all non-essential businesses. Our trips from home should be for essential business only! Even when we are out making an essential trip we must practice social distancing and good health habits.

I would also like to remind everyone that while you are out on the roads driving, walking, or biking, please remember:

  • Walk against traffic
  • Ride your bike with traffic
  • ALWAYS pay attention, regardless of what modality you have chosen
  • Be a courteous driver as more people will be using the roads to exercise and get out of the house. This includes the State Law that requires you to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

A reminder that grocery stores, pharmacies and doctor’s offices all remain open without restriction. This should no longer be a family trip. Please obey the guidelines that allow Seniors to have the first hour to shop: at Kings from 7 AM-8 AM and Shop Rite Millburn and Springfield, 7 AM-8 AM, and Shop Rite Livingston 6:30 AM- 7:30AM.

Continue to visit the Township’s website for updates on the COVID-19 response, including many
different subpages for subject specific information. If you have not signed up for the Township’s
Swift911 system or NotifyMe through the Township’s website, please do so as soon as possible.

Stay positive. Be kind to one another. Keep your social distance. Call your neighbors. Unplug
sometimes. Stay safe Millburn-Short Hills Residents! We will get through this! Thank you.

Mayor’s Message 3/20

Updated: March 20, 4:00 p.m. 

This is Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg with an update for the residents of Millburn Township. Today is Friday, March 20th. 

We are officially in Spring and although it might not be the beginning we all hoped for, we should find some comfort in the warmer weather and the beauty of spring blossoms in our community. 

The Township now has a total of 7 residents that have tested positive for COVID-19. There are not any additional details. Please do not speculate about these individuals. The health department will perform all contact tracing and make any necessary notifications.

The Township of Millburn staff, our first responders, the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad, Office of Emergency Management and the Township Committee continue to be here working hard to provide information, respond to resident concerns and of course being there to answer 911 emergencies.  

We ask that you be very judicious with these 911 calls. As you can imagine all emergency services are very much engaged.

Today I want to make a few very important points to the community as we head into the weekend

The first is that we all need to do our part to flatten the curve and reduce the anticipated pressure on hospitals, medical staff and first responders. Take social distancing seriously. There are still reports of kids gathering in groups or using the park or school playground equipment. This equipment is closed and closed for a reason. I hope that we do not need to rely upon our police department to ticket violators. Do the right thing.  It is in the best interest of our community and all of our residents.

At this time, I would like to announce that Essex County has closed all of their parks and recreational facilities. The South Mountain reservation and reservoir walking trails are also closed. 

Audible, a division of Amazon has launched a free streaming service that allows anyone anywhere to listen to hundreds of book titles. This can be reached at stories.audible.com. If you have questions about the service audiblestories2020@audible.com. Listening is unlimited and the service is completely free. The service is available in multiple languages. 

Grocery stores, pharmacies and doctor’s offices all remain open without restriction. We ask our residents to have one family member make these important trips, when they are necessary. While there may be larger numbers of people at these locations, with other businesses being shut down we can reduce these numbers by eliminating a family run when at all possible. Please note that Shop-Rite and Kings have set aside their first hour for seniors.  All other residents please respect this carve out.

Please also remember that official communication and information regarding the Township’s COVID-19 response will come through these Mayor’s messages, the Township’s office of Emergency management and the Township’s website or official social media accounts. Please stay informed and take your cues from these official sources.

We wish you a wonderful weekend. We are here working for you. Stay positive. Be kind to one another. Keep your social distance. Call your neighbors. Stay safe. We will get through this! Thank you.

Mayor’s Message 3/18

Updated: March 18, 4:00 p.m. 

This is Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg with an update --- Today is Wednesday, March 18th.

As of this update the Township’s total number of COVID-19 patients stand at 4.  Two women and two men, all over 60 years of age.   

Last evening, I reported that the Short Hills Mall has closed until further notice.

The restaurants are open for take out only.

We continue to follow the Governor’s guidelines and mandate an 8 PM curfew and request that all food pickups be made by 8 PM.   All essential traffic after 8 pm, will be reserved for only supermarket and pharmacy visits.

Our hot line is up and running for seniors requiring essential services and we will share that number again:  973-447-1223 ---- If you have questions about COVID 19—please email covidquestions@millburntwp.org.  Additionally, the State of New Jersey has set up a support line at (877) 294-4357 to provide emotional support, guidance and mental health referrals for those are struggling.

We continue to emphasis that SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL WORK TO FLATTEN THE CURVE—PLEASE CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THESE CDC GUIDELINES--- We know that there is a bit of “Spring Fever” with the warmer temperatures—if you are outside—obey these guidelines--- Our parks are OPEN –Our Playgrounds and courts are NOT—Our recycling center is open during its normal operating hours. Please respect the essential protocols and keep your distances—

The Township is lifting parking restrictions and fees for any shopper parking as all parking will generally be delivery vehicles or food pickup.   

I was on a call with our county leadership this morning---Essex County is in the process of establishing 2 testing sites---As soon as we have the pertinent details—we will share with our residents—these will be for individuals that are experiencing the symptoms of the virus--- it will be a private lab and will be operational once all the requisite testing equipment is set up --- details will follow as soon as available.

Please also know that Congressman Malinowski has also been in constant contact with the Township and is working diligently in the House to help our citizens with programs that will extend family leave, small business loans at minimal interest rates and economic relief for all constituents that are not able to work--- We will provide this information as it becomes available on the Township’s Covid-19 response webpage.  Hopefully this legislation may address your individual concerns once passed. 

The citizens of Millburn/Short Hills are our most valuable resource.  Please follow all the protocols and continue to keep your social distancing.  We are depending upon each and everyone of you--- Thank you for being such a wonderful community.  I am so very proud to be your Mayor.

Mayor’s Message 3/16

Updated: March 16, 4:00 p.m. 

This is Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg with an update for the residents of Millburn Township.  Today is Monday, March 16th. 

We will begin providing regular updates to the public, pending any emergent information, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4:00 p.m.   

Today at 3:30 p.m., our OEM Coordinator Capt. Chris Beady and I signed a local declaration of emergency. This was not done as a result of any change in Millburn’s current health status. This declaration was done as a preparatory action for anticipated decisions and directives that will likely be necessary to continue the Township’s role in protecting the health and safety of all of our residents.

The Township has received confirmation of its second case of COVID-19. What we know about both of these cases is that the patients are women in their 60’s. Both are currently self-quarantined at home and recuperating. Each was determined to have minimal familial and public exposure.Current cases will be continually monitored by local health officials twice a day I must stress to the public that we will release information as it becomes available, however this will be limited by privacy laws. It is also important to remember that direct contact persons, organizations and places of work will be notified by health officials as they conduct contact tracing and receive this information from the patient. 

Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday March 17th the Township will implement a new program for our most vulnerable residents. Persons age 70 and older or over 60 with underlying health conditions, that do not have a local support system can call (973) 447-1223 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to discuss with Township staff how we can assist. Calls after business hours can leave a message and will be returned promptly. Please note that this program is designed as an outreach for necessary items for our senior population that demand attention. Click here for more information about the program: Opt for Shop and Drop for Senior Citizens.

Additionally, we have also set up an email address that residents can submit questions to at covidquestions@millburntwp.org. Township staff will monitor and respond to all inquiries. Going forward, please note that Town Hall walk-in traffic may be reduced. Please call ahead prior to your visit. 

We continue to emphasize to our community that social distancing is what will work. It will save lives and flatten the curve of this public health crisis. This is not a time for our teens and younger population to socialize and gather together. This is a time for all of us to spend time with our family, keep each other safe and listen to all recommendations to curb the spread of this disease. Take it seriously. The Township is prepared to take more drastic measures to enforce the limitation of social activities should that be necessary.

Businesses must take this time to begin preparing for the likely inevitable next step, which is the forced closure of all non-essential businesses. Restaurants should move their business to curbside pick-up and delivery. 

We do not want our residents to panic. These protocols of social distancing, good hygiene and preparedness are of paramount importance. These actions will protect you and your neighbors.  These changes to our daily lives will safeguard all of us. Continue to check on your most vulnerable. Stay safe. Thank you.

Mayor’s Message 3/15

Updated: March 15, 4:00 p.m. 

This is Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg, and today is Sunday, March 15th. We continue to work as a community to be on the offensive against COVID-19 and do our part to mitigate the impacts to our health care systems and all the incredible nurses, doctors and hospital workers that are working tirelessly through this emergency.  

As we begin the two-week closure of schools and our daily lives take on a different perspective, I want to remind residents, businesses and organizations that these are unprecedented times that call for discipline, creativity and most of all positivity to do what is best for our community, State and Country.   Our community is strong, we are prepared, we have a dedicated group of first responders and professional staff that will be here throughout to support our community.  

With that I offer you all these important reminders:

  • Although schools are closed.  We must take social distancing practices seriously.  This is not the time to engage in any social gatherings. This is a time to be with your family. This is the time to minimize any proximity to others.
  • Businesses, while I know this is a painful time for all of you, you must take steps to be a part of the solution as well.  We strongly encourage you all to limit the number of individuals in your stores, offer curb side pick-up, offer classes remotely or find other creative solutions to discourage crowds – continue to practice social distancing guidelines at all times.
  • Organizations, including religious congregations, are all encouraged to limit their gatherings--function by appointment only or hold online meetings and/or worship remotely.

We are taking this seriously and many requisite restrictions are in place.  The schools have closed.  Town functions have been canceled. Rec programs are postponed. The Millburn Library is closed.  Our daily lives have been altered. We are all important pieces in this fight and everyone should be working to make the right decisions to protect our families and our neighbors.  We continue to be in state of preparation and prevention.  We will keep the public updated on our efforts over the coming days. We WILL get through this.  Be safe. 

Thank you.

Mayor’s Message 3/13

Updated: March 13, 4:00 p.m.  

Hello all residents this is another important message from your Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg.  As a municipality we want to keep everyone as informed as possible throughout this difficult situation. However, we also cannot emphasize enough the need to support one another, come together in the spirit of community and remain calm and measured as we all do our part to combat and slow the onset of COVID-19. 

Today I have recently learned that the Township of Millburn has had its first resident test positive for the coronavirus. There is no other additional information at this time about how this person contracted the disease.  The health department is following the New Jersey Department of Health protocols and guidelines and is in the process of working on contact tracing of this individual.

We knew that Milburn Township would not be immune to the emergence of COVID-19, however our perseverance and proactive initiatives will bond our community and show our resolve.  We have already taken prudent and necessary steps to positively impact the health and safety of our residents with numerous public and private activities being canceled or postponed.  We ask that everyone continue to remain steadfast.  We ask that all residents take the guidance of health officials and the CDC seriously and adhere to social distancing practices.  Most importantly, if you are sick stay home and contact your health care provider or call 911 and follow their instructions. Additional guidance and information is consistently being added to the Township’s webpage and should serve as a reference point for our residents.

This is uncharted territory for many of us, however we have been through trying times before as a community.  Continue to look out for each other, take the necessary precautions and limit your interactions in public spaces or large groups.  We will come out stronger in the end. We are Millburn- Short Hills. We always do.  Thank you and be safe. 

*Additional Information

We would like to add some additional information to the message sent out earlier today by the Township of Millburn indicating the occurrence of our first COVID-19 case. The Township does not have additional information or have the authority to release any patient protected information about the confirmed case or any subsequent cases. Cases are investigated by the New Jersey Department of Health in conjunction with local health officials to conduct contact tracing. Direct notification will then be made to any individuals, organizations or employers that may have been impacted by an infected person.

The CDC outlines specific and detailed steps to take if you are sick.  This is important to ensure that we do not inundate the health care system and first responders we are all taking necessary action to protect. That information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

Please consider these steps prior to calling 911, unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. In particular, if you are sick with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please contact your health care provider as first step.

Mayor’s Message 3/12

Updated: March 12, 4:00 p.m. 

Residents of Millburn Township, this is Mayor Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg, with an important message regarding the Township’s response to COVID-19.  The situation is constantly evolving and I want to encourage our residents to continue to take proactive steps to prevent and protect against COVID-19. 

As of the reading of this message, there are no positive cases in Essex County, inclusive of Millburn Township.  This information does not provide a rationale for complacency but an opportunity for a proactive and measured response. 

We all have recently learned that the Millburn Public Schools will be closed for a period of two weeks.  There will be an early dismissal tomorrow with a two-week closure beginning March 16.  This is a positive step in slowing the spread of the disease and further protecting our community. 

The Township is also implementing the following actions, effective immediately, in conjunction with the Millburn Board of Education:

  • All Township public meetings, inclusive of Planning board, Zoning board and Historic Preservation are postponed until April 13th.  An exception will be made for the Township Committee meetings; however, we encourage residents to participate by viewing the meetings on the Township’s YouTube channel. We will be mindful of not placing important agenda items that may merit resident input during this time period.
  • All senior programs are canceled until April 13.
  • All recreation programs are postponed until March 30, a re-evaluation of whether an extension is warranted will be made prior to this date and will likely coincide with school closure decisions.
  • All types of inspections will continue to be scheduled. Additionally, all residential inspections will require confirmation that everyone in the home is in good health.
  • The public is encouraged to utilize the Township’s website at www.twp.millburn.nj.us as both a resource for updated information on COVID-19, but also a way to interact with our offices from a distance. 

All of this information can be found on the Township’s website under the news feed for COVID-19. If anyone has any specific questions there is a 24-hour, multilingual State hotline at 1 (800) 222-1222.  The Center for Disease Control is also an excellent resource for up to date information. 

While we make these tough decisions and see our daily routines disrupted, I implore our residents to take advantage of the time with your family.  Do not encourage large gatherings or other activities that compromise the tantamount principles of social distancing.  The way to combat the spread of coronavirus is to take a united and committed approach to slowing its progression.  This is achieved by adhering to social distancing practices and following all the recommended guidelines as posted on the Township’s website. 

Please continue to check in on the vulnerable people in your own life and on your street.  Look out for one another.  I am proud to be a part of this community and know that we will uphold the very definition of community by continuing to do what is in the best interest of everyone in Millburn Township.  On behalf of myself and the entire Township Committee we are committed to the health, safety and welfare of each and every one of our residents.  Thank you and stay safe.

For more information from the Township of Millburn regarding COVID-19, visit Resident Services: Novel Coronavirus News and Information.

Check the CDC website daily for the latest information and updates.