Thirty-four years ago, when I moved to Metuchen with my wife, Mary Anne, we were attracted to the Downtown; the canopy of shade trees which sheltered and provided shade for its streets, and the many recreational facilities – especially the pool. Of course, as teachers, we knew about the wonderful school system. Metuchen offered us a place to start a family and still be able to commute to work. As the years progressed, we had three daughters, and while my location of employment changed a few times, what never changed was the very conscious choice my wife and I made to stay here in Metuchen. It was the best place to raise and educate our family. How wonderful that all that was special and new to us then is still special, vibrant and important now.
Metuchen, always easily accessible for commuters working in “The City,” or Philadelphia, or “The Shore,” became even more user-friendly with the improvements made to the train station and the creation of the concierge hub. Commuters either live here or share in the ambiance of our unique Downtown.
Our Downtown is bustling, and there are plans for it to expand and prosper. As Mayor, I will assist the Chamber of Commerce in supporting the Main Street and overseeing the connection to the new Renaissance Development. I see a vibrant downtown with people shopping, relaxing and meeting with other community members – enjoying some music or art or a refreshment at the grand town center built as the focal point for our town.
Our recreational facilities continue to burgeon as well. We have already received numerous grants to continue improvements in our parks. In fact, in the last few years Metuchen has received grants totaling $2.7 million, which have raised the excellence of Myrtle, Vidas and Hampton parks. This year the pool commission is in the process of making that original enticement for my family into an even grander facility. We will enjoy a break from the summer heat as well as watching our children compete in aquatic events.
Metuchen is a community serviced by hundreds of volunteers – community members who clean parks on Earth Day, fight fires and provide public safety or provide emergency assistance, direct traffic at various religious events, guide our senior programs and provide pumpkins and candles for those excited children, who know that Halloween can only begin with a family treat.
Metuchen is for families. I knew it 34 years ago when I first moved here. My three daughters all live here, and joyfully my granddaughter walks with “granpy” the “Mayor” each day to oversee and plan for all that keeps our community strong and vibrant.
Mayor Thomas Vahalla