Lakewood Mayor Menashe Miller and the Township Committee recently presented a plaque to Peter Johner, JCP&L area manager for Ocean and Monmouth counties, to express appreciation to Johner for his dedication and commitment in helping the township and its residents.
Mayor Menashe Miller said, “There is a lot of growth in our town; a lot of building. We are truly lucky – people want to live here. At the same time, growth such as ours brings growing pains. One of the issues we had a few years back were several power outages that took place all around Lakewood.”
A particular area that seemed to have excessive power outages was Westgate. Pete Johner pledged to work out the problems. Since then, there have been no further problems. Another issue was that street lights were not being repaired within a proper time frame.
Mayor Miller said, “At that time, I called Pete Johner to come here and we lashed out at JCP&L. At that time, we were furious.”
Recently, however, the Township Committee summoned Peter Johner to recognize the effort he has made to help Lakewood.
“I am pleased with everything Pete Johner has done. I was the first one to chastise JCP&L and I am the first one to express my appreciation to them,” said Mayor Miller.
Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein said, “Our working relationship with JCP&L has really grown a lot. Last week I was in an 1 ½ hour meeting with Greg Stafford-Smith, Peter Johner, and a lot of the heads of the engineering department and the lines departments, discussing the growth of Lakewood and how to prepare and make sure we have enough ‘juice’ going forward.
“Of course, like the mayor said, we worked very closely with JCP&L on the street lights and during superstorm Sandy. JCP&L was constantly in contact with us, and I think it was a lot of hard work on Pete’s part. It certainly is a pleasure working with you, Pete, and it will continue to be a pleasure to work with you even if at any point in the future you decide you want to retire. We look forward to continuing to work with JCP&L. Thank you.”
Johner thanked the Mayor Miller and the entire council for the award. “I really do appreciate it and I feel honored. We have gone through a lot of issues within the Township. We know that the town is growing, and we want to be there to fit the needs of that growth. We’re going to do that. In fact, we just had a meeting recently to talk about all that growth over the next 15 – 16 years. And we’re going to be there. A lot of people believe that we don’t have the resources to do what we need to do. We do. Perhaps there a few shortcomings here and there, but we are working on that. We are committed to being responsive to Lakewood and its residents, and help to get things done.”