In His Own Words

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:12

    BYRAM-Gregg Poff will be taking over as Byram Township manager on May 24. Poff, who is currently an assistant township manager in Randolph Township, spoke about his new post in two separate telephone interviews last week. The Township Journal: What attracted you to the Township of Lakes? Gregg Poff: I have family in Byram, and I am familiar with the township. I love Sussex County because of the opportunities and the open space. My wife and I are avid backpackers. When I saw the opening, I thought that it would be a great opportunity. TJ:When do you plan on moving to Byram? GP: I am required by my agreement with the council to relocate to Byram within my first year of service. We are already actively looking for a home in Byram. I have a feeling it will be sooner than a year. I also have absolutely no hesitation in relocating. I think that it is important for me to be part of the community. It is also important to let people know that you are a stakeholder and want to see that the township business is conducted the way residents would expect it to be. TJ: When were you first exposed to Byram? GP: My first exposure to Byram was when I passed it on Route 206 on my way up to scout camp when I was younger. We would go up to Kittatinny for a week. TJ: I understand that it will be you, your wife, and son who are moving to Byram. Will your son have to switch school districts, and was that a factor in your decision for the job? GP: My son is not yet old enough to be in school. However, schooling was a consideration. In addition to having family in Byram, some of the people that I work with in Randolph live in Byram. They have many good things to say about the school system. Everything I heard about the school system has been very positive. TJ: What do you believe to be the main difference between where you are now in Somerset and Sussex County? GP: Development. There is certainly much more development in Somerset than in Sussex. It's what people consider to be a large part of their quality of life in Sussex n the preservation of open space. TJ: What in your background has prepared you to come to Byram? GP: The township council asked me the same question when I interviewed for the job. The greatest preparation that I've had has been working at my present job as assistant township manager in Randolph. Here, I've been responsible for day-to-day operations. That includes bidding, the administration of public contracts, the acquisition of open space, responding to citizen complaints, and public relations. They are all things that are unique to the job and cannot only be applied in Randolph, but in Byram as well. TJ: How will you approach working with the mayor and council? GP: In the same manner in which I approach my present job. The roles are pretty well defined under the council-mayor form of government, the same as it is in Randolph. They have the legislative responsibility, and the executive part lies with me. TJ: What are the most important issues affecting Byram today? GP: It's tough to answer that because I'm not there right now. This is another question that I was asked by the council before getting the job. However, I think the Town Center designation and the development of the town center is a very big thing. The second thing I would say is understanding and working with the state in regards to the Highlands preservation legislation. Also, working with the county and state in regards to widening Route 206. TJ: Do you have any last thoughts about coming to Byram? GP: I would like to say that I'm very excited about working for the Township of Byram. I think there are a lot of good opportunities. Coming in and working with the mayor, council, and staff will be a great experience. I've noticed that Byram has a small town feel, and I've already found people to be very friendly. Just in looking for homes, people say hello and wave. I've found it to be a very welcoming place.