Mendham Borough Ranked #1

By Alice Lazzarini

photo by G. ConnollyIn its 2013 Top Town Survey, New Jersey Monthly has named Mendham Borough the best place to live in New Jersey out of 514 ranked municipalities.

Described as bucolic yet posh, the Borough earned the accolade, in part, by keeping taxes fairly constant, as well as by having schools that score well above average, minimal crime, and rising home values. The article credits demand for units here at Mendham Commons with contributing to the 12% increase in median home sale price from 2010 to 2012.

Our own Mayor Henry is quoted on his strategy for keeping spending in check by carefully scrutinizing the budget and sharing services with surrounding towns whenever possible. Our kudos, as well, to Borough Administrator Ellen Sandman for her efforts in this regard.

Borough residents share a strong sense of community, yet value the privacy afforded by the tranquility, small-town feel and the area’s agricultural past (re: “Jersey Lightning” reference in Did You Know? column, Commons Knowledge, March 2011).

The New Jersey Monthly article goes on to tell the story of a Mendham Borough classic: the antique stone pony belonging to Jack and Jace Botti. If you’ve ever hit a deer (like I once did driving North on Route 287 after a late evening in my Piscataway lab) you might also have had the experience of driving down Main Street scanning the road’s periphery and reflexively hitting the brakes lest that pony/deer dart out in front of your car. Then, one day the pony was gone. Friends of the Botti’s, neighbors, local police, and people they didn’t even know pitched in to search for the pony—a virtual grey alert. Their efforts were in vain. The pony was never found.

But, wait—the pony’s back! After a two year search, Mr. Botti had found a similar one which he repaired, affixed to a sturdy foundation, and named “Vixon.” Now, once again, heading west on Route 24 on auto pilot, I startle when I first catch sight of that stone pony—until I remember it can’t sprint across my path.

Vixon certainly serves to slow traffic. And, its reappearance symbolizes the strong sense of community that we share here in Mendham Borough.

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