APP 2001-Mark Mutter
TUESDAY, DEC. 25, 2001 OCEAN COUNTY NEWS ASBURY PARK PRESS Dover committeeman bids J. Mark Mutter says many of the initiatives he helped put in place constitute his legacy. By BILL MC LAUGHLIN STAFF WRITER DOVER TOWNSHIP One of the defining moments in J. Mark Mutter's decade of service on the Township Committee came out of a mother's heartbreak. "There are certain things you'll always remember, and one of them came early in my political life," said Mutter, who did not seek re-election this year. "It was a meeting in October or November of 1993. A woman came to the podium and I thought she was upset with me, or someone, or something. She was in her late 20s or early 30s." The woman begged for some way to stop pedestrians from being injured or killed crossing Route 37 in East Dover, Mutter said. As she spoke, the t h e n -35-year-old mayor said he realized 1 her son recently had been hit and killed- by a car while trying to cross the busy J. Mark Mutter highway. "Mayor Mutter, don't let another mother go through what I went through do something about that roadway," the woman pleaded. Mutter urged traffic engi- neers and the state Department of Transportation to find a solution. "That unsightly pedestrian fence in the median of Route 37 East is up, and since then, God willing, there have been no fatalities in that area of the roadway," he said. Mutter recently got another busy stretch of Route 37 fenced in the portion from Route 166 to Hooper Avenue, scene of a number of pedestrian injuries through the years. "You can't prove a negative but in my heart of hearts, I believe there is some little boy or girl alive today because that fence stands," Mutter said. He said the fence is a symbol of what public service is all about: good deeds that can improve the lives of others. Citing what he considers to farewell be his legacy, Mutter also pointed to his work in forming the "Save Lakehurst" committee to keep the naval base open; re-establishing the Dover Historic Preservation Commission; the adopt-a-dune and adopt-a-park programs; the "Don't Dump on Us" campaign; and open-space preservation initiatives. Mutter said he hoped he would be remembered for good deeds but mostly for his work in preservation of good things. The 27-year veteran of public life began his political career as a 16-year-old Young Republican and built a career in law that culminated in a stint as an assistant Ocean County prosecutor. He has served as a municipal judge in a number of Ocean County communities in recent years.