By Gene Robbins, Managing Editor
Hellos, goodbyes and welcomes were all heard at Tuesday’s Township Committee meeting.
The township embraced Police Lt. Francis R. Mozgai Jr. as he was elevated to captain on the township force.
Capt. Mozgai becomes second-in-command to Acting Chief Darren Powell, who was appointed to that post on Dec. 15.
The governing body saluted Ronald Skobo, who worked as head of the recreation, parks and social services department for the last three years, with a proclamation citing his service “with passion and selflessness.” He retired at the end of the year.
Mr. Skobo praised the staffs in his department for “making me look good” and thanked the senior citizens clubs for inviting him to lunch. He enticed his children and grandchildren to the front to join him in a photo.
Mr. Skobo began his township career in September 2005 as director of the building and engineering department. Before that, he was in law enforcement, serving as captain of the county prosecutor’s office and in other positions from 1975 to 2005.
The Township Committee also acted to promote from within — as is its wont — to fill the recent vacancy of township business advocate. That job goes to David Kois, who started with the township in 2011 and is currently zoning officer and deputy planning director, at $65,000 a year.
Mr. Kois succeeds Gene Strupinsky, who served in the job for 10 years, and retired at the end of the year, too. An official proclamation and well-done is scheduled to be presented to Mr. Strupinsky, a 30-year township resident, at the Jan. 26 meeting.
The post is intended to advise and help business owners navigate the maze of permits and approvals to locate, expand or renovate in the township.
Capt. Mozgai, who will be paid $147,672 a year, had his new badge pinned on him by his father, a retired 27-year North Brunswick policeman who now lives in Solebury, Pa.
Capt. Mozgai said his father taught him how to be a cop, but the elder Mr. Mozgai said that wasn’t the original plan. In fact, the new captain went to college intending to major in business administration.
He said his wife, Anita, a former head of nursing at Carrier Clinic in Montgomery who died in 2007, came to him one day after their son had completed his first year of college and said that field wasn’t for him, and he wanted to become a policeman.
He joined the Hillsborough force almost 24 years ago to the day, on Jan. 13, 992. He was appointed a corporal in 2000, sergeant in 2002 and lieutenant in 2006.
Former Capt. Paul Merkler, a 25-year veteran of the force, retired at the end of 2015.
Paul Kaminsky, who has been police chief since 2006, will retire effective Feb. 1. He joined the force in August 1989.
The 52-person force also has seven sergeants and six corporals. Two entry-level officers were hired and sworn in Nov. 10.
In a business action, the governing body introduced an ordinance to fund the purchase of a $170,000 six-wheel dump truck, with snow plow. As it turned out, a similar township truck was rendered unsafe by the state Department of Transportation and was due to be replaced this year.
When officials went shopping online, they found just the plow they wanted — at $40,000 less than they had projected it might cost — in Cleveland and ready for immediate delivery.
Public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 9
By Gene Robbins, Managing Editor