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Township Council, Board of Education reorganize

By Kathy Chang
Staff Writer

The Woodbridge Township Council and Board of Education have reorganized.

Mayor John E. McCormac, along with Kyle Anderson, Lizbeth DeJesus, Gregory Ficarra, Cory Spillar, and Brian Small, were sworn in to their respective mayor and council seats at a reorganization meeting on Jan. 1.

“We are looking forward to four more years of progress,” said McCormac.

McCormac ran on a Democratic ticket with Anderson, DeJesus, Ficarra, Spillar, who are all incumbents, and newcomer Small in the November election.

Their ticket swept the Republican ticket for the five open seats on council.

Anderson, DeJesus and Ficarra held onto their council-at-large seats. Small replaces longtime Councilman James Carroll, who did not seek another term.

Spillar, who was appointed Aug. 4 to fill the seat of former Councilwoman Michelle Charmello, won a two-year unexpired term on council to represent the third ward.

Council President Nancy Drumm congratulated the mayor and the council members and welcomed Small to their team.

“[Brian] has a long history of community leadership, experiences and knowledge and will be a welcome addition,” she said.

Small, a lifelong Port Reading resident, has been involved with multiple organizations — served as a volunteer fireman, serving as fire chief twice, 33 years with the first aid squad, and served 33 years as a township employee — six years with the Public Works Department before becoming a police officer.

“I look forward to working with the mayor and council,” he said.

Small had previously served nine and a half years as a member of the Board of Education. He left his board seat on Dec. 31, 2015.

Anderson said the past four years have been a fantastic ride and he has enjoyed every single moment of it.

“The theme throughout the four years has been ‘team’,” he said. “I’m so proud to be part of this team led by our mayor, administration, and our council members.”

Anderson said there is constant teamwork, communication and effort by their team.

“We all support each other’s agenda and areas that are special to our heart,” he said.

DeJesus, who was appointed in January of last year to fill a one-year vacant term by long-time Councilwoman Brenda Velasco, said it has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the council dais.

She said McCormac approached her to serve on the council to represent a portion of the community that has been underrepresented — the Latino community.

“I wasn’t born or raised here; I was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in the Bronx [New York],” she said. “Angel and I decided to raise our family in Woodbridge, an ideal town that is family-oriented.”

DeJesus said her position represents what the great nation stands for.

“This is why so many of us leave our homelands, our families behind, to give our children a better chance to realize their dreams,” she said.

Board of Education

Board members Ezio Tamburello, Daniel Harris, and Eileen Zullo were sworn in to their board seats at a reorganization meeting on Jan. 5.

The three incumbents ran uncontested in the November election.

Tamburello was nominated and approved to serve as board president and Harris was nominated and approved to serve as board vice president in 2016.

Tamburello said the new year will bring its own sets of unique opportunities and challenges.

“We will handle these challenges, explore our opportunities and we will continue to move this district forward,” he said. “I am confident of that.”

Tamburello said the first order of business is to work on appointing a new board member to fill Small’s term, which ends in November.

He said the board will also face contract negotiations and added the budget season is well under way.

“It will be all hands on deck,” he said.

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