HomeNS SentinelN/S Sentinel NewsNorth Brunswick mayor reflects on past while looking toward future

North Brunswick mayor reflects on past while looking toward future

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack lauded the efforts of township departments in the past year while looking forward to improving North Brunswick in the future.

During his State of the Township address, Womack said the actions of Washington, D.C., affect residents personally, and that it is especially important to trust local government now.

“We must offer trust, meet residents’ needs and bring about community,” he said during the Township Council reorganization meeting on Jan. 1. “Forty-two thousand people [in town] are living our lives and dreams with one another. … We should acknowledge and cherish that we have a home, and that home is North Brunswick.”

Womack acknowledged his fellow political counterparts for their roles in the community: Councilman Bob Davis for attending numerous community events, honoring veterans through the street naming project and serving on the Sept. 11 Committee; Councilman Carlo Socio for being the “most vocally passionate member” of the council, while also advocating for youth sports in town; Councilman Ralph Andrews for serving on the North Brunswick Planning Board; Councilman Robert Corbin for his career as a prosecutor; Councilwoman Amanda Guadagnino for her past membership on the North Brunswick Board of Education, and for her suggestions of creating a township newsletter and welcoming service for new residents; and Dr. William Lopez who has joined the council as its first Hispanic member.

“Our town, our schools, our community, must be such a beacon … that we hold our heads high …” he said.

Womack said the Department of Public Works will unveil its new vehicle maintenance facility this month, and will begin the How Lane Pump Station Project this year. Public Works renovated its offices, completed the Edlys Lane Pump Station project and brought its tree division in house last year.

The Police Department is nearing completion of its accreditation process. Its 84 officers are complemented by Class III special officers who work in the schools. Officers are outfitted with body cameras. Community policing initiatives include the Junior Police Academy, Civilian Police Academy, bicycle patrols and Adopt-a-Cop, Womack said.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services updated its open space master plan, enacted online registration for programs, continued community gardening at the Pulda Farm, named 29 streets after veterans and offered free programs through the Municipal Alliance Committee throughout 2017.

Through the Finance Department, the township has maintained its AA+ bond rating, has had a clean audit since 2012 and has negotiated waived fees and service charges with its bank, Womack said.

The Clerk’s Office processed 400 marriage license applications and enabled electronic agendas and supporting documents last year, Womack said.

The Department of Community Development doubled the projection of its permit review process, redeveloped the industrial corridor along Jersey Avenue, saw an increase in home improvement projects, welcomed Trader Joe’s, continued its annual road program, enhanced code enforcement, hired a new fire inspector, and opened the Crescent apartment complex with $16 million in tax credits for affordable housing in 2017, Womack said.

In regards to North Brunswick securing $50 million for the construction of a train station at the MainStreetNB transit village, Womack said that the residents must call on legislators to approve funding for a new tunnel into New York City.

He also focused on the importance of diversity, freedom, the American Dream and the sacrifice of veterans.

“Citizenship requires that we acknowledge, respect, support and defend our brothers and sisters in our home community,” he said. “We must demand, as American citizens, that the deliberative democratic process that has seen our country through 242 years, a Civil War and two world wars, once again becomes our form of government.”

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.

 

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