Officials say goodbye to two longstanding Metuchen council members

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METUCHEN — Councilman Ronald Grayzel and Councilwoman Allison Inserro may have “gotten off on the wrong foot” when they first campaigned together in 2012; however, the two longstanding council members said they are leaving the dais with great respect for one another and as friends.

Mayor Jonathan Busch, Borough Administrator Jay Muldoon, council members and members of the public offered kind sentiments for Grayzel and Inserro, who served at their last meeting on Dec. 17.

“I would be disingenuous if I didn’t say that I’m really sad,” Busch said. “Losing Ron and Allison is a big loss to the borough.”

Busch, who has been mayor for a year, said he would use Grayzel’s and Inserro’s knowledge, involvement and experiences to pick their brains and bounce ideas around.

Councilwoman Dorothy Rasmussen said Grayzel has been the rutter for her on council and she said Inserro, right from the start, was not afraid to speak up for what she believed in.

Council President Linda Koskoski said Inserro has been a great mentor and friend. She also said she couldn’t make it throughout the year serving as president without Grayzel’s leadership. Grayzel had served as council president for three years prior.

“We don’t call you captain for nothing,” she said.

Councilman Todd Pagel said as the newest member on the council, he thanked Grayzel and Inserro for their leadership and guidance.

Muldoon, who previously served with Grayzel and Inserro as a councilman, said it has been an honor to work with them.

“When you get to know Ron, he’s a really funny person in addition to his intelligence,” he said.

Muldoon said as co-collaborators of the Metuchen Downtown Alliance (MDA), he and Inserro both recognized the importance of the borough’s Main Street and downtown.

“When we came onto council, we were aghast how little, if nothing, was done to support our downtown,” he said. “We worked hard to change that and I’m proud we worked together to start the Metuchen Downtown Alliance … the results speak for themselves.”

Grayzel said he has been honored and privileged to serve the borough. He has served under three different mayors and with a number of council members.

“I knew of each of you when I came to council, but now I count each of you as friends and I will miss all of you,” he said. “I will still be around and I look forward to working with you.”

Inserro said her time on the council feels like 60 years, not six years. She said it has been an honor and privilege serving on the council.

She said if she had to sum up her work on the council, the downtown went from a cash mob approach to drumming up business in the downtown to the creation of the Metuchen Downtown Alliance, which has been featured in local newspapers.

Council-elect member Sheri-Rose Rubin, who attended the meeting, said Grayzel has been instrumental as liaison to the Metuchen Accessibility Committee, which was established in June 2014. She said he served as liaison from the committee’s inception and said the committee is grateful for his willingness to listen and learn about certain hardships he did not previously have knowledge about.