MANALAPAN – Republican Township Committeewoman Susan Cohen has taken the gavel and will serve as Manalapan’s mayor for 2019.
Cohen was elected to the position by her fellow members of the Township Committee when officials held the 2019 reorganization meeting on Jan. 2.
Republican Committeeman Jack McNaboe was elected to serve as deputy mayor.
Prior to the votes for mayor and deputy mayor, Republican Barry Jacobson was sworn in to begin serving a three-year term on the committee. Monmouth County Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger administered the oath of office to Jacobson.
When the elections for mayor and deputy mayor were held, Cohen and McNaboe received unanimous support from their fellow Republicans Mary Ann Musich, Kevin Uniglicht and Jacobson.
Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone administered the mayor’s oath of office to Cohen and state Assemblyman Robert Clifton administered the deputy mayor’s oath of office to McNaboe.
During remarks by the committee members, Jacobson thanked his family members for their support and the staff at town hall for welcoming him and assisting him in his transition to a committee member.
Jacobson has served on municipal commissions and boards, but this is his first service as an elected official.
Jacobson thanked Democrat David Kane, who completed a three-year term on the governing body in December, for “setting a high bar” as a committeeman. The other members of the governing body also acknowledged Kane’s service in their remark’s.
Although he is no longer a member of the governing body, Kane will continue his service to Manalapan as he was appointed to the Environmental Commission and to the Planning Board when municipal appointments were announced later during the reorganization meeting.
Musich welcomed Jacobson to the dais and congratulated Cohen and McNaboe on their leadership positions. She thanked Township Administrator Tara Lovrich “for your efforts every day.”
“I look forward to 2019 and ail its challenges,” she said. “I hope 2019 will bring housing for our special needs community. It is greatly needed.”
Uniglicht thanked his fellow committee members for their efforts in service to Manalapan’s residents. He noted that Jacobson “has volunteered in our town for many years and will have an easy transition” to serving as a committeeman.
McNaboe, who served as deputy mayor in 2017 and as mayor in 2018, took time in his remarks to “ask people to remember their neighbors in need during the winter months, whether that means checking in on them, providing food if needed, or offering a ride to someone during bad weather.”
Cohen began her comments by thanking McNaboe for his work as mayor during 2018. Speaking about the members of the governing body, she said, “We are more than just a team. We are a family.”
She welcomed Jacobson to the dais and said, “I know Committeeman Jacobson is going to do a great job.”
Cohen has held the one-year mayor’s position several times during her tenure on the governing body, most recently in 2017. She served as deputy mayor in 2018.
“I promise to do my best, to serve with integrity, and to continue to work hard for our residents,” she said.
Cohen said she is looking forward to working with all of the residents who volunteer to serve on committees that plan events and handle other tasks in the community.
Those groups run the gamut from the Emergency Management Service Council, to the Manalapan Arts Council, the Special Needs Council, the Transportation Committee, the Economic Development Council, the Recreation Advisory Board and the Community Alliance Committee.
The annual reorganization meeting gives the members of the governing body a chance to appoint the professionals who will serve the township for the next year and to appoint residents to volunteer boards and commissions.
Committee members reappointed Roger McLaughlin as township attorney, Greg Valesi as township engineer and Robert Oliwa as township auditor.
Other reappointments included Jennifer Beahm as township planner, Susan Solda DeSimone as municipal prosecutor, John Kwasnik as municipal public defender, Shari Spero as arborist/certified tree expert, and Andrew Bayer as special counsel for affordable housing.
Jacobson, Kane, Richard Hogan, John Castronovo and Kathryn Kwaak were reappointed to the Planning Board. Cohen or her designee will also serve on the Planning Board. Adam Weiss, Eric Nelson and Robert Gregowicz were appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.