Manalapan health officer retires after decades of service to community

MANALAPAN – David Richardson, who directed the operation of and programs offered by the Manalapan Health Department for more than a quarter century, has retired.

Richardson, who retired on April 1, was honored with a proclamation presented to him by members of the Township Committee during the March 27 meeting of the governing body.

Richardson was named the director of the township’s health department in 1991.

“It’s not about a legacy,” Richardson said after receiving the proclamation. “My tenure was not about me. It was about working with the Township Committee and supporting the health department. The Board of Health took a chance on me. I could not be happier with the tenure I’ve had here. I thank you for your support.”

The proclamation from the governing body to Richardson said he has been responsible for the operation of the Health Department, the Animal Control Office and many community agencies, including the Community Emergency Response Team and the Manalapan-Englishtown Community Alliance to Prevent Alcoholim and Drug Abuse.

During his career, Richardson served on county, regional and state committees and organizations “where he helped develop and revise state public health and governance laws,” according to the proclamation.

Officials said Richardson “created and launched Project Zero, a program developed to help eliminate substance abuse in the Manalapan community. This program continues to raise awareness and educate the community on the dangers and consequences of drug abuse and alcoholism, while resetting the tolerance levels for such instances to zero.”

Mayor Susan Cohen and her fellow members of the Township Committee extended their thanks to Richardson “for his many years of dedicated service as an employee and leader of the Manalapan Health Department and to various volunteer committees. We wish him and his family continued happiness and good health and again thank him for all he has done to benefit Manalapan.”

Cohen said at this time the Manalapan Board of Health and the Township Committee have a temporary agreement with Freehold Township for a health officer. She said that in the coming months, municipal officials will be evaluating the next step for the township’s health department.