Republican Evelyn Spann and Democrat Barbara Rogers are the two newest members of the Cranbury Township Committee.
Both committee members were sworn in on Jan. 2 at the township’s reorganization meeting and are replacing Republican Dan Mulligan and Democrat Glenn Johnson.
Spann will be the lone Republican on the committee, as Democrats retain a majority of 4-1.
“I was excited and humbled at officially being sworn in and sitting at the dais for the first time. I felt comfortable throughout the reorganization meeting because those in attendance of the meeting were family, friends and supportive Cranbury residents,” Rogers said. “I look forward to serving on the township committee because I believe we all have a common goal to move Cranbury forward in a positive, productive and sustainable direction. I truly appreciated everyone being there for the first meeting of the year and hope our township committee meetings are always so well attended.”
Spann said it was a different experience being sworn in to serve on the township committee.
“I have been sworn into office four separate times on the Cranbury school board and we take that oath very seriously. Having my hand on the bible, while hearing the click of cameras around me in a packed room did bring this up a notch,” Spann said. “It was nice to have school board member Dominique Jones swear me in. This was deliberate on my part. It was like a handoff from one entity to another. It was very different to be sworn into the township committee.”
Rogers said now that she officially is a member of the township committee, she wants to work on several of her campaign goals.
“I hope to work on initiatives that complement my campaign goals – communicating and listening effectively; saving money while going green; and optimizing quality of life for all residents,” Rogers said.
Spann wants to continue with the fiscal responsibility of Cranbury and commitment to the township’s Master Plan.
“One, I want to continue what the committee has laid out previously in regards to fiscal responsibility. The Master Plan has been very carefully laid out by the head of the planning board Peter Mavoides. He has worked very diligently to listen to the township committee and voices of Cranbury,” Spann said. “I am going to be very committed to following that plan. I will specifically work towards looking at the infrastructure and follow through with Liberty Way and the bridge.”
Cranbury’s Township Committee consists of four Democrats in Mayor Matt Scott, Deputy Mayor Mike Ferrante, Committeeman James Taylor, who had served as the Cranbury mayor, Committeewoman Barbara Rogers, and one Republican, Committeewoman Evelyn Spann.
Both Spann and Rogers have two top areas of focus while serving Cranbury.
“Mayor Scott appointed me to the resident communication and Master Plan subcommittees,” Rogers said. “I am eager to work on these two subcommittees to increase open and transparent discussions with residents and improve community engagement with township boards and commissions. I plan to continue work on the township website improvements and hope to re-establish the township quarterly newsletter in some fashion.”
She said she worked on the sustainability element during the Master Plan reexamination and feels this is an area that can have a positive impact on our environment and community.
“This could include creating a bicycle network plan, adopting a complete streets policy – looking at roads with walkers, bikers and vehicles in mind – passing electric vehicle charging station ordinances, and holding a public community visioning session to identify how Cranbury residents see their future,” Rogers said.
One of the areas of focus for Spann will be traffic infrastructure in Cranbury.
“Number one, is to support a cohesive township committee and number two, follow the traffic infrastructure commitment made in my campaign. I made a commitment to follow up on the traffic infrastructure,” Spann said. “We have learned that the warehouse distribution traffic and the Monroe car traffic are both going onto Route 130. They both are more than they were 10 years ago. We need to look at that long term and see what we can do to make the traffic situation better. I plan on addressing this and finding the funding.”
Rogers said she is excited for the upcoming year.
“I feel fortunate to be part of an energetic and dedicated group of township committee members who are eager to get things done in a welcoming, collaborative and fiscally responsible way,” Rogers said.
Spann said she knows what is ahead of her as a member of the township committee and accepts the responsibility of her new position.
“This is something to take very seriously and I do take this seriously. I accept this responsibility with great humility and gratitude that people trust me with that responsibility,” Spann said. “I know what work is ahead of me. I know what the township needs and I am prepared to do it. I am very happy to take my turn.”