SPOTSWOOD–With the votes still being counted and election results pending for the new mayor of Spotswood, current Mayor Edward Seely reflected on his four-year term and lessons learned along the way.
In November 2016, Seely said he began his term as mayor and won all seven districts in the borough. He has since decided not to run for re-election.
Reflecting on some of his greatest achievements as mayor, Seely said he considers some of his best accomplishments as completing the long-overdue Emergency Medical Services (EMS) building; revitalization of the Cottage Street area with new sewer, curbing and paving, the largest project to date; receiving funding and beginning the lake project; and keeping his campaign promises.
In March, Gov. Phil Murphy issued a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19, or any pandemic, is not something I would wish on any leader, it by far has been the biggest challenge during my term,” Seely said. “You try to do what you can for as many as possible and fortunately with the help of the borough employees we have thus far been able to maintain some type of normalcy; however, the true impact of this has yet to come.”
When asked about what advice he would give the new mayor, Seely said it was tough to answer.
“No new mayor wants advice from the outgoing mayor, but here goes: Listen. I mean really listen. And always, when possible, take as long as you can to make a decision,” Seely said.
Seely said being the leader of the community has taught him lessons he will never forget.
“The majority of our residents and our employees are all good people, but there is no limit to what some will go to achieve what is best for them,” Seely said. “I have learned that greed, deception and manipulation can all be disguised in a suit of armor. I have learned that holding some to accountability can be quite costly both financially and mentally.
“…With all that goes on, good and bad, if asked would I do it the same way all over again? Absolutely, for I have always had the residents’ best interest at heart. Good luck to the next mayor; they are truly going to need it,” Seely said.
As of press time, resident Jacqueline Palmer was leading the mayoral race, having received 1,297 of the votes. Council President Larry Kraemer has received 677 votes, according to the Middlesex County Clerk’s Office website.
The results of the November 2020 general election will be certified by the Middlesex County Board of Canvassers on or before Nov. 20, according to the clerk’s office website.
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