MANALAPAN – Susan Cohen and Jack McNaboe have won new three-year terms on the Township Committee in Manalapan.
Republicans Cohen and McNaboe, who currently serve on the governing body, turned back a challenge from Democrats Lawrence Furman and Bashir Mohammad in the Nov. 3 municipal election.
McNaboe is serving as Manalapan’s mayor in 2020 and Cohen is serving as deputy mayor.
According to election results posted online by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Cohen received 16,638 votes and McNaboe received 15,919 votes to win the seats. Furman received 8,450 votes and Mohammad received 7,908 votes.
The new terms won by Cohen and McNaboe will run from Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2023. They will continue to serve on the governing body with Republicans Mary Ann Musich, Barry Jacobson and Eric Nelson.
In a statement provided to the News Transcript, Cohen and McNaboe said, “We are extremely honored and humbled by the overwhelming support shown by the voters of this town.
“In an election that saw a record 48,900-plus votes cast, a turnout of over 83% and an almost two-to-one majority, we are energized to move forward into a 2021 that will certainly bring challenges. We are stronger as a community.
“As optimists, we are confident in the coming year. Where 2020 started with such hope, it has quickly imploded into a year that most of us would like to forget. 2021 will start off from a low and ascend as the year progresses. Promises of an immunization and the reopening of businesses leads to a greater optimism in our community and ourselves.
“We encourage all residents to continue to shop local in order to help support our small Manalapan businesses. How high we climb in the coming months will be the test of our American spirit. Of course, there will be challenges, but we will fight them with resolve,” Cohen and McNaboe said.
“Along with our colleagues, we will meet challenges head on. We have absolute confidence in this community’s ability to register and assist in providing immunizations through our Manalapan Health Department and well-trained and tested Medical Reserve Corps – Community Emergency Response Team.
“We shall continue to provide shopping and other senior services through a team of dedicated volunteers, protecting the community’s most vulnerable from this pandemic. We shall continue to solicit and provide needed food and staples to those in the community most at need.
“The Manalapan-based Samaritan Center food pantry does a great job of offering assistance to the registered, known and qualified in the community. The events of the last nine months have taught us the need is greater now to a whole new pool of recipients,” they said.
“In the normal course of business, we will need to choose, award and implement a new garbage and recycling contract in April 2021. In the volatile cost market of recycling and trash, hard choices will need to be made.
“The solid waste service provided by Manalapan, a benefit provided to all residents, is not one that is provided by most towns. Times dictate that this contract will look different from past years. We are committed to continuing to provide quality services to our residents while maintaining a stable tax rate.
“The implementation of the state mandated affordable housing requirement through the Manalapan Planning Board will certainly be a heavy lift in 2021.
“While well negotiated ratios, 100% affordable housing buildings, special needs units and senior units have left Manalapan in a much better position than many other communities, these complexes will still impact the community, schools, emergency services and town administration.
“This task will fall on the truly professional volunteers of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The standard new year hiring of the professionals, attorneys, engineers, planners, auditors and a host of others is already underway.
“Who among us thought at the beginning of the year that we would see what we have seen in 2020? Please know we are poised for anything 2021 shall bring.
“The truly professional employees of Manalapan will rise to any occasion or emergency. Many of us saw that this year whether tested by a pandemic, a major storm, or both at the same time, Manalapan emergency services, the Department of Public Works and all of the departments got the job done,” Cohen and McNaboe said.