MANALAPAN – Jack McNaboe and Susan Cohen were sworn in to begin serving new three-year terms on the Township Committee in Manalapan during the governing body’s annual reorganization meeting held Jan. 6.
But instead of a crowded municipal meeting room that is the hallmark of reorganization day, when dozens of residents who serve on Manalapan’s boards and commissions mingle with municipal employees and elected state and county officials in a celebration of local government, the 2021 version took place in a virtual manner during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Several of Manalapan’s elected officials participated from home, while Cohen and McNaboe were present at the municipal building. The meeting was broadcast live to the community.
Municipal Clerk Regina Preteroti administered the oath of office to McNaboe and Cohen, who were the winners in the Nov. 3 election and embarked on terms that will run through Dec. 31, 2023.
McNaboe and Cohen join Mary Ann Musich, Barry Jacobson and Eric Nelson on the governing body. All five members of the Township Committee are Republicans.
When nominations were opened for mayor, Cohen nominated McNaboe to serve in that role for 2021, as he had done in 2020. The committee members voted 5-0 to elect McNaboe mayor.
When nominations were opened for deputy mayor, McNaboe nominated Cohen to serve in that role for 2021, as she had done in 2020. The committee members voted 5-0 to elect Cohen deputy mayor. She will retain the title of Manalapan’s public information officer, a role in which she has served for several years.
Deputy Municipal Clerk Shari Rose administered the oath of office to McNaboe and Cohen as mayor and deputy mayor, respectively.
The committee members then offered their comments to residents.
“I am humbled at the level of trust the voters have placed in me. I work hard to earn that trust every day,” McNaboe said.
The mayor said Manalapan will see several individuals retire during 2021, but he said officials have confidence in the people who have been trained to succeed those individuals who will be leaving.
“There are a lot of tough decisions to be made in 2021. I am confident we as Township Committee members and our professionals will make the best decisions possible,” he said.
Cohen said she “appreciates the confidence of residents in re-electing Mayor McNaboe and myself. Mayor McNaboe’s leadership during the pandemic in 2020 was unparalleled.
“The real heart of the community is the work done by our volunteers (on boards, committees and commissions). They are the backbone of this town. We look forward to working through the challenges 2021 will bring,” Cohen said.
Nelson, who is beginning his second year on the governing body, thanked the employees of the Manalapan Health Department for their efforts during 2020, which were aimed at keeping residents as safe as possible during the pandemic.
He also noted the efforts of the police department and first aid squad and he pledged to continue working on behalf of all residents.
Musich said 2020 “challenged every segment of the population. We are looking forward to welcoming our seniors back to the senior center. We miss them. We are also looking forward to seeing all of our residents using all of the amenities in our recreation center.”
Jacobson said Manalapan “will have renewed challenges and new challenges this year, and we are committed to helping residents get through this year better than last year ended.” He thanked all of the new and returning volunteers who serve on numerous municipal bodies.
On reorganization day, the committee members made numerous appointments, including the following: Roger McLaughlin, township attorney; Greg Valesi, township engineer; Jennifer Beahm, township planner.
Jack McNaboe, Barry Jacobson, Richard Hogan, Todd Brown and Daria D’Agostino were appointed to the Planning Board; Larry Cooper, Stephen Leviton, David Schertz, Rob DiTota and Basil Mantagas were appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment;
Jamie Bruno and Jim Tumbleson were appointed to the Recreation Advisory Board; Stephen Resnick, Pat Eisemann, Scott Meyers, Gayle Hershcopf, Patricia Rosa, Lauren Friedman, Jenine Tankoos (presiding officer and chair) and Aaron Diament (public information officer) were appointed to the Environmental Commission;
Lynn Becker, Evan Breslow, Warren Carter, Patricia Gleim, Sue C. Goulden, Ellen Hoffman, James O’Rourke, Dotty Porcaro, Sheila Sasnow and Traci Silve were appointed to the Special Needs Council.
And, the committee members reappointed Special Law Enforcement Officers in the Manalapan Police Department: Christopher Schou, Special Class II; Hayden Hrymack, Special Class II; Salvatore Frascino, Special Class III; and Christopher Marsala, Special Class II.