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Hazlet governing body members elect Clark to serve as mayor for 2021

HAZLET – Tara Clark has been elected by her fellow members of the Township Committee to serve as the mayor of Hazlet for 2021. This marks the first time Clark will serve as mayor.

Clark was elected mayor for a one-year term by her colleagues during the Jan. 5 reorganization meeting of the governing body. The meeting was held in a remote manner due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Under Hazlet’s form of government, the mayor is not directly elected by residents. Each January, the five members of the Township Committee select one member to serve as mayor and one member to serve as deputy mayor for the upcoming year.

As the meeting began, Michael Sachs was sworn in to begin serving a new three-year term following his victory in the November municipal election. Sachs joined Hazlet’s governing body in 1997.

When regular business commenced, Clark was elected to serve as mayor for the year. She has been a member of the governing body since 2019 and served as deputy mayor in 2020.

Sachs was elected by his fellow committee members to serve as deputy mayor for 2021.

All five members of the Township Committee are Republicans. Clark and Sachs are joined by Scott Aagre, Michael Glackin and Skip McKay. The current terms of Clark and McKay will end on Dec. 31.

“Becoming mayor would not be possible without the unconditional love and support of my entire family, especially my husband, Walter, my daughters, Meghan, Delaney and Brianna, and my mom,” Clark said. “They are always there for me. I also want to remember my dad, Michael Corcoran, whose wisdom will be my guide.

“When I became deputy mayor one year ago, I could never have imagined the pandemic that lay ahead and how it would impact our lives. Fortunately, some things did not change.

“Hazlet’s employees showed dedication and professionalism throughout this past year. Despite the difficulties, Town Hall employees continued to keep the town operating and open to the public as much as possible,” Clark said.

“In 2021, we will welcome several new businesses. Our Township Committee will continue to focus on fiscal responsibility. We will address budgetary challenges to maximize our economic recovery as we look to a post-COVID world. We will continue to implement cost-savings measures through technological improvements and operational efficiencies.

“Over the past two years, this Township Committee has undertaken an extensive town-wide road restoration program. Taking a neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach, using advanced digital technology and detailed engineering analyses, we will keep moving forward with our long-range plan to resurface our township’s streets in 2021,” the mayor said.

“We will renovate the Cullen Center in Veterans Park to offer a welcoming place for seniors, teens, families and other community groups to attend educational and recreational programs and events.

“In the springtime we will open a new environmental building in Natco Park which will offer a meeting place to hold environmental educational programs and kick-start Green Team and Clean Communities initiatives.

“Lastly, and most importantly, we have a great need for committed volunteers who want to be part of our spirited community.

“Are you ready to make this the year you offer your talents? To connect with others? To give back to your hometown? We want to hear from you, especially if you are new to our town. Reach out to us. Get involved. We welcome you,” Clark said.

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