EAST BRUNSWICK – The East Brunswick Township Council reconvened via Zoom to reorganize for 2022.
The Jan. 10 meeting began with the nomination and election of a new council president.
With the floor open, Council Vice President Kevin McEvoy took the opportunity to nominate Councilman Jim Wendell to serve a one-year term.
McEvoy explained that Wendell’s track record of experience and leadership granted his appointment to council president.
“I feel comfortable and confident that he will be able to lead this council, this governing body as we embark on new challenges that face our community today and throughout the New Year.
“Jim has sat in the president’s chair before. His knowledge of the community, respect for all of our residents, and his guiding leadership qualities make him the perfect choice for our community at this time,” McEvoy said.
Following McEvoy’s statement, the members of the governing unanimously voted “yes” to the nomination.
Prior to Wendell’s appointment, Councilwoman Sharon Sullivan served as president in 2021.
Wendell then took the floor to nominate McEvoy to serve a new, one-year term as the council’s vice president. The members unanimously voted “yes” to reinstate McEvoy for 2022.
After nominations were complete, Wendell yielded the floor to Councilman Michael Spadafino. Spadafino announced that he would be resigning from his position on the council effective immediately.
Although a specific reason was not provided for his departure, he claimed it was a “difficult” and “very personal” decision.
In his farewell address, he thanked the residents of East Brunswick and his colleagues for allowing him to serve on the council.
“As of today, I sent Ms. [Nanette] Perry [township clerk] and informed the members of the council, that I will be resigning my position on the council and my participation in all committees.
“This decision is very difficult for me, but it’s very personal. I want to thank the residents of East Brunswick for the trust and faith that they gave me over the years as an elected official.
“Also, I would like to thank Brad, Dinesh, Sharon, Kevin, Jim, Sterley and Nancy for their friendship. I use their first names and not their positions, because to me, they’re all my friends first and colleagues second … It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve with you on this council,” Spadafino said regarding Mayor Brad Cohen; Councilmembers Dinesh Behal, Sharon Sullivan, Kevin McEvoy and James Wendell; former councilman and current Assemblyman Sterley Stanley, and former councilwoman and current Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin.
Wendell thanked Spadafino for his service and wished him success in his future endeavors.
“It’s been an honor. I remember when we appointed you the first time around. You’ve been a dedicated friend and coach of mine throughout the years. It’s sad to see you go but very, very happy to see you going someplace that’s going to make you much happier at this point in time. Especially your wife, who’s got a dream of living at the shore – enjoy that beautiful new house that you just had built,” Wendell said.
Sullivan echoed Wendell’s sentiments by wishing Spadafino the best of luck moving forward.
“I wish you the best on the next chapter of your life. May it only be filled with health and happiness. You were a great person to work with, always knowledgeable, always ready to give your opinion and always ready to listen. I learned so much from you, thank you,” Sullivan said.
Spadafino, a resident of East Brunswick for over 50 years, worked as a chiropractic physician in town.
During his tenure on the council, he served on the township’s Recreation and Parks Committee, the Redevelopment Commission and the Museum Committee.
With Spadafino’s Democratic council seat now open, the Democratic Party will be responsible for choosing a nominee to fill the vacancy, according to New Jersey statue 40A:16-11.