Monroe mayor says teamwork is key to the successes of last year; will continue on same path in 2022


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MONROE – It’s all about teamwork as Mayor Stephen Dalina enters his second year as mayor.

“Never was it so prevalent to know that I had everybody with me on [the Township Council] to be the best mayor I could the day I was appointed,” Dalina said.

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Dalina was appointed interim mayor on Jan. 20, 2021, after the passing of Mayor Gerald Tamburro in December 2020. In November, he was elected by voters to serve the remainder of Tamburro’s unexpired two-year term.

As the council reorganized earlier in January, Dalina shared his appreciation for the past year as they worked together on several items including the COVID vaccine rollout with Middlesex County at the Monroe Senior Center, the homebound vaccination program, and the Master Plan review.

He noted the community showed unity and togetherness through Vaccine Angels, which had neighbors helping neighbors find vaccine appointments.

The budget had bipartisan support as government officials worked together, he said.

“We endured snowstorms, the [BFI/Republic] landfill issue, unfortunately a situation at a group home and flooding due to back-to-back storms and hurricanes,” he said.

Teamwork remains as Dalina continues down the path of balancing safety and living the lives “we all deserve and want.”

“I’m committed to keeping public safety at a top priority and this has to do with the COVID vaccine and what we can do,” he said.

Dalina said the township’s website keeps residents up to date on where they can get tested and vaccinated.

The township is currently working with the county for a testing facility at the Monroe Community Center.

Also, the township is developing a plan to expand transportation services for disabled residents and focus on implementing a force main at the landfill to help residents with odor issues.

“I will continue an enhanced dialogue between municipal government and county [officials], fire districts and the Board of Education, looking for ways we can help each other for the benefit of the taxpayer and provide top-notch services, which all our Monroe residents desire,” he said.

During the reorganization meeting, Miriam Cohen was chosen again to serve as council president for a two-year term, and Terence Van Dzura was appointed council vice president.

The council welcomed newly elected Ward 2 Councilwoman Rupa Siegel, who became the first South Asian to serve on the council.

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