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Cohen elected to serve as mayor for 2023 in Manalapan

MANALAPAN — Township Committeewoman Susan Cohen has been elected by her fellow members of the Township Committee to serve as Manalapan’s mayor for 2023.

Cohen was tapped for the position during Manalapan’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 4. She has served as mayor several times during her tenure on the governing body, most recently in 2022.

The first order of business during the reorganization meeting was the swearing in of Eric Nelson and Mary Ann Musich to new three-year terms on the governing body.

Nelson and Musich won re-election in November and their new terms will run through Dec. 31, 2025.

Musich was sworn in by Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners Director Thomas Arnone, and Nelson was sworn in by Township Attorney Roger McLaughlin.

Nelson and Musich are joined on the Township Committee by Jack McNaboe, Barry Jacobson and Cohen. All five members of the governing body are Republicans.

When the meeting’s regular business commenced, Musich nominated Cohen to serve as mayor this year. A unanimous vote by the five committee members confirmed Cohen’s election to the position and she was sworn in as mayor by state Assemblyman Robert Clifton.

Cohen then nominated Nelson to serve as deputy mayor this year. A unanimous vote by the five committee members confirmed Nelson’s election to the position and he was sworn in as deputy mayor by McLaughlin.

In remarks following her election as mayor, Cohen said, “2023 will have its own challenges, but we are ready to work hard.”

The mayor said she looks forward to working with her fellow members of the Township Committee and Manalapan’s professionals.

Cohen said the township’s staff is always ready to assist residents. She thanked residents, including high school students, who serve as volunteers on Manalapan’s boards, commissions and committees.

Cohen encouraged residents to consider volunteering for one or more of the many boards and groups that serve Manalapan.

In his remarks, Nelson thanked residents who supported him for a second three-year term on the Township Committee and said, “I am deeply moved by the expression of confidence from the other committee members who chose me to serve as deputy mayor this year.”

Nelson is serving as deputy mayor for the first time during his tenure on the governing body.

“The town is in good hands with Mayor Cohen and Deputy Mayor Nelson,” Jacobson said, noting that Manalapan will celebrate its 175th anniversary in March.

Musich thanked residents for electing her to a new three-year term on the governing body.

In other business during the reorganization meeting, the following individuals were appointed to the Planning Board: Richard Hogan, Steven Kastell, Kathryn Kwaak, Barry Fisher, John Castronovo, Brian Shorr, Nunzio Pollifrone, McNaboe and Jacobson.

The following individuals were appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment: Adam Weiss, Robert Gregowicz and Michael Wechsler.

McLaughlin was reappointed as township attorney, Greg Valesi was reappointed as township engineer, Jennifer Beahm was reappointed as township planner and Shari Spero was reappointed as township arborist/certified tree expert. All four professionals have served in those positions for many years.

Finally, James Newman was appointed to a three-year term as the morning session municipal court judge and Nicole Sonnenblick was appointed to a three-year term as the afternoon session municipal court judge.

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