Councilman Ryan Kennedy is one of the candidates who will seek to succeed Anzano
Mayor Paul Anzano will not seek a fifth term as Hopewell Borough’s mayor.
Anzano noting that “it is time for someone else to serve in the position” made the announcement on March 12.
“After 16 years of serving you as the borough’s mayor and a few years on Council, I have concluded that as of Jan. 1, 2024, it is time for someone else to embrace the opportunity and offer themselves to serve as the borough’s mayor,” he said in a statement.
Anzano added that it was an honor to have the “trust, confidence and support” of borough residents.
“It is time for others to enjoy that experience. I have always believed that we, as elected officials, serve as your stewards: entrusted to manage the affairs of the borough honestly, without bias and for the good of all,” he said.
Anzano was first elected mayor in 2007. Before earning the position from borough voters, he had previously served one term on Borough Council.
He was first elected to Council in 2004 and is currently an attorney at Pringle, Quinn, Anzano P.C in Belmar.
“I encourage you to consider serving in any elected capacity and particularly as mayor. I found being mayor to be a rewarding experience,” Anzano said to those who may have interest in serving as mayor.
“Interaction with and learning from the youth of Hopewell was a favorite benefit of the office. Having a knowledgeable and engaged Council allowed me to feel that the residents of the borough were always front and center and well served.”
He thanked Council members past and present for their service and praised the professional staff, administrative staff and 24/7 Public Works team.
“Once again, if you have the desire to serve, please act on it. It will prove to be challenging and rewarding,” Anzano said. “I have learned that helping others is, in a way, helping yourself to be the best person you can be.”
Borough Council members praised Anzano for his time as mayor.
“Paul is a friend and I respect him and all that he has done for our community,” Hopewell Borough Council President Sky Morehouse said, “Paul’s powerful understanding of governance and the workings of both state and national affairs has brought many good policies and programs to the borough.”
He added that “we all owe Paul our gratitude for his many years of service to and care of Hopewell Borough.”
“We here in Hopewell Borough are grateful for all of the time and energy and legal expertise that Paul Anzano shared with us during his tenure as mayor,” Councilwoman Debra Stuhler said. “I wish him all the best in the future when he retires as mayor and want to thank him for his service.”
Councilwoman Krista Weaver noted that Anzano has loyally served Hopewell Borough for many years and deserves the borough’s thanks.
“As a new member of council, I appreciate him taking the time to meet with me and show me the ropes. His decision to retire from his role, along with the departure of our longtime borough administrator, creates an opportunity for a fresh approach to Hopewell’s challenges,” she said.
Weaver added that she is heartened to see that “some very strong candidates” for mayor have already stepped forward.
“I look forward to working with the next administration to ensure we take a more proactive approach to traffic safety, make our town more inviting to the business community and solve our long-standing problems around water supply,” she said.
Councilman Ryan Kennedy shared that he wished Anzano the best on his retirement from public service.
“Our community is very appreciative of Mayor Anzano’s commitment to Hopewell Borough as our mayor, council member and longtime volunteer,” he said.
Kennedy is one of the candidates seeking to succeed Anzano.
“A few weeks ago, I let our Democratic committee know that rather than seeking a third term on council, I’d be filing to run for mayor this year following Paul’s retirement, and it would be my honor to continue to serve our town after his term ends,” he said.
He added that a lot of changes lie ahead with a new administrator and a different mayor within a short period of time.
“But one thing will always remain unchanged,” Kennedy said. “The love and dedication we all share with Paul for this amazing place we call home. Thank you, mayor.”
Councilman David Mackie praised Anzano’s leadership.
“Having served side by side with Mayor Anzano throughout his tenure on the Borough Council and as mayor, I am grateful for his leadership,” he said.
“Paul has always recognized that partisanship has no place in local government, and that we prosper as a community by harnessing the collective vision and skills of our volunteers, elected officials, staff, professionals, residents, and business community.
“Under his leadership, we have seen the conversion and dedication of a new Borough Hall, the reconstruction of most of our roads, the transformation of our downtown through the streetscape plan, and the emergence of a vibrant business community, all while achieving AA+ Standard & Poor’s bond rating. Mayor Anzano has much to be proud of, and we have much to be grateful for,” Mackie said.
Councilwoman Samara McAuliffe shared that as a town they are grateful to Mayor Anzano and his years of service.
“Personally, I’ve appreciated his mentorship and guidance. On a broader level, I am thankful for his commitment to Hopewell Borough,” she said. “I wish him all of the best in his future endeavors.”
McAuliffe further said that they are very lucky to have had him as mayor and a community servant for as long as they did.
“It is also exciting for others who hope to serve our special town in the capacity of Mayor to have the opportunity to run to do so,” she added.