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‘Collective culture is critical’

‘Collective culture is critical’
From l-r Deputy Mayor John Ciccarelli, Mayor Robert Britting Jr., and Committeewomen Catherine Payne and Samantha Hand ceremoniously cut the cake during the reorganization meeting Jan. 3. PHOTO COURTESY OF HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP
Deputy Mayor John Ciccarelli, Mayor Robert Britting Jr., and Committeewomen Catherine Payne and Samantha Hand ceremoniously cut the cake during the reorganization meeting Jan. 3. PHOTO COURTESY OF HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP

The Hillsborough Township Committee meeting reorganized with a full house in committee chambers on Jan. 3.

Democrats and Republicans came together for the swearing in of Republican candidate Catherine Payne and Democratic Candidate Samantha Hand, who secured the two seats open on the committee during the November election. They began their first, three-year, terms.

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman swore in Hand and Mayor Shawn Lipani swore in Payne.

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman swore in Committeewoman Samantha Hand. Photo Courtesy of Hillsborough Township
Mayor Shawn Lipani swore in Committeewoman Catherine Payne. Photo Courtesy of Hillsborough Township

Robert Britting Jr. was nominated and unanimously elected as mayor for 2024. John Ciccarelli was nominated and unanimously elected for deputy mayor.

Former Assemblyman Jack Ciatterelli swore in Britting and Ciccarelli to their leadership roles on the dais.

Former Assemblyman Jack Ciatterelli swore in Robert J. Britting Jr. as mayor. Photo Courtesy of Hillsborough Township
Former Assemblyman Jack Ciatterelli swore in John Ciccarelli as deputy mayor. Photo Courtesy of Hillsborough Township

“I got involved in Hillsborough Township to help point it in the right direction for a better future,” Britting said in his comments. “I’m absolutely humbled by this nomination of my colleagues and support of my family and friends.”

Britting thanked Lipani for his three years serving as mayor. He said Hillsborough Township is “not a town of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.”

“I look forward to working everyone on the dais,” he said turning to Hand. “Committeewoman Hand, although we are a different party, I believe we can do really good things.”

Hand is serving as the lone Democrat on the dais.

Hillsborough Township maintains “a small town feel with large town goals,” Britting said as he touched on the future of the township from fiscal responsibility, open space and preserved land (keeping warehouse developments at bay) and infrastructure, to affordable housing, protecting country roads, public safety, and supporting the business community.

“Collective culture is critical,” Britting said as they move further into 2024. “Republicans and Democrats have to work together.”

In his role as mayor, Britting said he is committed to being “unapologetically” honest; always put Hillsborough first; hold decision makers, including himself, accountable and prioritize quality of life for township children and senior citizens.

Britting said one of the projects they will continue to push the state on is the widening of Route 206 between Doctors Way and Camplain Road. The project had been delayed last year after the New Jersey Department of Transportation terminated its contract with Konkus Corporation.

Also, the township’s Master Plan will be under formal review, the mayor said.

“My wife Kelly and I chose Hillsborough Township for our children,” Britting said. “… Bottom line, this is an amazing township, we should be proud to live here and never lose sight of that.”