‘I am proud to be leading a diverse, representative governing body’

History was made in Montgomery Township on Jan. 4

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History was made in Montgomery Township and the state when Neena Singh was elected the township’s next mayor.

Singh is the first Sikh and Indian American woman mayor for the township and New Jersey.

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“I would like to thank our fellow members of the Montgomery Township Committee for their faith in my leadership abilities,” she said. “I look forward to serving my town and all of Montgomery residents as the first Sikh woman and the first Indian American woman mayor in New Jersey.”

She was elected mayor by members of the Township Committee at the governing body’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 4.

“I’m sitting before you an American Sikh woman, an Indian American who landed in this country not on Ellis Island, but still came here with the same hopes and aspirations as our forefathers,” Singh said.

“I thank God that my family and I ended up settling in beautiful Montgomery Township. A town that is representative of the American dream.”

Nominated by Committeewoman Devra Keenan, who served as mayor from 2021 to 2023, Singh was then unanimously elected mayor for 2024. She received applause and a standing ovation in the chambers room at the municipal center.

Singh took her oath of office with her family by her side. She was sworn-in to her new position by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12).

“What energizes and motivates me is a spirit of service and I strongly believe we all have a responsibility to give back,” Singh added.

She noted that as the Township Committee and township looks to 2024 the safety and mobility of residents is an important focus with Montgomery’s growth.

“This past year we started pedestrian and safety initiatives, collaborated with our school community for townwide events, secured money from the state for important projects and collaborated with Hillsborough to restart the bus to New York City,” Singh explained.

“We are working on new crosswalks, bike paths and trail connections to our recreation spaces, schools … from money we received from our state partners.”

Montgomery will also work with Somerset County on projects to make Montgomery a destination town, according to Singh.

“In this very location we are planning on hosting our long running farmers market and we are also working plans to create an all-inclusive playground to serve all our residents,” she said.

Singh shared news that as mayor she will be signing a Mayor’s Wellness Campaign pledge focusing on building a healthier and stronger community.

“Our goal for 2024 is to make sure our residents have the best possible resources whether it is community health, transportation, public spaces, municipal services, business or recreational activities,” she noted.

“We are also working on strategies to make our tax dollar go further by researching ways to bring more grant money and examining our shared services.”

In a video message U.S. Sen. Cory Booker congratulated Singh on making history.

“This is really an accomplishment and for every South Asian girl growing up not just in Montgomery, but across New Jersey they are going to have a true role model to look up to in Neena Singh,” he said. “So excited for the residents of Montgomery.”

Attendees at Singh’s swearing in included Watson Coleman and Rep. Andy Kim (D-3), Zwicker, Assemblyman Roy Freiman, Assemblywoman Sadaf Jaffer, and County Commissioners Melonie Marano, Shanel Robinson, Doug Singleterry and Sara Sooy.

During the reorganization meeting, Singh nominated Committeeman Vincent Barragan for deputy mayor. With no other nominations were made, Barragan was elected unanimously to the leadership position by members of the Township Committee.

He was also sworn in by Watson Coleman and is the first Hispanic deputy mayor in Montgomery.

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