HOWELL – Around 100 people attended the Township Council’s Reorganization Meeting and witnessed the swearing-in of the municipality’s three newly elected council members.
Republicans Susan Fischer, Fred Gasior, and Ian Nadel are all newcomers to local government seats. However, that’s not to say that they haven’t been preparing for their roles.
After he was sworn in by Monmouth County Commissioner Ross F. Licitra, Gasior offered some insight regarding the work the three have already begun since the election.
Gasior held up a thick binder packed with information and explained its contents.
“This is a book that we’ve been assembling, each of us,” said Gasior. “With regards to who works for the town, who are on the boards, who are the professionals.”
According to Gasior, he and his running mates have been attending classes and have learned a lot – with more to learn. Gasior said the book would continue to serve as a valuable reference source and emphasized that it is critical to operate from a position of knowledge.
Attorney Robert Konzelmann administered the oath of office to Fischer, while Nadel affirmed his under the direction of Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. The newly elected council members expressed their gratitude and said they look forward to serving the community.
The Republicans hold a nearly complete majority in Howell’s local government as the three newcomers joined fellow Republican Evelyn O’Donnell to take their seats on the dais. O’Donnell was subsequently nominated, approved, and sworn in as the township’s Deputy Mayor, a position she has held before during her seven years on the council.
After Municipal Court Judge Susan Schroeder Clark administered the oath of office to O’Donnell, the Deputy Mayor gave some brief remarks.
“I couldn’t be more proud to say that I look forward to serving with the three individuals who were just successful in this past election,” O’Donnell shared. “There are a lot of things that are planned, and we plan to go forward in a progressive manner.”
Mayor Theresa Berger, the governing body’s sole Democrat, was not at the Reorganizational Meeting because her flight to return home was canceled. However, she did have words of encouragement for the upcoming year.
“I am hoping to start a new relationship with the majority to keep our hometown feel in Howell,” Berger said. “It should be fun if they are committed to stopping unnecessary building, and keeping Howell green, and not concrete.”
During their campaigns, Fischer, Gasior, and Nadel expressed their concerns regarding the potential for overdevelopment in Howell. They said they enjoyed the township’s rural character and planned to also work on preserving farmland and open space.
O’Donnell’s opening remarks also included a reminder that Howell’s foundation is a rural foundation, which she referred to as a foundation of community.
The Reorganization Meeting began with a Presentation of Colors by the Howell Township Police Honor Guard. Chaplain Yaakov Wenger performed the invocation after the Pledge of Allegiance.
Several council appointments received unanimous approval during the first meeting of the year. These included professionals that will serve the township and individuals named to boards, committees, and commissions.
Howell Township Council meets again on January 17, 2022, at 7 p.m.