MANCHESTER – After more than a decade on the dais, a member of council has resigned because he is moving out of town.
Brendan Weiner, who was elected to Manchester Township Council back in 2006, made his official resignation date February 21.
In an exclusive statement to The Manchester Times, Weiner explained the decision for his departure.
“We will be moving out of town in order to be closer to my wife’s family. By law I am unable to serve on the Township Council unless I reside within the municipality, therefore, I am resigning from my position on the Township Council effective February 21, which coincides the closing date of my residence in Manchester.”
He continued: “I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity, the honor and the privilege to serve the fine folks of Manchester Township in this capacity for over 10.5 years. I will deeply miss so much about the position I held as Councilman, however I am excited to begin a new chapter in the book we call ‘life.’”
Weiner had always had a heart to serve others, saying that events happened in his life that made him realize he wanted to do something for his community. He changed his major from the 5-year master’s education program at Rutgers to a non-education major in the hopes that his father would live to see him graduate college. He didn’t.
With his changed degree, he was able to get a job with the county planning department. He also joined the local Rotary Club. A friend encouraged him to apply for an exchange program through the Rotary to go to Brazil.
In Brazil, he discovered there was no middle class – Rotary members there were the “elite of the elite.” One member told him they were building a school house; generation to generation of the poor families were living in deplorable conditions. The Rotary wanted to build the school to break that cycle. Weiner took a ride with this member to the one-room schoolhouse in a Mercedes Benz. When they arrived, the school was empty.
“’Where are the kids? I asked him. He said, ‘The problem is these kids families don’t let them come to school because their most important thing is to find their next meal.’ The Rotary was conducting a fundraiser to buy food for the school, so the food would attract the students to school.”
They drove to where the children lived with their families. The deep poverty struck him, and he knew then and there he wanted to get more involved in his community.
After coming home, he knew an election was upcoming. He admittedly knew nothing about politics, but knew he could bring his education, experiences and energy to the table. He decided to run and actually won, but barely. He bested his opponent by less than 100 votes. It was a journalist asking for an interview who broke the news that he won.
His hard work paid off. He was reelected in 2010 and 2014.
Weiner said his most proud accomplish is working toward improvements on Route 70. “I wanted to dualize Route 70, which was the best way for safety and traffic control. That never happened yet, and I don’t know if it will ever happen, but what I was able to accomplish was center line rumble strips on that highway, and since then we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the number of head-on accidents that lead to fatalities in Manchester. My work helped get that for our town.”
“He has been a great asset to the town over his 10-year tenure as councilman,” council president Sam Fusaro told The Manchester Times. “His energy and commitment to our residents was without equal. We wish him all the best in his new home.”
“Brendan has been an excellent councilman who always had the residents’ best interests at heart,” Mayor Kenneth Palmer told The Manchester Times. “I personally appreciated working with Brendan because he was always straightforward and wanted to help the town. We wish him and his family well on their move!”
Weiner told The Manchester Times that he has no plans to enter Lacey Township politics at this point, stressing that he never took the job to get involved in career politics.
His immediate plans include moving into his new home and “squeezing that little baby girl as much as I can, because she’s growing up too quick. Maybe you’ll read about me as a soccer coach or something else. I’m sure I’ll be involved in some capacity. I’m not the type of person to sit on the sidelines.”