MANCHESTER – She asked the question, “Why not?” Now she’s a council member.
With her husband, three of her four sons who still reside in town, and two grandchildren with her, Joan Brush was sworn in March 27 as councilwoman. She replaces Brendan Weiner, who resigned in February due to his family’s relocation to Lacey.
There didn’t seem to be anyone in attendance who didn’t know Brush. She was their school bus driver. Her children graduated with their children. She coached their team.
Brush, a retired bus driver from the Manchester Township School District, served as the chairperson on the township’s Municipal Alliance for 10 years, and put together many Project Graduations during the time, a safe night of fun for high school seniors on their graduation night. She’s donated driving time to the local Police Athletic League, and volunteers for Kevin’s Kids.
She currently sits on the planning board, but will have to resign because of her new position.
When she heard about the council vacancy, her first thought was “Why not?”
“I like Manchester,” she said. She’s a 43-year resident and lives in Pine Lake Park. “It’s a good place to raise a family.”
She was one of 12 applicants seeking to fill Weiner’s seat. (One didn’t meet the residency requirement and another never showed for the interview.) According to council president Samuel Fusaro, there were several strong candidates with impressive resumes, but Brush ultimately wowed council the most.
“Joan was selected for many reasons, but chief among them is her dedication to the residents of Manchester Township,” Fusaro said.
In an interview before her swearing in, Brush praised council’s efforts to try to bring in ratables, and knows it’s often an uphill battle with the wide-range of restrictions that drive businesses elsewhere. She would like to use her experiences to draw in those businesses to alleviate the tax burden on residents.
Brush remembers swimming in Pine Lake many, many years ago. She told The Manchester Times she would like to see Pine Lake cleaned up to drive out the geese and bring in the people. She’d love to see a nature walk and a lighted boardwalk line the lake.
She wants residents to know they can reach out to her with any ideas or concerns.
“Joan is a wonderful addition to the council,” Mayor Kenneth Palmer said.