Currently in his second term as mayor of Gloucester Township, Mayer has been instrumental in implementing a number of new projects in the township over the past seven years.
When he was younger, Gloucester Township Mayor David Mayer didn’t imagine working in politics. When he entered college at Rutgers-Camden in the late 1980s, he wanted to pursue a career in medicine.
However, after working as an emergency room tech his sophomore year and being advised by a number of doctors not to pursue a career in medicine, Mayer decided to make the switch to political science.
More than 25 years later, Mayer is now the mayor of Gloucester Township, a job he absolutely loves.
“I love being a mayor,” he said. “I can pick up that phone and get something done. It’s very very rewarding and satisfying to me.”
Currently serving his second term as mayor, Mayer presides over a town he feels is special in a number of ways.
A major focus for Mayer since he took over as mayor is increasing commercial development in the township. A number of commercial projects have been approved and constructed during his nearly seven years in office.
“Gloucester Township has primarily been a rooftop community,” Mayer said. “The challenge for us was to bring in a commercial balance. We needed more commercial ratables because we have a lot of rooftops.”
Some new commercial areas include The Shoppes at Cross Keys along Berlin-Cross Keys Road and the opening of Gloucester Premium Outlets in 2015 just off Route 42.
Mayer proudly talks of how the premium outlets alone created 600 permanent jobs and 400 construction jobs, the most in any single project in the history of Gloucester Township. When asked what he enjoys most about being mayor, Mayer says he loves to create jobs and give opportunities to work for residents.
Mayer also enjoys the creativity of being mayor. Mayer previously served two terms as a state assemblyman from 2004 to 2007. He said serving in the Assembly was a great, but very different experience from being mayor. As mayor, Mayer enjoys working directly with residents and having to think outside the box to solve local issues.
Mayer believes the Gloucester Township community is unique because of its different neighborhoods. Each area of town has its own character, which helps contribute to the township’s diversity.
“The diversity of the town is what makes it special,” Mayer said. “We celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month (last) Monday. We acknowledged Hispanic individuals who are making a difference in the community. You should hear their stories.”
Mayer also loves his town’s dedication to volunteerism. A good example of this is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service program with the local schools.
“We had almost 1,000 people there last year,” Mayer said. “It was great. People want to give back. There’s a lot of buy-in from the community as far as support for different charities.”
Outside of his office at the Gloucester Township Municipal Building, Mayer is also an adjunct professor at Rowan University. He enjoys meeting with and having discussions with youth of all ages, whether it’s students in his classes at Rowan or a group of Scouts visiting him at work.
“I think it’s so important that we educate the young people about what government does,” Mayer said. “I tell my students, if you don’t pay attention to government, it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do.”
Outside of work, Mayer enjoys cooking and fishing with his family along the Delaware Bay. In 2015, he married Michelle Gentek-Mayer, a former township councilwoman and current Camden County surrogate.
There are a lot of projects Mayer is excited to kick start in the coming months and years. He looks forward to revitalizing the downtown Blackwood area and creating an arts district there. He also plans to continue to improve the township’s parks, continue implementation of the township’s energy master plan and further support the community policing initiatives the Gloucester Township Police Department has undertaken in recent years.