HomeCinnaminson NewsAfter tumultuous year, Mayor Anthony Minniti bids Cinnaminson a fond farewell

After tumultuous year, Mayor Anthony Minniti bids Cinnaminson a fond farewell

Minniti, who served on the township committee for 15 years, will end his term as mayor on Jan. 1

Cinnaminson just wasn’t the same when Anthony Minniti graduated from college in the early 1990s. With his peers migrating elsewhere and the older generations retiring and selling their properties, the return home to the once-thriving town was bitter-sweet.

“Route 130 was just a mess and largely abandoned,” Minniti recalled of the town’s major road, then littered with motels favored by prostitutes and a transient population. “Cinnaminson was just at this crossroads.”

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At the time, Minniti was at a crossroads, too: He could do as his former classmates did and relocate to surrounding South Jersey communities such as Moorestown, which was experiencing economic growth and attracting young couples and families. The other option was to try his hand at local politics and see if he could restore Cinnaminson to the township of his childhood. Minniti chose the latter.

In 1995, then in his mid-20s, Minniti was appointed to the municipality’s environmental advisory committee, where he served until he was appointed to the planning board two years later. It wasn’t long before the Cinnaminson Republican Organization, looking to fill the unexpired term of former Committeeman Mike Minton, eyed Minniti for a seat on the township committee.

November 2002 brought about Minnit’s first election as mayor by the township committee, and in a flash, nearly 15 years of service to Cinnaminson Township had transpired. Now, with a turbulent year of contentious disputes between committee members and a lost re-election bid coming to a close, Minniti finds himself reflecting on that service and wondering who he will be after Mayor Minniti is no more.

“I’ve effectively spent half my life serving Cinnaminson,” Minniti said, citing his parents, who were teachers in the Cinnaminson School District, for instilling in him an appreciation for his community.

Cinnaminson, however, has not always appreciated Minniti back. Between accusations among committee members of bullying behavior and misconduct to a failed attempt at re-election, some might say Minniti is parting on a sour note. Minniti is not one of those people.

“The results of the primaries overshadow what has been,” Minniti said. “It has been another landmark year for our town. We have a surplus and lowered taxes this year, and we’re probably going to be able to do it again next year. That’s a fantastic win for this town. We’re closing the Garden State Inn and redeveloping. We have two new Wawas in town, and we’re experiencing our second credit upgrade. It’s probably been one of the best years I think I’ve had.”

As he waits for his term to come to an end, Minniti says he is proud of the accomplishments he and the committee have made on Route 130 over the years. From the ramshackle row of motels at the beginning of his tenure as mayor to the budding commercial center it has become, Cinnaminson’s piece of the 83-mile highway is easily Minniti’s landmark achievement.

With the last of the motels closing at the same time as his mayorship, looking at the fruits of his labor is as bitter-sweet as that long-ago homecoming, when Minniti set out to breathe new life into Cinnaminson.

“What really matters to me is what we’ve done [for the township]. Too many people treat politics and elections like a sport or a competition, and it’s not,” he said. “It’s a service. There is no winner or loser, this is a position of service, and it has been the best experience of my life, over the past 15 years, to be able to serve this town.”

Not quite sure what the new year will bring, or what he will do, the one thing Minniti knows for certain is this transition is an opportunity to spend more time with his second wife, Rose, and his triplets. And although his relationship with Cinnaminson has at times been complicated, he hopes the town is as proud of him as he is of the town.

“For many years, my wife Rose and my kids — John, Christian, Claire — made all the sacrifices to support me because they knew how passionate I was about serving, and now it’s my turn to support them in their pursuit of their dreams.”


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