Heather Cooper appointed as Evesham Township deputy mayor

Evesham Township Council approved several resolutions appointing professionals at last Thursday’s reorganization meeting.

Evesham Township Mayor Jaclyn Veasy swears in Deputy Mayor Heather Cooper during last Thursday’s council reorganization meeting. Holding the Bible is Evesham Township Clerk Mary Lou Bergh.

Evesham Township will not have a new deputy mayor in 2020, as Heather Cooper was chosen for the position for the second straight year.

Evesham Township Council unanimously voted to appoint Cooper as its deputy mayor during last Thursday’s reorganization meeting. Cooper first served as the township’s deputy mayor in 2019, after being elected to council in the 2018 municipal election.

“I am so happy when I can be out in the community representing us as a council or representing the mayor,” Cooper said after being sworn in by township Mayor Jaclyn Veasy. “We have such busy schedules and there’s always so much to do, so knowing that we can work collaboratively and that I can represent us respectively, I thank you for that.”

No new members of council were sworn in this year as there was no municipal election in 2019. Two council seats will be up for election in 2020 as councilmen Kenneth D’Andrea and Robert DiEnna are in the final year of four-year terms.

After choosing a deputy mayor, council passed a series of resolutions appointing professionals for 2020. Council chose to retain last year’s appointees for many of the positions. They include Primitivo Cruz, staying on as the township solicitor; Sherry Tracy being retained as financial advisor; Angelo Butera remaining township architect; and Jon M. DeMasi being re-appointed municipal prosecutor.

There were a few new appointments, including Robert Nehila Jr. of Bowman & Company as  the new municipal auditor. Cooper commented on the vote, saying council took feedback from the township’s professionals and employees when considering the change.

Another new appointment came through the choice of a grant writer. Council voted to create that new position and appoint Edward Farmer of Millennium Strategies.

D’Andrea said the township previously had a grant writer, but the position disappeared several years ago. He added the township’s hope is for the position to pay for itself through a new influx of grants to the township.

“We’re not trying to add taxpayer dollars for the position,” D’Andrea explained. “There’s a lot of grants out there and what happened over time was that position kind of just changed; it left and it was not able to come back. That position was very valuable.”

Members were also named to the Shade Tree Advisory Commission for the first time in several years. A resolution was passed appointing five people. According to meeting minutes, it is the first time council approved a resolution appointing commission members since 2014.

One appointment the township did not make was for labor counsel. Council voted to table the resolution to a future meeting.

Council also approved its schedule of meetings for 2020. The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 14. Executive session will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. at the Evesham Township Municipal Building.