Deptford Township Council swore in newcomer Mackenzie Belling to her first term during its reorganization meeting Jan. 6 at the municipal building.
“This is a very, very exciting day for me and I’m very honored to get to be the newest member of Deptford Township Council,” said Belling.
Mayor Paul Medany and fellow council members shared their excitement about the addition of a youthful and diverse perspective; Belling is the youngest councilperson and the only woman on council.
“You’re a breath of fresh air to this board,” Councilman Wayne Love said to Belling. “We look forward to your youthful input to the modern-day issues our communities face all over the state.”
During Belling’s speech, she touted the township’s diversity and its high quality of life for all residents, giving credit to the “hard-working team” of mayor and council for making Deptford one of the best communities in the state.
“To get to have the opportunity to serve a community that I’m so proud to call home and be a part of, and to get to serve the community as a member of the team that has done so much to help build up Deptford, is truly an honor for me,” Belling said.
Senate President Steve Sweeney was in attendance to deliver the oath of office to Deputy Mayor Tom Hufnell and Medany as they began terms to which they were elected in 2019. Belling was sworn in by Congressman Donald Norcross.
“This is the greatest era of cooperation, as far as I’m concerned, in Deptford Township’s long history between all of our elected officials,” Medany noted.
Instead of recapping the township’s accomplishments from the past year, Medany spoke about a larger issue: the future and the responsibility of quality politics.
“Government is here to serve and protect and provide for the public good and to make beneficial decisions for everyone,” he insisted. “But at the same time, all we hear is how bad politicians are in quotes like, ‘I would never get into politics.’”
Medany asked the public to think about the “oxymoron” he described with regard to the current U.S. president.
“Look at the White House if you don’t like people getting into politics,” he added. “If we want good people in politics, then let’s start giving good politicians credit. That’s the thing that we all have to do in this room and moving forward.
“When we bad mouth politicians and there’s kids in the room … who would aspire to be a politician?”