Moorestown Township Council’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 4 looked different than any that’s come before.
The township’s newly elected council members were virtually sworn in by Gov. Phil Murphy who administered the oath of office over the phone to David Zipin, Jake Van Dyken and Sue Mammarella.
Nicole Gillespie, the only returning council member, was unanimously reelected as mayor. Newcomer Mammarella was unanimously elected as deputy mayor, a seat previously filled by Brian Donnelly.
Gillespie thanked her fellow council members for their support and welcomed them to the fold.
“I’m looking forward to serving with you on council,” she said to the three newcomers.
In December, Donnelly announced his resignation from council leaving a vacant fifth seat on council. Mammarella nominated Quinton Law, which was met with unanimous support by her fellow council members. She said Moorestown’s Democratic committee compiled a list of names to fill the seat, and Law’s name, in particular stood out to her.
All of the elected officials in attendance at Monday night’s meeting discussed the road ahead. Murphy thanked Moorestown council for inviting him to administer the oath of office and took a moment to discuss where New Jersey stands.
“This is going to be a heck of a year,” Murphy said. “We’re still in the thick of a pandemic — the fight of our lives … It will get better.”
Murphy said in addition to combatting the pandemic, the other major challenge that lies ahead is rebuilding the economy. He said thus far, the state has helped 55,000 small businesses, but New Jersey still needs the federal government’s assistance to continue supporting these businesses.
All that being said, the governor expressed his optimism about the future.
“Here’s to better days sooner rather than later in the year 2021,” he noted.
The newly elected council members used their council comments to discuss their hopes for their time on council.
Van Dyken said despite never having served in an elected office, he’s eager to do his best during the next four years. He said Moorestown residents are “heavily invested” in how the town is run, and so, it’s an honor for him to represent the people of Moorestown.
“This town deserves effective and competent representation, and I believe this council more than adequately meets that definition,” he said.
Zipin stressed that he’s eager to bring a “neighbors first” tone and approach to the council’s discourse. He said Moorestown has “so much kinetic energy” that’s waiting to be realized.
“Mostly, I’m just looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work,” Zipin said.
Mammarella said Zipin, Van Dyken and herself ran their campaign based on the ideals of unity, transparency and business forward, all of which she’s eager to get started on.
“I can’t wait to get started … and serve my neighbors in this town, regardless of who voted for me or not,” Mammarella said.
The next council meeting will take place on Monday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m.