‘Push us to be our best’

Cinnaminson Township Council sets the course for 2021

Kristen Dowd/The Sun

Cinnaminson Township Council met virtually Jan. 4 for its annual reorganization meeting, the first time its newest incarnation convened.

Reverend John Doll of Asbury Methodist Church began with an invocation seeking peace and guidance to begin the new year.

“Help us be helpful in this current pandemic,” he prayed.

Township zoning board attorney Richard Strobel administered the oath of office to both Ernest McGill and Ryan Horner as they began their respective three-year terms as councilmen, Horner having just completed his one-year term as mayor.

Council then nominated Albert Segrest as mayor and Stephanie Kravil as deputy mayor, both of which were accepted. Each will serve in their roles for the prescribed one-year term.

Additional appointments were made throughout the evening, naming various entities and individuals to official township roles, including Platt & Riso as township solicitor.   Council committee roles are: McGill as liaison to public safety, Horner as liaison to finance and economic development, councilman Paul Conda as liaison to administration and senior services, Kravil as liaison to parks and recreation and veterans affairs and Segrest as liaison to public works.

The newly installed mayor vowed to revisit the reorganization meeting’s tradition of honoring its exemplary residents once a better avenue than Zoom is available, which he hopes will be early spring.

“I love to recognize outstanding Cinnaminson citizens — we didn’t feel it was right not doing this in person,” Segrest said. “We have intentions to perform this at a later time when we’re in person … We are going to revisit this.”

Several items of business were on the evening’s agenda, including establishing council’s regular meeting schedule. Aside from February and barring any cancellations or rescheduling, Cinnaminson council will meet on the third Monday of every month.

During council comments, members expressed gratitude to residents for their support, recognition of township employees for their dedication, and enthusiasm for working with their board of peers in the year and terms to come.

Conda also thanked Horner for serving the township as mayor throughout the hardships of his term.

“Twenty-twenty was not the easiest year, but with your passion and willingness to go above and beyond, we accomplished an awful lot in spite of the challenges the entire year threw at us,” Conde said.

He added that this is a year of ongoing efforts to the benefit of the township.

“In 2021, I hope to continue what we have started, because everybody involved in the committee … is committed to putting the best interests of everyone in Cinnaminson right up front,” Conda remarked.

In her first council comment as deputy mayor, Kravil promised she will honor the role.

“I am so proud to represent and be a part of the Cinnaminson community,” she said. “We truly have a great community and I look forward to our growth together.”

She also individually thanked her council mates and noted to Mayor Segrest that she has “the utmost confidence and respect for your dedication to our community.”

Segrest closed the meeting by recognizing council members and township staff who tried to mitigate the turbulence of 2020 and ensure that “this township did not stop,” and he cast an optimistic eye on the future.

“It continues to be my honor and privilege to serve the residents of Cinnaminson Township,” he began. “We welcome the new year with open arms. The new year’s a good time to consider the blessings of the past and our hopes and goals for the future.”

Segrest also identified the silver lining in overcoming a year full of unprecedented obstacles: “This year has truly shown how great our staff is in continuing township work.”

He named a handful of priorities for 2021, including increased transparency and service to residents. The mayor encouraged staff and residents alike to make their voices heard in sharing ideas they have to make Cinnaminson an even better place to call home.

“Please continue to ask questions,” Segrest implored. “Push us to be our best.”

The next council meeting will be March 15.

Visit cinnaminsonnj.org for more information. A full list of appointments made during the council reorganization meeting can be found on its agenda, available through the Cinnaminson Township website.