Mayor Manzo’s farewell to Julie DeLaurentis

Courtesy of Harrison Township.

As we conclude the year, I want to acknowledge the dedication and energy of our Deputy Mayor, Julie DeLaurentis. After serving six years, Julie decided not to seek another term on the Township Committee this year. The word “tireless” falls short of describing her commitment to the betterment of our hometown, and, for that matter, to the region as a whole.

Julie has served in nearly every possible role on the township committee, including liaison to our school boards and Mullica Hill Business Association, and appointments to our joint land use board, IDEA board and veterans commission. She has also served as our deputy mayor and deputy public safety director for the last two years. Her appointment to our recreation commission deserves special attention since her volunteer work with that group for the past 20 years is what led to her to being asked to run for the Township Committee in 2017.

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There is often a misunderstanding that the elected township committee positions are full-time jobs; they are not. In most municipalities in New Jersey, including Harrison Township, the elected leadership positions are designated as “part time” making it necessary to have a full-time job to provide for our families. These positions require participation in four to five evening meetings a month and serving in liaison roles to other township commissions and boards. We are responsible for budgeting and hiring decisions but anything beyond that depends upon the individual’s flexibility and desire to dedicate more time to township activities. Most of us who choose to run for elected positions do so for the desire to serve and the love of our community.  

Julie DeLaurentis is the living embodiment service because she has been involved in everything. The list is too long to itemize, but it covers everything from meetings with neighboring towns and county leadership and submitting for state and federal grants to leading the team to develop our new website and planning events in town, such as Lights on Main and Harrison Township Day. Suffice it to say, she set the “time and dedication” bar very high for any part time elected official anywhere.

Julie has promised that her dedication to our community is not ceasing with her tenure on the township committee at year’s end. After working side by side with Julie for so many years, I am confident this is not a farewell and that serving Mullica Hill is in her blood. I know we will have her wisdom, energy and continued support for township activities and initiatives going forward. 

That said, we do want to recognize the end of her time as an elected official. Therefore, on behalf of our current township committee and administrative leadership and team members, as well as all those who have previously served with her, I want to thank Ms. Julie DeLaurentis for her incredible contribution to our community. In a role that epitomizes sacrifice and commitment, please know that the Harrison Township community is thankful for the leadership and the grace you displayed in it, Julie. We love you.

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