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New Year Signals No Major Changes for Watchung Council

Incumbents sworn in for new three-year terms, Pote will serve as council president.

The new year will be pretty much like the old year on the Watchung Borough Council.

Incumbents Tom Franklin and Debra Joren were sworn into new three-year terms on the all-Republican council by State Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. at the council’s annual reorganization meeting on New Year’s Day.

“I think I am the old man of the council,” Franklin quipped.

Stephen Pote was unanimously elected council president, replacing Joren.

Councilman William Nehls will be the council’s liaison to the planning board.

Chairing the council’s committees will be:

  • Administration and Finance—Franklin
  • Public Works—Nehls
  • Laws and Ordinance—Joren
  • Public Affairs—Karen Cassidy
  • Police—Pote
  • Fire—Stephen Black
  • Liaison to the Rescue Squad—Black

There were few major changes in the appointments of other borough officials.

Albert Cruz will continue to serve as borough attorney and Maser Engineering will continue as the borough’s engineer.

Former Superior Court Judge John Richardson was appointed municipal court judge for three years while Richard Guss will serve as municipal prosecutor and James Loewen will be municipal public defender.

Sworn into one-year terms were Fire Chief Thomas Carlucci Sr. and Rescue Squad Capt. Adam Wexler.

The following borough employees were honored for the longevity of their service:

  • 35 years—Walter Niegisch, Rescue Squad
  • 25 years—Gene McAllister, Police Sergeant; Robert Faust, Police Sergeant; Kenneth Sausville, Fire Department
  • 20 years—Dan Lorimer, Police Sergeant
  • 15 Years—Bill Kelly, Police Lieutenant; Art Holzheimer, Police Officer
  • 10 Years—David Melchionda, Police Officer; Michael Bouchard, Police Officer; Helder Peixoto, Police Dispatcher; Joseph Nicastro, Plumbing Sub-Code Official, Adam Wexler, Rescue Squad
  • 5 Years—Francis Linnus, Planning Board Attorney; Melanie Savulich, Rescue Squad.

Rev. Barbara Parsons, of the Wilson Memorial Union Church, delivered the invocation and benediction.

Also in attendance at the noontime meeting were Assembly members Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz, Somerset County Republican Chairman Al Gaburo, Somerset County Freeholders Pat Walsh and Bob Zaborowski, Somerset County Clerk Brett Radi, Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano, North Plainfield Mayor Michael Giordano and Rocky Hill Mayor Ed Zimmerman

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