STANHOPE BOROUGH, NJ - "This is the most people I’ve seen here,” said Stanhope Borough councilman George Graham to the public at the recent borough council meeting, as every seat in the newly renovated borough hall was occupied by a resident, or friend of Graham’s.
Mayor Rosemarie Maio started the meeting with a Pledge of Allegiance, and a moment of silent reflection for little Joey Johnson, the young son of Stanhope Borough Patrolman Joe Johnson, who sadly passed away yesterday after his battle with cancer.
“Now, on a somewhat happier note, will you join me in congratulating George Graham?" Maio asked of the public as all stood up to clap for Graham.
Graham has served as a councilman in Stanhope Borough for six and a half years, and tonight he will be sworn in as a Sussex County Freeholder.
On April 12, Graham won 91 to 31 votes against Helen LeFrois for the Sussex County freeholder position.
Graham will be filling in the seat of New Jersey Assemblyman Parker Space as he takes on his new position.
“I’ve been very fortunate. I came here on the council not expecting anything. But you come here everyday and you do something,” said Graham.
Graham also went on to acknowledge the firemen, EMT's, Shade Tree members, and environmental committee members who were sitting in the audience.
“That is what makes a small town,” Graham explained. “People who do not live in a small town do not know that.”
Maio and the council presented Graham with a gift and once he opened the box, he revealed the gift was a clock.
“You’re going to need a lot of time now,” Maio jokingly told Graham.
Maio also presented Graham’s wife, Gail, with a bouquet of flowers.
“I don’t know if I am going to teach the freeholders anything like this council has taught me,” said Graham. "I appreciate everything, and I am going to miss this room.”
Councilwomen Doreen Thistleton and Diana Kuncken, and councilmen Bill Thornton, Mike Depew and Jim Benson, along with borough administrator Brian McNeilly, all acknowledged and congratulated Graham on his future as a Sussex County freeholder.
“Congratulations to George on his new job as a freeholder, we could use you there very much too,” resident Nancy Hoyt told Graham during public participation.
Maio then announced a short 15 minute break for guests to mingle with Graham.
In that time, Graham acknowledged every person who attended the meeting to tell them thank you.
A table with refreshments, cookies and cupcakes was available for the guests before the start of the town council meeting.
Graham, along with Space and Sussex County surrogate Gary Chiusano will all hold their titles through the year 2013, and will run again, including during the upcoming primary on June 4.
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