BARNEGAT, NJ - Yesterday, the Barnegat Township Committee started 2020 together as they swore in this year’s leaders. At the reorganization meeting, local officials named John J. Novak as mayor and moved up  Pasquale “Pat” Pipi to deputy mayor. Albert Bille also took the oath of office for the start of his renewed term on the Township Committee.

Novak, who was last year’s deputy mayor, previously represented the Township as its mayor in 2016.  When Mayor Novak’s third term on the committee ends this time, he won’t be seeking local re-election.  Instead, Novak’s goal is to move to Washington and serve as the U.S. Representative from New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District.

“In the start of what is now my seventh year on this governing body, I have been privileged to participate in transformation,” said Novak. “We have retired debt to where we have an admirable balance sheet compared to similarly situated and/or nearby municipalities…. [which] has resulted in our achieving yet another bond rating upgrade of AA for Barnegat Township.”

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As the incoming mayor continued his statement, Novak complimented the various departments that serve the municipality. He also expressed his belief in transparency in government, while acknowledging that sometimes members of a governing body do not always agree.

 “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed,” Novak shared, citing a verse from the Bible.  “I say that respectful disagreement is not only healthy and encouraged but it is grist for mill of democracy.”

In addition to Novak, each of the committee members resonated a consistent theme in delivering their remarks. All applauded and thanked municipal employees for their diligence and hard work. Without exception, Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain was singled out for his services.

Germain, who recently returned from the FBI Academy, was grateful for the recognition. Privately, he expressed humility, and said, “It’s the people who work with you that make the job well done.”

The reorganization meeting concluded with the passing of a consent agenda consisting of 73 separate items. The next Township Committee meeting is February 4, 2020, at 10:00 am.