Government

Bridgewater Holds Reorganization, Rose Tapped as Council President

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BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Despite a cancellation of the original meeting because of snow, Bridgewater Township braved some icy rain Monday for the township’s annual reorganization meeting.

Councilmen Allen Kurdyla, Howard Norgalis and Filipe Pedroso were all sworn into office, having each won re-election in November to new individual four-year terms. 

Kurdyla also ended his year as council president, and thanked everyone for the chance to serve.

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“I believe the (political) process works well in Bridgewater Township,” said Kurdyla. “It’s been a privilege to serve Bridgewater.”

The meeting began with an invocation by Pastor Tim Wolf, of the New Horizon Christian fellowship. After the results of last year’s election were certified by municipal clerk Linda Doyle, the re-elected council members were formally sworn into their new terms. 

Kurdyla and Norgalis were sworn in by assistant township attorney Chris Corsini, while Pedroso was sworn in by councilwoman Christine Henderson Rose.

Norgalis quipped that he would keep his remarks short, considering the icy weather outdoors along with the college football national championship game being contested later that night.

“Thanks for the opportunity to serve again,” he said. “I will put the residents first in every vote and every decision I make for Bridgewater.”

Pedroso added his thanks for another opportunity to serve on council.

“Serving the residents is a great honor and a privilege, and I don’t take it lightly,” he said. “Thank you all very much.”

Each of the re-elected trio thanked the township administration, staff, residents and their respective family members for all their support and assistance, both during the election and over the years.

Kurdyla also said in his outgoing address that it had been a privilege to have served as council president for 2017.

“I truly believe that service is a privilege and an honor,” he said. “My role was to work with the administration, to set the council agenda and to keep things moving.”

He added that during his tenure over the past 12 months, the council passed more than 330 resolutions and over 20 ordinances, along with several land-use ordinances such as for the Center of Excellence, Chimney Rock and Camp Cromwell.

Kurdyla said the council does not make decisions for itself, but for the township and its future.

“We hope to help our children’s children speak fondly of Bridgewater,” he said.

Kurdyla added that the council is working with Mayor Dan Hayes to create a plan for Bridgewater regarding long-term infrastructure and improvements.

Kurdyla thanked his fellow council members, township administrators and the municipal clerk’s office, and once more offered condolences on the loss last month of health and human services director Chris Poulsen.

Pedroso thanked Kurdyla for his service as president, and said Kurdyla had always maintained an open line of communication with the council and the administration. Pedroso also jokingly called Rose, his former fellow zoning board member, “the best woman on the council,” and shortly thereafter Rose was unanimously approved as the new council president.

Rose said she looks forward to serving as president of the town governing body, and thanked her fellow council members, along with all of the dedicated volunteers who serve on the various township committees and boards.

“It’s an exemplar for other communities,” she said of the township.

Rose said the council will continue to support mayoral goals, and will also work with the administration on utilizing funds that came out of the 2009 town referendum to obtain open space for recreation. That measure includes the acquisition of 100 acres of Camp Cromwell in Martinsville.

“I do recognize the five of us have different thoughts,” Rose said of the individual council members, “and I look forward to healthy public debate, and to continue to shine as an exemplar community.”

Rose then nominated councilman Matthew Moench to serve as vice-president for this year, which he accepted and the rest of the council approved.

The council read and approved the municipal appointments to the various staff, boards and committees, all of whom were sworn in en masse by township attorney William Savo. The council also approved its 2018 meeting schedule, temporary budgets for both the current fund and the sewer fund, established a cash management plan and named official depositories before adjourning for the evening.

Check back for a full report on Mayor Dan Hayes’s state of the township address and the goals for 2018.

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