CHATHAM, NJ - Mike Kelly was unanimously voted in as the new Chatham Township Mayor at the 2020 Reorganization Meeting and promptly took a bipartisan tone in his mayor's new year address on Thursday night.
The 2020 committee sworn into office leans Democratic with new members Celeste Fondaco and Stacey Ewald joining fellow Democrat Tracy Ness for a 3-2 party advantage. Ness was unanimously voted in as the Deputy Mayor.
Committee member Karen Swartz and Kelly are Republicans. Four women dominate the five-person committee.
"The Chatham Township Committee consists of three Democrats and two Republicans working together for the betterment of our community," Kelly said in his opening remarks. "As our first action of the new year, we have picked the bipartisan leadership team of a Republican mayor and a Democratic deputy mayor. We cannot say it any more clearly, this township committee intends to represent all of our residents. We intend to listen to all views and we look forward to working for you as an efficient and productive township committee.
"As your mayor, I'm proud to report that the state of our township is healthy and strong."
The opening remarks by new Chatham Township Mayor Michael Kelly
Kelly also talked about the affordable housing obligation that Chatham Township must address by Jan. 10, when Superior Court Judge Michael C. Gaus expects to receive a formal motion from Chatham Township Attorney Albert Cruz requesting an extension for selecting a site or sites for 74 affordable housing units.
Kelly gives an overview of the affordable housing obligations Chatham Township agreed to in December 2018 court settlement in the video below. Kelly announced that the Chatham Township Committee will hold a special meeting dedicated to the affordable housing issue on Tueday, Jan. 7.