CLARK, NJ – The Township of Clark held its council reorganization meeting on Jan. 1.  Councilman Bill Smith was elected to serve as council president for 2015. Steven Hund was elected as council vice-president.

Cub Scouts from Clark Pack 145 presented the colors. Sr. Donna Marie O’Brien, the principal of St. John the Apostle School, delivered the invocation.

Mayor Sal Bonaccorso delivered the oath of office to returning council members Frank Mazzarella, Pat O’Connor and Brian Toal and to new council member Steven Hund.  Appointments to various township boards and committees were approved.  

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In his State of the Township address, Bonaccorso recognized the efforts of the council, township administration, employees, volunteers and citizens in building a strong community. He attributed the township’s strength to teamwork, professionalism and integrity.

“We are cleaner, nicer and have so much more to offer than many, many towns around us,” he said. “I know that people still want more. And I am willing to accommodate your needs. Safety and service for our hometown will always be my priority.”

Bonaccorso extended his thanks to township emergency services:

He cited the fiscal stability of the township and the increased tax revenues to be realized from the Terminal Avenue senior housing project, development of the Miele’s property, Kerry’s acquisition of L’Oreal property and a proposed L’Oreal research and development center.

He said that the $60 million Clark Commons shopping center is proof that Clark is “a town that big business is betting on.”

Bonaccorso then introduced a community policing initiative, “Park, Walk and Talk,” that will be instituted at the Clark Commons shopping center.  A Clark police officer will be assigned to visit each business in the center twice per day and establish a relationship with merchants and customers.  The visible police presence will proactively establish a safe environment, reassure customers and discourage undesirable activity, he said.

He envisions the center as a destination for township teens and a local hangout where they can build relationships with township police and “reestablish that old hometown feeling.”

Steven Hund, in his first remarks as a town council member, committed to negotiate a favorable outcome for third ward residents regarding the proposed county stadium in Rahway River Park.

“As the township of Clark continuously evolves and grows,” said newly elected council president Bill Smith, “we as a council will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of our citizens and will improve our township’s appeal.” He cited improvements to the Westfield Avenue commercial corridor as a near-term priority.

“As elected council members, we work for the citizens of Clark. You may or may not always agree with us, but ask that you respect our decisions that are always in the best interest of Clark,” he continued.