Mayor Cohen Meets with Murphy, Rios at Mayors' Roundtable

Freeholder Director Ron Rios and Governor Phil Murphy share a laugh at the beginning of the Middlesex County Mayors Roundtable Credits: Middlesex County
East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen joins his peers at this week's roundtable with the new governor. Credits: Middlesex County

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios welcomed New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick on Feb. 14, as the Governor hosted mayors from throughout the County for a roundtable discussion on critical issues facing the County’s towns and residents.  East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen was there, asking questions about proposed redevelopment in the township.

“I am very excited that you have come here to discuss priorities and how we can build new partnerships with the State while strengthening those that already exist,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Thank you, Governor, for giving all of us the opportunity to have a direct dialogue with you on issues facing our residents.”

Gov. Murphy summarized his Administration’s priorities, such as Infrastructure and transportation funding, education funding and municipal aid, and told those assembled he intended to work with county and local officials to meet his goals.

Sign Up for E-News

Murphy then turned the floor over to the mayors, who discussed dozens of topics ranging from land redevelopment and property taxes to affordable housing and traffic.

"I am pleased that the Governor is making an effort to get out to the mayors throughout the state and doing it county by county," said East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen.  "Governor Murphy has told us that when we have questions, we should expect an answer.  You will always get a response.  Mayors may not like the answers, but they will get the information they need to move forward."

Cohen said that Murphy was "not sitting in an ivory tower," but that he was coming out to the people "in the trenches" doing the work of management.  Cohen asserted that the meeting was "an opportunity to talk about what was important in our neighborhoods and towns."

"He knows that every mayor doesn't want to get rid of the 2% cap on spending increases within their budgets," said Cohen of Murphy.

Asking questions specifically with regard to East Brunswick, Cohen wanted to know about the status of New Jersey Assembly Bill 1505 which would allow lower rates for liquor licenses.  "These licenses are ridiculously expensive, " said Cohen.  "If the people of East Brunswick want more small restaurants that serve alcohol, the prices have to change."  The Mayor suggested that only chain restaurants can afford the $100,000 cost of a license right now.

"If the prices are lowered, there will be a fund to reimburse those current businesses that have paid the higher price," he said.

Cohen also asked Murphy about the township's desire to increase the use of shared services so that there would be "more overlap and less overhead."  He suggested sharing some services within the township, between towns, and at the county level to reduce costs and reduce redundancy in administration and staffing.

Overall, Cohen saw Murphy as "an honorable guy" interested in "fairness."

Echoing that sentiment, Freeholder Director Rios closed the meeting by saying: “This type of face-to-face, direct outreach is so vitally important as we all move forward in serving the people of our towns, the people of Middlesex County and the people of the great State of New Jersey.”


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Diegnan, Pinkin and Karabinchak Highlight State Support for Dismal Swamp with Environmental and Local Leaders

June 4, 2018

EDISON, NJ - State Sen. Patrick Diegnan, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak were recently joined by local elected officials and environmental groups in hailing a $200,000 state appropriation championed by the 18th district legislators to complete the scope of work needed by “Dismal Swamp Preservation Act” to survey the boundaries and properly enact the ...

East Brunswick Republican Chair Jesal Amin Announces Dhar Khona to Join Council Ticket

June 15, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ- Newly elected Republican Municipal Chairman Jesal Amin announced today that Dharmendra “Dhar” Khona will join the Republican ticket for Township Council in East Brunswick.  Khona will replace Tom Szaro on the ticket, who had to step aside for personal reasons. The remaining candidates on the ticket are Councilwoman Camille Clark and former school board ...

EBPL Open on Summer Sundays

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Due to an increase in demand of library usage, East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center Drive) is extending Sunday hours throughout July.

The library plans on using the additional hours to host more library programming and provide services to the community, including passports, access to the computer lab and EB Create makerspace, and ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

Girl Scout Seeks Donations of Craft Items Tomorrow

June 6, 2018

Hi, EB Community, 

I am Alexandra Gonzalez. I am currently a Junior at EBHS. I am as well a Girl Scout and working on my Gold Award. I am in search of donations and would like to inform you on the issue my project will address, how you can help, and why this is important. 

The project I am working on will be impacting the Special education students in East Brunswick Public ...