EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - by the end of this year, we will all grow tired of this metaphor, but, for now, let's say that 2020 will require great vision on the part of those responsible for creating a contemporary, humane, thriving community in East Brunswick. Several community leaders have shared their "resolutions" for the township in the upcoming year with TAPinto East Brunswick.
In 2020, East Brunswick will face some changes and will respond to those elements impacting suburban communities across New Jersey: redevelopment that addresses the needs of a changing community; the need for modernized security; an addiction crisis; the impact of high rents and online shopping on retail businesses; veterans and wounded warriors who require mental, physical, and sometimes financial support; and an increasingly challenging political climate characterized by division and confrontation.
There are opportunities ahead, too. During the past two years, East Brunswick has a revitalized business community, spearheaded by the East Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce which is growing support for the updating of current businesses and the welcoming of new ones. The Redevelopment Agency is at work monitoring the northern end of Route 18 South and addressing the closed buildings which have continued to be an eyesore in town. The Interfaith Clergy Council has shown support for those experiencing tragedy and has provided an uplift for those seeking joy. The East Brunswick Police Department has increasingly used effective practice in community policing to provide outreach. The East Brunswick Municipal Alliance continues the township's fight against addiction, bullying, mental illness, and alienation.
This is what our township leaders want us to know as we move into the next decade, keeping that good 2020 vision in mind:
Jennifer Stetson, of the Department of Recreation, is the Coordinator of the East Brunswick Youth Council and the Chairperson of the East Brunswick Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. She is the recent recipient of the Individual for Partnership in Governance award which is given by the EBRCC to an individual who displays outstanding dedication to building and strengthening collaboration between the community and government.
"In my role as Program Coordinator for the Youth, my wish for East Brunswick in 2020 is to see our youth continue developing their empowerment and leadership skills and embracing the importance of mindfulness for their wellbeing.
As the East Brunswick Municipal Alliance Coordinator, I hope our township keeps engaging in our Drug Prevention Education programs. As a community we can most effectively address issues such as vaping and prescription drug misuse by working together."
Thomas Coohill, Commander of East Brunswick's Veteran of Foreign Wars Post #133, has been involved in countless fundraisers for local veterans and is known for his inclusive view of veterans as part of the greater community and of the responsibility of the whole community to support those vets.
"In my role as Commander of Post 133, I plan to continue to seek out East Brunswick active and retired veterans who are in need of assistance."
Dr. Victor Valeski is the Superintendent of the East Brunswick Public Schools, where there are 11 public schools serving 7,947 students. The public schools are at the heart of what is important to residents of East Brunswick.
"In my role as Superintendent of Schools, my resolution is to lead with creativity. Aligned with that focus is exploring, with our Board of Education and administrative team, new options to keep East Brunswick Public Schools at the cutting edge of education…providing relevant programs that will meet the needs of all students…both now and for their futures. The new year brings continued opportunities to not only inspire, but support, each student toward optimization of their unique and limitless potential.
Wishes for the best 2020 to a tireless and passionate Board of Education, a dedicated East Brunswick Public Schools team and community, Mayor, East Brunswick Township Council and staff, as well as our supportive religious leaders and corporate partners!"
Chief Frank LoSacco of the East Brunswick Police Department was recently appointed as Chief as part of a long career in law enforcement. The EBPD continues to be recognized as a model police department.
"In my role as Chief of Police, my most important resolution to move East Brunswick in a positive direction in 2020 is to continue keeping our community safe and work closely with our community leaders."
Ronald Lichtenberger is the General Manager of the Brunswick Square Mall and the President of the East Brunswick Chamber of Commerce. Over the past two years, there have been a number of new businesses at the Mall with new small businesses, including activities and athletics for adults and children. There has been a tremendous outreach to the East Brunswick community, including support for the American Cancer Association, MCFOODS, and the food pantry at Aldersgate Methodist Church.
"In my role as General Manager of Brunswick Square Mall, the most important resolution I have to move East Brunswick in a positive direction in 2020 is to continue connecting our community as a true Goodwill Ambassador through the creation of unique events that bring all of our residents together for fun and entertaining experiences, supporting our amazing non-profit organizations such as Aldersgate Food Pantry, 4H, and both the Boy & Girl Scouts, and partnering with our vibrant business community. Bringing people together in more personal and unique ways with a true Goodwill Ambassador mindset is my resolution for 2020."
Mayor Brad Cohen has brought an active, energetic view to change in East Brunswick, while facing the challenges of many suburban mayors in New Jersey. He is known for his many open meetings with residents of the township, with the goal of increasing input and opening communications with stakeholders.
"In my role as Mayor, the most important resolution I can make to move East Brunswick forward in a positive direction in 2020 is to continue to reach out to all segments of our diverse community to achieve our vision of a renewed East Brunswick. From Redevelopment, to our commitment to the Arts, to road and infrastructure improvements, to securing the safety of every member of the public, we must do this together. With shared vision and open dialogue, the future of East Brunswick will be whatever we make it. May everyone enjoy a Happy and Healthy 2020."