FLEMINGTON, NJ – To ensure the element of surprise, it wasn’t on the agenda for this week’s meeting of Borough Council.

Then, the resolution got “stuck” in Municipal Clerk Sallie Graziano’s computer.

But that didn’t stop Borough Council from voting Monday to give an honorary street designation to New York Avenue, commemorating it as “John Gorman Way.”

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The honor recognizes Gorman’s 33 years of continuous service on Borough Council. He will also be recognized at a reception to be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Women’s Club on Park Ave.

Mayor Betsy Driver recalled that she wanted to “bestow an honor” on Gorman “to remind us for years to come of his service to the Borough, and his legacy in town.”

Gorman has traditionally been Council liaison to the Borough’s Department of Public Works and is intimately familiar with its sewer system and Water Department. Driver said that background led her to consult with the DPW “to see if we could name a sewer line after him.

“But after talking it over, we felt that honor needed to be something a little bit bigger,” she quipped, to which Gorman responded, “A water line, at least.”

Driver said the white-on-blue signs will absolutely be legal and will be installed at New York Avenue where it meets Broad Street and Elwood Avenue.

New York Avenue extends past Elwood all the way to Route 31. That presents a challenge to install the “Gorman Way” sign there, because it’s not in the Borough, but in neighboring Raritan Township.

The Mayor said DPW may install the sign there anyway if no one notices or, “We may have to be sneaky and do it at night.”

Gorman will also be given a “John Gorman Way” sign that, Driver said, “You can take home and hang on the kitchen wall, or your bedroom wall.”

But Gorman joked that might not be as easy as it sounds. In a nod to his wife, Elaine Gorman, who has long been the chair of the Borough’s Historic Preservation Commission, Gorman said installation of the sign in his home, “Has to be approved by the HPC.

“It’s been an honor to be here,” Gorman said. He noted that much has changed since he first started on Council. For example, personal computers weren’t commonplace 33 years ago.

“Things have gotten so much better that it now takes us twice as long to hold a meeting,” Gorman said, adding dryly, “We’re all so much better for it.”