NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The two longest-serving members on the current city council bid farewell at last night’s meeting after a combined 48 years of service.
Joseph V. Egan and Blanquita Valenti relinquish their council seats Sunday with the swearing-in of Democratic newcomers Kevin Egan and Rebecca Escobar.
Also being sworn in at a 2 p.m. ceremony at New Brunswick High School will be Mayor James Cahill, who will give an inaugural address after taking the oath for his sixth term.
Egan and Valenti, both former council presidents, were lauded by their colleagues on the all-Democratic governing body for their long tenure and leadership.
Egan’s departure from the council also leaves a vacancy on the city Board of School Estimate, the district’s budgeting body.
Egan, who was re-elected to represent the 17th district in the state Assembly last year, served 28 years on the council.
The most trying time for him on the council, he said, was making decisions about rent control as the stock of new housing was growing and included more options for Rutgers University students.
``I’ve never walked away from a meeting where everyone didn’t want to do what’s good for this city,’’ he said, noting there was not always blanket agreement on issues.
He described his departing associate, Valenti, as ``the perfect person for this job.’’
Valenti, a retired Woodbridge teacher, was elected to her third term on the Middlesex County Board of Freeholders in November and served 20 years on the city council.
She said she will now turn her full attention to her roles on county committees for human services and aging. ``I always try for good government,’’ she said.