NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council held its reorganization meeting on Monday, Jan. 6. The highlights of the evening were the swearing in of Michele Matsikoudis and Robert Munoz as council members as well as the official sending off of longtime Council Member Michael Gennaro. The new council unanimously appointed Councilman Robert Robinson as Council President. New officers were installed at the Fire Department and rescue squad, and appointments to various committees, boards, and administrative positions were made at the meeting. Mayor Al Morgan also presented service awards to borough employees and EMS volunteers.
State Senator Thomas Kean Jr., Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick also attended the meeting. Bramnick officiated the swearing in of Robert Munoz while Assemblywoman Munoz did the same for Matsikoudis.
It was a bittersweet moment for Mayor Al Morgan as he officially thanked Council President Michael Gennaro who briefly sat at his usual seat next to the mayor to tend to some unfinished business from the December meeting prior to the reorganization. Morgan cited Gennaro as “one of the most intelligent people” that he ever met. He noted that while the two had their differences in opinions they “never made it personal.” “This borough is a lot better off with you having been in that seat,” he said. Morgan also accolated Gennaro for getting the borough through difficult economic times and enabling the borough to maintain a triple-A credit rating with all three credit agencies.
All attending state legislators also joined Morgan in commending Gennaro. Senator Kean touted Gennaro for truly caring for New Providence and its future. He noted that his strength, compassion and ability has enabled New Providence to move forward under any circumstances. Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz became a family friend with the Gennaro’s when their children attended St. Andrew’s preschool some 30 years ago. She commended Gennaro for his fiscal wisdom as well as for serving as a tutor for incoming council members. She also extended her gratitude to Gennaro’s spouse, Elaine, for her support “because when a person serves, the family serves.” “I am concerned that people like Mike Gennaro are not going to be serving our country or city or town in the future because politics have been tough. Mike Gennaro is a pure professional, very very smart, and very confident,” Assemblyman Bramnick stated. He pointed out that more people like Mike Gennaro are needed in government who are smart and treat everyone with respect.
Gennaro thanked all for their kind words. He again touted the borough employees and volunteers without whom “we’d be nothing.” He also thanked his wife, Elaine, for her support during the 13 years that he served on the council. Furthermore, he thanked the current council members, and those who have run for council seats. Lastly, he asked the residents to give the new council members the same honor and faith as they gave him.
In his annual Mayor’s message Morgan emphasized that the year 2020 marks the 300th anniversary for New Providence. There will be a number of community events throughout the year for the tricentennial celebration. “Great people make a great community, and New Providence is a shining example,”
Morgan stated and extended his gratitude to the dedicated borough employees, tireless volunteers and the community at large.
“Great communities are built and maintained on hometown pride and spirit that foster volunteerism and generate community contributions. When people feel connected to something good that they believe in, they engage in it, invest in it, thrive in it, nurture it, contribute to it, protect it, and encourage its growth. That is what we have built here together in New Providence. With your support, and our clear 2020 vision, we can continue together to build a vibrant, safe, welcoming, and affordable community in our Pioneer Spirit!” Morgan said.
Mayor’s annual message can be found here: https://www.newprov.org/mayors-annual-message/