FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and Fanwood Council members Kathy Mitchell, Jeff Banks, and Francine Glaser were sworn in by Governor Phil Murphy and U.S. Rep Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) at Borough Hall on Sunday, January 5, 2020. 

Watson Coleman took the opportunity to speak and congratulate her friend, Colleen Mahr, and praised Gov. Murphy as a progressive and effective governor.

"He told us that's who he was... I am proud to call  him my governor and my friend," said Watson Coleman, who has represented New Jersey's 12th District since 2015.

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The governor, in turn, heaped praise on Watson Coleman and Mayor Mahr and thanked them for giving their time and advice when he first ran for office. 

"They are two of my heroes and two rock stars, Murphy said. "In so many respects Fanwood is the quintessential (New Jersey) community. You don't get elected time and time again unless you are a great leader."

Murphy praised Mayor Mahr for her work as president of the NJ League of Municipalities in 2019 and for being and advocate to restore one-seat service into New York City along NJ Transit's Raritan Valley Line. 

"Let me say that we will fix NJ transit if it kills me, and it might," Murphy added. "Getting off-peak one-seat ride was an important step. We will fix it. We have no higher priority."

The ceremony attracted mayors from neighboring towns, including Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith, Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle, Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau, Garwood Mayor Sara Todisco, and Hillside Mayor Dahlia Vertreese.

In her remarks, Mayor Mahr thanked her sons, Liam, Daniel, and Colin, along with her mom, Nancy Yawesis, and her cousin, Taryn Boland, for their support and their political insights. 

"You can't govern unless you get elected," said Mayor Mahr, who swore in members of the Fanwood's volunteer fire department and rescue squad and several residents who are on volunteer committees.

Following the ceremony was a reception at the Carriage House catered by Savory Selections is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.