SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - These times are stressful. We are faced with a pandemic that does not seem to want to quit. We have civil unrest rooted in myriad societal issues. The future seems uncertain.

I am not disheartened or alarmed, and my best advice is that you should not be. We – you, your family, your neighborhood, your town – we are tough in our own ways.

We will continue to ride out the pandemic if we keep to our stations – social distancing, washing our hands often and well, being mindful and considerate of others by wearing masks. As the state lifts business restrictions, we continue to see good results locally, thanks to you and your neighbors.

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Our nation is in some turmoil, which has grown from a multitude of -isms; racism, classism, generationalism, and others. The concerns of protesters are not unfounded – they are real and serious. Their concerns should be all of our concerns.

I report with pride that the First Amendment to our Constitution is alive and well in South Brunswick. The rights to free speech, assembly, and to present grievances to the government are being exercised in a peaceful and effective manner. I am also proud that the organizers of these protests have been young people from our town.

And I am proud that the local protests have been conducted in close coordination with our South Brunswick Police Department. Without exception, under the leadership of Chief Raymond Hayducka, the SBPD has worked with the protest organizers to assure a safe environment for the expression of free speech. This cooperation is in the spirit of our town.

When the Nation was founded it was founded upon the Constitution, an imperfect document. The founders recognized that imperfection in the Preamble, “We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union ...” Times and change challenge us to continue that work to form that more perfect Union. Peaceful protest is part of that work.

To conclude - the first day of summer was last Saturday, June 20th – the kids are just out of virtual school. They’ve been at home since March. You know and I know - It’s going to be a long summer, friends.