Sparta Township Council Chooses New Leadership

Josh Hertzberg takes his oath of office as Mayor of Sparta Township for 2018 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Josh Hertzberg Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Christine Quinn takes her oath of office as Deputy Mayor of Sparta Township with her family looking on. Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Former Mayor Gil Gibbs and his wife Vanessa are thanked for their service to the community by Christine Quinn and Josh Hertzberg Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Josh Hertzberg with his family Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Christine Quinn and her family Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Josh Hertzberg, Gil and Vanessa Gibbs Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Sparta Township Council Jerry Murphy, Josh Hertzberg, Christine Quinn, Molly Whilesmith and Gil Gibbs Credits: Jennifer Dericks

SPARTA, NJ – The new Sparta mayor is Josh Hertzberg.  The Sparta Township Council reorganization meeting was held on Monday night. Township attorney Tom Ryan began the meeting taking nominations for mayor.

Gil Gibbs nominated Hertzberg.  The only nominee was unanimously approved.

“This is a hard working and highly functioning body,” Hertzberg said addressing the crowded chambers.  “I say that because it has not always been that way.”

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Hertzberg is in his final year of his four year term. He acknowledged Gibbs for his relentless effort to attend events, openings and functions.
He went on to talk about the council members’ responsibilities to “support the hardworking staff, to know what you don’t know, be a fast learner and most importantly to be the voice of the residents.”

Hertzberg thanked the township staff, police and volunteers.  “Sparta is a special place.  It doesn't become that way by accident and it doesn't stay that way by accident.”

Hertzberg reminded those present about “how lucky we are to have so many dedicated volunteers.”

“If you are looking for infallibility, you’ve chosen the wrong guy,” Hertzberg said. “You’ll get brutal honesty- not Trump brutal honest, but transparent honesty and hard work.  I’ll make decisions with my head but I will follow my heart.”

Hertzberg said he felt blessed, "looking out and seeing friends and family."  He thanked the ILA for their support "I couldn't do this without their understanding" and most of all his family.  “Thank you, I love you and I apologize for this upcoming year,” he said.

“Yeah Daddy,” 3-year-old Callum Hertzberg shouted as the applause died down.

The next order of business was appointing a deputy mayor.  Hertzberg nominated Christine Quinn.  Quinn was approved unanimously.

Hertzberg and Quinn made a presentation to Gibbs and his wife Vanessa.

“They say most traits are inherited but you don’t usually inherit a profession,” Herzberg said.  He must have been watching when his dad was mayor when Gibbs was young, Hertzberg  said.  “Thank you for showing me the ropes.”

Gibbs said, “This team is pretty special.  It’s a team that gets so many things done.”  He thanked the police, “you make us look good.  And thanks to the Chief.”

Gibbs thanked Bill Close, “Our manager makes people feel good so we don’t have to deal with complaints.”  He thanked “Roxanne and Kate, and Mr. Ryan.” To Close Gibbs said, “You got us a AA++ rating, people don’t even know that you saved the town a lot of money.”

To Sam Rome, Gibbs said, “Sam, I keep telling people ‘thank God you showed up seven years ago or we might have been taken over by the state.’”

Finally, Gibbs thanked his wife Vanessa, who, when he told her he was going to run for council years ago responded, “I knew you would.”

The council approved appointments to boards and committees.  Virgil Maldonado was named as a new member to the Planning Board.  Gibbs and Quinn will represent the council on the Planning Board.

A new committee was also created to interact with the Recreation department called the Recreation Sports Commission.  Hertzberg and Councilwoman Molly Whilesmith will serve on the committee for a one year term.

Richard Laruffa was named as a new member to the Zoning Board.   

Just before the new year Sparta appointed a new judge Paris Eliades to replace retiring Judge John Mulhern.

The Sparta Township Council will meet next on Tuesday, January 23 at 7:30 p.m. 

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