SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Township Council met on Tuesday to swear in the newest council members and reorganize. 

The recently elected council members were sworn in.  Whilesmith was accompanied by her husband John and son Jack. Father David McDonnell of Our Lady of the Lake held the Bible while Township Clerk Mary Coe led the reading of the oath.

Gil Gibbs was sworn in with his wife Vanessa at his side. Both Gibbs and Whilesmith were reelected in November. 

Sign Up for E-News

Hertzberg took his oath for the first time with his wife Erica holding the Bible. Their two children, Jaxon and Callum, and his mother Judy were also with him in the chamber. 

Whilesmith was presented with a plaque by Jerry Murphy, thanking her for her service to the community as mayor.  Whilesmith said, in part, “We’ve been blessed with wonderful township employees.  When you have so many people trying to do their best for the town, how can you go wrong?”  She added, “When you are elected to a position, you always need to remember you are a public servant.”

In addition, Murphy was nominated to the position of Mayor by former Mayor Molly Whilesmith.  He was approved unanimously.  Christine Quinn was nominated to the position of Deputy Mayor by Murphy, who held the position this past year.  She too was approved unanimously. 

Both were sworn in to those positions.

There were several items on the agenda as part of the reorganization that takes place every year.  The members and council liaisons of various township committees were affirmed including:

  • Cultural Affairs Subcommittee - Quinn and Whilesmith
  • Environmental Commissions- Hertzberg and Gibbs
  • Library Board of Trustees – Doreen Skok and  Mayor ex-officio
  • Municipal Alliance Committee – Whilesmith and Quinn
  • Planning Board – Murphy (Mayor) and Quinn
  • Recreation Committee – Whilesmith and Murphy
  • Zoning Board – Randy Burke, Dr George Parker, Kenneth P Laury
  • Economic Development Committee – Murphy and Hertzberg
  • Parks and Monuments Committee – Murphy and Gibbs
  • Liaison County of Sussex – Murphy and Whilesmith
  • Liaison Board of Education – Gibbs and Quinn

They designated the Advertising Media, Township Council Meetings Legal Depositories.  There were also several resolutions dealing with housekeeping items such Certified Recycling Coordinator, Signature Authorizations and Percentage of Interest on Delinquent Taxes. They appointed the Auditor, Tax Collector, Public Agency Compliance Officer and Health Insurance Fund Commissioner and Alternate.   

Hertzberg said, “I am looking forward to being part of this team.”  He thanked his family for their support.

Township Manager Bill Close thanked “Councilwoman Whilesmith for her support throughout the year.”  He also said, “I would like to thank the staff for excellent work in 2014.”  Close highlighted the reappointment of Dianne O’Connor as Tax Collector.  He said, “She is looking forward to another great year.”

Gibbs thanked his fellow council members and his family for their support.  Quinn thanked Whilesmith for a good job as mayor, welcomed Hertzberg and wished everyone a Happy New Year.

Murphy said, “Thank you to those of you who came out on this very cold night to support us.  I’m looking forward to a good new year.  I like to keep it simple.  There are solid pieces in place now.  I’ve been doing this for nine years and this is the most enthused I’ve been.  Looking forward to getting the job done.”