SPRINGFIELD, NJ — As is the tradition each year, Springfield Township officially kicked off its government calendar with the annual reorganization meeting, held yesterday afternoon in the chambers of the Springfield Municipal Building.
As part of the ceremony, Erica Dubois and Richard Huber were both certified as the winners of last year's local election by Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi. The pair were then sworn in.
At the meeting, the township committee also reorganized, selecting Christopher Capodice as new mayor and Chris Weber as new deputy mayor. Capodice had previously served as last year's deputy mayor.
In his remarks, Capodice thanked his family for their support and encouragement. He then took the time to thank his fellow committee members for trusting him with the responsibility of the position.
"I also want to thank my fellow Township Committee members for your support, faith, and trust in me," Capodice said. "There are many challenges ahead for us that we will navigate together, doing what’s best for Springfield."
To that end, Capodice laid out his three-part initiative. The first is greater transparency and visibility, through various methods.
"This meeting is live on our local station," Capodice said. "This is the first step in broadening our transparency and access to township business. Soon there will be an overhaul in our television equipment including the addition of two new cameras. Also, discussions will take place regarding additional original township programming for our residents."
He continued, "Secondly, Springfield will see an increase in the use of solar energy to power our traffic signals, street lights, and possibly become a source for more substantial energy use within the township of Springfield."
The third, and possibly most important of the three centered around development. The township currently has several projects on the docket to juggle, including the Gomes property, the Church Mall area, the former Saks Fifth Avenue location and the site of a new Wawa coming in further up Morris Turnpike.
Capodice said that while it is key to build on the progress already made, there is a need to avoid making any decisions that sacrifice gain at the cost of the overall feel of the town.
"With all the redevelopment that continues to be planned in the upcoming months and years, it is important to create a consistent look and feel of future developments to maintain consistency of the character which is Springfield," Capodice said. "I will be looking forward to work with our stakeholders to codify a policy that reflects just that."
Finally, Capodice wrapped up his speech by promising to give his very best and put Springfield at the forefront of 'inclusion, progress, and economic vitality,' as he described it.
Following the swearing in, the reorganized township committee announced which township committee members would sit on which committees. They are as follows:
- Department of Revenue and Finance - Chair: Alex Keiser, Chris Weber.
- Department of Public Safety - Chair: Chris Weber, Erica Dubois.
- Department of Administration - Chair: Chris Capodice, Richard Huber.
- Department of Public Affairs - Chair: Erica Dubois, Chris Capodice.
- Department of Public Works - Chair: Richard Huber, Alex Keiser.