Diversity A ‘Core Strength,' Says East Brunswick Mayor

Sarah Salvadore

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday administered the oath of office to East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen and councilmen Michael Spadafino and Sterley Stanley, and the mayor praised the township's commitment to diversity as he addressed the public.

Cohen will serve another four-year term as mayor.

Addressing the public, the mayor said the township’s diversity was one of its “core strengths.” Over the last four years several boards and commissions worked together to address issues of equality, social and racial justice initiatives in the township, said Cohen.

“The dividend on diversity showed itself during the pandemic when people came from all corners of the community and volunteered their time, donations of food and money, to help those in greatest need,” he said.

He also praised the township for coming together with the police department to discuss issues of racial justice during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.
“We have an aggressive agenda and very big and bold plans,” said Cohen.

Cohen thanked his running mates and family and praised township directors and staff for helping him, and working together during the COVID-19 crisis.

He also thanked all residents, even those who did not vote for him, saying he will work for every East Brunswick resident.

Cohen said his top priority would be to find a delicate balance between “being fiscally responsible of the people’s money and providing the services that they want.” COVID-19, redevelopment, diversity of the township and environmental issues were the four areas Cohen said his government will concentrate on.

Because the local government acted on time, Cohen said East Brunswick saw “lower than average rates” for COVID cases. He said the impact of the pandemic showed how intertwined it was with local economy. He said the government would continue to keep residents informed on the pandemic, especially since the state has now moved to the vaccine phase.

“One of the things I’m really proud of is that we were able to get through this pandemic without laying off staff here in the township. There were no layoffs, there were no furloughs,” he said. “We couldn’t tolerate the thought of having people without an income.”

Cohen said that in a post-COVID East Brunswick, the township is posed to achieve a lot.

Meanwhile, Murphy pledged his support and friendship to Cohen, Spadafino and Stanley as they begin their new term.

Following the ceremony, Sharon Sullivan was voted as Council President and Kevin McEvoy was voted in as Vice-President.

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This article originally appeared on the East Brunswick Patch