Mironov Takes Reins as Mayor for 16th Straight Year at East Windsor Reorganization
The mayor was reelected to her post Thursday without opposition.
The all-Democratic East Windsor Township Council has reelected Janice Mironov without dissent to the post of mayor for her 16th straight year. The vote came Thursday evening, before a crowd of nearly 100 residents at the municipal reorganization meeting in the township's Senior Center.
In East Windsor, the council selects the mayor from among its own members.
"I'm feeling a little guilty because I don't think it was a lot of fun for the mayor last year," said Councilman Perry Shapiro, who nominated Mironov for another mayoral term. "But I think without her leadership we would have come out less unscathed than we did.”
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes swore Mironov into office, calling her a bulwark against state legislators' attempts to appropriate municipal dollars and a skilled hunter of grant money.
Mironov, he said, "has always worked very, very hard and very, very fairly to get East Windsor its fair share of state grants, county grants, federal grants; to take the burden off of East Windsor taxpayers. She's done that as well as any mayor I've ever known from Mercer County or throughout the state. She is a testament to what hard work and dedication to public service is all about."
With no council seats up for reelection last fall, the general makeup of the council remains the same as in 2010. The one change was the new Deputy Mayor, a post given to Walter T. Daniels by another 6-0 vote. Councilman and former Deputy Mayor Marc Lippman was absent from the meeting.
Rabbi Jay M. Kornsgold, the mayor’s own rabbi at Beth El Synagogue, gave the invocation by expressing his best wishes for the council and the township.
“Grant them the wisdom and the courage to make the difficult decisions that they make each day,” he said of the council. “Endow them with vigor of body and mind; may they always remember to do what is in the best interest of the people of East Windsor Township, who sent them here to do the people’s business.”
After making the appointments for the year, council members expressed their optimism for 2011.
“2010 was a really tough year for municipalities in New Jersey. It hit us hard also,” said Councilwoman Marsha Weinstein. “I’ve learned that in 15 years on council, you just never know what the new year’s going to bring, and I’m hoping that this year is a lot easier for us.”
Several council members referred to the township’s struggle with the state over funds to plant trees. When the state attempted to redirect money that had been slated for plantings in the wake of deforestation for the New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 6 to 9 Widening Program, East Windsor, which had been expecting about $4.9 million, banded together with Hamilton and Robbinsville and won all of the money back in a settlement. The township received the first of three checks, this one for about $1.3 million, just days before the New Year.
Councilman Alan Rosenberg said the settlement was his proudest moment of the year as a councilman. Calling the last several years “interesting,” he said, “The budget will be, as last year, an arduous task for us.”
“The future will be a best puzzling and at worst very expensive, but we will persevere,” he added.
Shapiro, for his part, said the tree funds issue was the biggest struggle of 2010.
“This has really been a horrendous year for towns throughout New Jersey. The hardest part of it for us was when they tried to take away our tree money,” Shapiro said, also noting the loss of state aid money that East Windsor and many other municipalities experienced.
“We’re hoping that this year will be a better year,” he said.
“We just want to break even!” Daniels said to laughs from the audience. He too acknowledged the difficulties of last year and pledged to keep pushing ahead.
“We will successfully meet the challenges for 2011,” he said.
Councilman Hector Duke praised the township’s Senior Center, built several years ago without any municipal tax dollars, as an example of what the council can do for the community.
In her address, Mayor Mironov said she expected a “hopeful” 2011 to replace a “daunting” 2010. In her goals for the new year, she listed a carefully planned budget that keeps the township’s quality of service, as well as projects like extending Lanning Boulevard southward, Route 130 repairs and a study of the Route 33 corridor.
“We have lots on the horizon,” she said. Despite the financial challenges, she continued, “we’re finding ways, notwithstanding, to dig up money” for those projects.
The mayor also praised residents for their involvement in the community.
“There’s a critical part to be successful, to do all of these things. And that’s to have people involved; to have a real community, that we do have here in East Windsor,” she said.
“Thank you all for the privilege and the honor of continuing to serve this very wonderful community, and all of the great people who work and do business here,” Mayor Mironov concluded.