Township Committee, School Board Hold Reorganization Meetings

By Frank Sinatra, AAP Editor

By state law, reorganization meetings for municipal governments have to occur within the first seven days of January. So on the first Thursday of the year, Pennsauken residents and municipal representatives gathered at the Pennsauken Country Club on a snowy evening to set the town’s government for 2018.

Mayor, Deputy Mayor Sworn In, Re-elected Officials Take Oath Of Office

Jack Killion, sworn in by Superior Court Judge Louis R. Meloni, was re-elected to Township Committee in November and took the oath of office to serve as Pennsauken’s mayor for 2018. During his remarks, he spoke about the past work of Committee to accentuate the positive things happening in the community.

“[Township Committee likes] to push the positives. We’ve done positive things in some difficult times – better than most municipalities – and it certainly has been a team effort. One person can’t do it. If you’re the mayor, it’s an honor and a privilege, but you certainly need the other people on Committee to help get things done.”

Betsy McBride, who was elected to a fourth term on Township Committee, was sworn in by her husband, Superior Court Judge Edward J. McBride, to serve as deputy mayor for 2018. McBride reflected on her busy first term as mayor, which occurred last year.

“We had so much going on: a lot of groundbreakings and a lot of ribbon cuttings. My colleagues and the support that I have at this table and administration. We have great staff in our building and we managed in 2017 to have the second highest tax collection in the history of the Township of Pennsauken. I really want to take my hat off to the people who make that happen. In all of our departments, everybody does a lot to support the administration.”

Several members of Committee offered their congratulations to both McBride and Killion after their swearing in.

“I’d like to congratulate Betsy; she did a great job as mayor,” says John Figueroa. “I’d also like to congratulate Jack for being the new mayor. I think you’ll do a great job.”

“I’d like to thank Betsy for her leadership throughout the year,” added Rick Taylor, who also thanked all those who offered prayers and goodwill during his prolonged illness. “You did a great job and Jack had your back. The two of you made a great team. [This year], it’s just in reverse.”

Bill Orth successfully ran for the one-year Township Committee seat left open when John Kneib took over as the Township Administrator. After his swearing in ceremony, Orth, who serves as the town’s director of public safety, recognized Pennsauken’s first responders.

“I’d like to congratulate and thank Chiefs Coffey, Coyle, and Palumbo for their outstanding leadership in our public safety departments,” says Orth. “We have outstanding men and women in all of these departments. They make us safe every day.”

In closing, Mayor Killion vowed to work with the Township Administrator to help provide even better service to Pennsauken businesses and residents.

“I want to work closely with our departments. I want to make sure that everyone has the tools they need to help serve our public. We work for the public. I think every once and a while, we need to be reminded that.”

School Board Holds Reorganization On January 2

Orlando Viera, Mike Bortnowski, and Maria James took their oaths of office on Jan. 2 as members of the Pennsauken Board of Education. In addition, the Board appointed Nick Perry as president and Diane Johnson as vice president for 2018. After the swearing in ceremony, Perry spoke about the Board’s new members and the work being done to improve the District.

“Once again we have a great group of Pennsauken Township residents to help us shape the future [of Pennsauken Public Schools],” says Perry. “We have to stay ahead of the curve in education. I think with Dr. Tarchichi, the Board, and our vision, we have been able to set standards that have changed Pennsauken now and will change it in the future. Everything we’re adding is designed to make the school system better than it was before.”

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