Braden Tapped as Mayor
The Township Committee voted Tim Braden mayor and Don Kostka deputy mayor at the reorganization meeting Monday.
A Montville Township High School graduate is chairman of the Township Committee for the first time.
The five members of the governing body tapped 1977 high school graduate Tim Braden to serve as mayor for the year, making him the first graduate to assume that role, he said.
Don Kostka was picked as deputy mayor.
Braden, a general contractor in his second term on the committee, gave a State of Montville address titled "Weathering the Storm," in which he said sound fiscal policies are the reason Montville is in good financial shape and thanked those who responded to two debilitating storms in 2011. Addressing an apparently excessive surplus in the Water and Sewer Department is a top priority for 2012, he said.
He said the committee members work together.
"We are a committee of five, but a body of one," he said.
Montville's government reorganized for the new year on Monday in a 6 p.m. meeting at the municipal building. Congressman Rodney Frelinghusyen swore in re-elected committee members Deb Nielson and Jim Sandham.
In his remarks, Braden thanked committee members' spouses and township volunteers who serve on committees and commissions in town.
He said town Department of Public Works employees, police officers, first aid squad members and the Montville, Towaco and Pine Brook firefighters are heroes for their responses to Irene and the October snowstorm.
"They are the true heroes of 2011 and they deserve a round of applause," he said.
Braden said the Water and Sewer Department is running a surplus that appears excessive, and that addressing the issue is a top priority for 2012.
Township eighth-grader and "X Factor" finalist Emily Michalak sang the Star-Spangled Banner. The Rev. Mark Olenowski of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church gave the opening prayer and the Rev. Dr. Vijaya Kumar of Montville United Methodist Church gave the benediction. Regina LoBiondo, a high school sophomore, sang God Bless America.
Other politicians attending the event included former Montville Township Committee members Russ Lipari, Dan Grant and Art Daughtry, State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, Parsippany Councilman John Cesaro and Morris County Freeholders William J. Chegwidden, Douglas R. Cabana, Gene Feyl, Thomas J. Mastrangelo and Ann Grossi.