In its annual reorganization meeting, the Jefferson Township council welcomed back two long-standing members and welcomed back a member who was reelected after a break.
Mayor Eric Wilsusen did the swearing in for Bob Birmingham and H. Ronald Smith, while Township Clerk Debra Millikin swore in Jay Dunham.
Upon completion of those ceremonies, council member Melissa Senatore was elected council president, and Dunham was named council vice president.
A number of dignitaries attended the meeting, which was held via Zoom. They include Senator Joe Pennacchio, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, Assemblyman Jay Webber, Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw, Commissioner Tayfun Selen, Commissioner John Krickus, Mount Arlington Mayor Michael Stanzilis, and Morris County Sheriff James Gannon.
In his first report of the new year, Wilsusen wished the town a happy new year before getting into critical information.
Regarding the Weldon Road Bridge Wilsusen said that the township is waiting for report from the state Department of Transportation, which is still trying to figure out what caused the cracks.
“We’ve been in discussion with them (the DOT) as of today (January 6) to get them to set up an emergency turnaround for emergency services vehicles,” Wilsusen said. “We understand that this is a major inconvenience, especially for residents of Lake Shawnee. We will release more information as we get it from the DOT.”
Wilsusen also noted that the Russia Road bridge repairs were completed on New Year’s Eve.
“The bridge was completed ahead of schedule, and it looks great,” he said.
Finally, the mayor urged residents to remain vigilant regarding Covid-19, as cases have risen, the town experienced two more deaths since the holiday season, for a total of 13 Covid deaths.
The township has seen 93 new cases between December 29 and January 5, the largest increase since reporting began back in March.