By JACQUELINE DURETT
EDISON — The Township Council mentioned some of its priorities and recent successes at its Jan. 4 reorganization meeting.
At the start of the meeting, Councilman Joseph Coyle was sworn in. He won his seat in the November election after having been appointed to it in June following the departure of former councilman Robert Karabinchak, who is now a member of the state Assembly.
Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Peter Barnes, who had been a member of the Township Council for more than a decade, administered the oath to Coyle. It was Barnes’ judicial appointment last year that prompted Karabinchak’s and, subsequently, Coyle’s respective appointments.
“When you grow up in a town and you’re elected to that town’s governing body, it’s a special privilege,” Barnes said, adding that he has known Coyle for more than 20 years. He spoke of Coyle’s contributions over that time to Edison. “That’s what Edison has always needed — energy, pride and commitment.”
At the meeting, Michael Lombardi was also named council president again. The vote was unanimous. Lombardi briefly addressed the council and audience about successes for 2016, including the opening of new businesses, the increasing of public safety personnel and ongoing road paving efforts.
“What we were able to accomplish in 2016 is the direct result of Mayor [Thomas] Lankey, his administration and this council all working together to get things done. In 2017, it’s no different,” said Lombardi, mentioning that the focus areas of 2016 will carry forward into 2017.
Lombardi also pointed out that on that same day the township relaunched its website, still at www.edisonnj.org. He said the updated site is easier to navigate and can be translated into more than 100 languages to accommodate a town as diverse as Edison.
According to the township, the site is mobile-friendly, provides access to 70 forms and applications and enables residents to report neighborhood concerns and pay property taxes and sewer bills as well as sign up for recreation programs.
The township also released a Recycle Coach app that provides detailed neighborhood-specific information about sanitation, recycling and special waste collection details and can be used to report missed collections, illegal dumping, overflowing public trash bins, potholes and burned-out traffic lights.
Also at the meeting, Councilman Alvaro Gomez was unanimously appointed council vice president. He said the last year was a huge year for the council.
“But that only sets the foundation for everything we have to do going forward — to continue to make Edison a great place to live and to make Edison a proud place to live for all of us,” said Gomez.