When the Bernards Township Committee meets for its annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 2, Carolyn Gaziano is expecting to be sworn in twice — first, for her second term on the Township Committee, and then for a yearlong appointment as township mayor.
Gaziano, deputy mayor in 2012, was re-elected to the township's governing body for another three year term along with her fellow Republican, John Malay, in the November election.
As is custom in Bernards Township, where the committee selects the township's mayor for a yearlong appointment, Gaziano now is due to move up to the top spot, held by Mary Pavlini in 2012. Township Committeeman John Carpenter said he is slated to be appointed as deputy mayor at the Jan. 2 reorganization meeting, to begin at 7 p.m. at the municipal building, 1 Collyer Lane, in Basking Ridge.
Gaziano confirmed her anticipated appointment in a recent interview, but also said she still is thinking about what initiatives she would like to emphasize in the coming year. But she said she definitely will be following up with Jersey Central Power & Light and the state Board of Public Utilities to help improve service and emergency preparedness.
"Having served with Carolyn for three years and campaigned with her twice, I know she will make a terrific mayor," said Malay, her running mate this past year. "That combination of intelligence and enthusiasm is hard to find."
Carpenter said he is looking forward to 2013 with Gaziano as mayor. "Carolyn is an outstanding elected official and she is a pleasure to serve with. She has intelligence, common sense and a great sense of humor; she is personable and collegial."
Gaziano has lived in the township for 22 years. She and her husband Joe have three children, including two still in Bernards Township schools, and one attending Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.
She herself graduated from Lafayette College with a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering in 1984, she said in information submitted to Patch last fall. She said she worked as a metallurgist for Alcan Aluminum in Oswego, N.Y. and as a sales and marketing manager for Alcoa Recycling Company in Edison.
This year, she said she serves as the Township Committee's liasion to the Planning Board, on the public works and engineering subcommittee and as the board's representative to the Board of Education and the Friends of the Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead, as well as the golf advisory committee and shade tree commission.
As mayor, Gaziano would remain on the Planning Board, which is in the midst of public hearings on a proposed mosque in Liberty Corner and is apparently reaching the end of an application for the Millington Quarry's plan for rehabilitation of the property after the quarry closes.
She said that this year she also would like to follow up on the Mayor's Wellness Program, initiated by former township Mayor Scott Spitzer. She said she would like to host some kind of physical activity in each local park, beginning — if there is sufficient snow — with cross-country skiing at the county's Environmental Education Center on Lord Stirling Road.
Later, she said she would like to see the township to sponsor a walk, or hike and a bike ride. Such a program would highlight the parks located in the township as well as offering an opportunity for physical activity, she said.
She also said she would like to promote the arts through the township's Farmstead Arts center.
Following the impact of Sandy on the township this fall, Gaziano said that the township is looking at making the courtroom at the municipal complex at 1 Collyer Lane capable of serving more functions — including as a warming center in the case of another prolonged power outage.
She said officials are looking at having movable tables and chairs in the room, and installing a generator and potentially computer equipment to function even during a power outage.