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Carpenter Appointed Bernards Mayor, John Malay is Deputy Mayor for 2014

Both incoming and outgoing mayors stress township's fiscal strengths.

The renovated township meeting and court room at the municipal people included enhanced screens and technological capacity. By Linda Sadlouskos
The renovated township meeting and court room at the municipal people included enhanced screens and technological capacity. By Linda Sadlouskos
As expected, 2013's Deputy Mayor John Carpenter was selected by his fellow Township Committee members as Mayor for this year at Thursday's annual reorganization meeting. Township Committeeman was chosen for the position of deputy mayor for this year, in line to become mayor in 2015.

Both Carpenter and Carolyn Gaziano, who leaves a one-year term as mayor for 2013 but remains as a member of the Township Committee, focused on the financial "health" of Bernards Township. Both pointed out that the municipality has a triple A bond rating from Standard & Poor's, is debt-free except for open space purchases funded by a separate tax fund and has kept the township's municipal tax increase to 5 percent during the recent years when the state average was a jump of more than 50 percent.

"By every measure, Bernards Township is in excellent condition," Carpenter said.

He said that Bernards Township is one of only 18 municipalities in New Jersey with triple A bond rating. 

Both appointments were made by the unanimous accord of the all-Republican Township Committee.

The Township Committee's reorganization meeting was the first official meeting to be held in the renovated main meeting and courtroom at the historic town hall at 1 Collyer Lane in Basking Ridge center. The meetings had been held at the Bernards Township Library since late summer while renovations were underway.

The refurbished room can be used as a command center in the case of an emergency or prolonged power outage such as that created by Superstorm Sandy in late October and early November of 2012. Gaziano said the town hall will be outfitted later this winter with a large generator to be funded by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Republican Carol Bianchi was sworn into a three-year term on the Township Committee. Bianchi, who had been sworn onto the Township Committee earlier this year to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Township Commiteeman Scott Spitzer.

New mayor to reinstate "brown bag lunches" with residents

Carpenter said he will revive one of Spitzer's initiatives when he had served as mayor — brown bag lunches with residents.

Carpenter said he will schedule the lunches in locations around the township where residents can drop in and discuss any subject, without a pre-set agenda.

Carpenter and other members of the Township Committee also praised outgoing Mayor Carolyn Gaziano for her tenure in the position. 

Both Carpenter and Gaziano also thanked the many volunteers who fill positions on township boards and in other capacities.

Reorganization appointments approved

Appointments were made to township boards, commissions and committees. 

A reception followed at the municipal building.

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