A new year brings some changes to Pennington Council

Nadine Stern

The Pennington Borough Council met via Zoom on Wednesday January 5, 2022.

Borough Council began the evening with their reorganization meeting, which opened with an invocation by Deacon Brannigan from St. James Parish in Pennington. In attendance were several special guests.

NJ Senator Shirley Turner was in attendance and addressed the council with good wishes. “I am so honored to be here tonight. We are deeply grateful for all that we have had over the last year and looking for many more blessings during 2022. Let’s be hopeful that Covid-19 will be behind us.”

Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson spoke next and noted the amazing amount of work accomplished by the Borough Council. “We are here  to support you. We are just an email or a phone call away. We look forward to working with you in 2022.”

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello said: “I congratulate all the newly-elected and re-elected councilpersons and Mayor.” Sollami Covello expressed her gratitude to council and good wishes for the New Year.

Mayor Jim Davy issued a proclamation regarding Elizabeth Semple who is leaving the Borough Council. “We wish to recognize and honor her service to Pennington Borough”. Semple served on the Council since 2016 and Davy noted her tireless efforts on behalf of the Borough.

Davy also announced the resignation of Richard Kelly, as the municipal Public Defender.

Borough Clerk, Betty Sterling announced the Pennington Borough election results. Davy was reelected to fill the unexpired term ending 2023. Councilmember Deborah Gnatt was reelected for a three year term. Newly elected Nadine Stern will likewise serve a three year term.

A full list of the appointments and resolutions can be found by clicking here.

The Council then moved into their regular session.

Mayor Davy opened the meeting by announcing the resignation of Beverly Mills, a current Council member. Mills was the liaison to both the Pennington Historic Preservation Committee and the Library Board for the Pennington Borough Council. Stern told MercerMe that to fill this vacancy, the Pennington Democratic Committee will submit three names for the Council to consider. The Council will then vote among the names submitted.

Gnatt shared details from the Planning Board meeting including  a concept review for a new Starbucks to occupy the TD Bank property. As the plan stood, the Planning Board showed no support for that plan. Revisions may be made to the plan and will be considered in the future.

Heidi Kahme of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance spoke to the board regarding upcoming programs to support the community. “Some of the current projects we are working on right now are bullying prevention programs…we are also looking at bringing a presentation on drug and marijuana to our middle and high school students.”

“We are also looking at bringing in a documentary entitled Chasing Childhood…specifically at the High School we are bringing in a teen wellness day. We continue with our career lunch and learn program. It has turned out to be a career coffee and learn during the recitation period in the morning.” 

Kahme continued, “We are also working on a summer job and service fair.” She shared how important it is for students to gain real world work experience and to explore volunteer opportunities available. Kahme noted how summer is an optimal time for students to explore these opportunities as well as how valuable it is for kids to stay busy in the slower summer months.

Kahme shared goals for the year such as enhancing mental health resources that are currently available on the school website and to widen the reach to the community at large. 

The next Pennington Borough Council meeting is scheduled for February 7 at 7pm.

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