Hopewell Township has a new mayor; Township and Borough swear in members

At the Hopewell Township Committee reorganization meeting Monday, January 4, 2021, the Committee unanimously selected Committee member Julie Blake to be Hopewell Township’s next mayor.

“This past year gave us a multitude of challenges,” said outgoing mayor, Kristin McLaughlin about Blake’s many contributions, “As chair of our Board of Health, Julie played a key role… As the early spring turned to summer, Hopewell Township joined the national conversation about how police departments relate to their communities. It was Julie who led those conversations. Julie is an optimist and a true believer in a communicative government and is a voice for those who might not speak out for themselves.”

Courtney Peters-Manning was named Hopewell Township’s next deputy mayor, also unanimously by the Committee. In nominating Peters-Manning, Committee member Kevin Kuchinski described Peters-Manning as a “passionate advocate for the environment” and a “creative problem solver [who] consistently works toward win-win solutions.”

Accepting the nomination, Mayor Blake shared plans for the Township in 2021: “Today marks the first Township meeting of 2021 and with that comes a list of goals and wishes for the new year.” Blake addressed issues such as COVID safety and vaccine distribution, changes in the Township Police Department, development of a community center, and the loss of tax revenue from Bristol Myers Squibb. For the full speech, please stay tuned to MercerMe!

Newly appointed Deputy Mayor Peters-Manning said, “I feel so proud and fortunate to live in Hopewell Township, a community that has faced unprecedented challenges with strength and grace. I appreciate the confidence that voters had in me last year, and that my colleagues on the Township Committee had in electing me as Deputy Mayor. I could not be serving with a more dedicated, smart, and honorable group of people. I look forward to this year with Mayor Blake and the rest of my colleagues as we serve this community through the hard things and into brighter times ahead.”

Returning Committee members Kuchinski and Michael Ruger both took their oaths of office for their new terms. 

In attendance virtually were the following elected officials: Assembly members Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Anthony Verelli; County Executive Brian Hughes; County Administrator Lilly Nazzaro; Mercer County Commissioners (formerly Freeholders) John Cimino and Nina Melker; Hopewell Borough Council member Ryan Kennedy; Ewing Council member Jennifer Keyes Maloney; Mercer County County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello; and East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov.

At the virtual Hopewell Borough reorganization meeting, also on Monday night, elected officials attended including: Mercer County Commissioners (formerly Freeholders) John Cimino, Lucy Walter, and Nina Melker; and Assembly member Verlina Reynolds-Jackson.

Returning Council members Ryan Kennedy and Sky Morehouse took oaths prior to the meeting and were congratulated by Council and those in attendance.

The Council then unanimously nominated Morehouse as council president.

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