BERKELEY – Longtime Ward 1 Councilman James Byrnes, will once again lead the Council in 2018. Byrnes, who served as a Medic in the 82nd Airborne during Vietnam, where he received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, was appointed to the Council in 2012 after the retirement of Councilwoman Karen Davis. He won the unexpired term in November of that year and was re-elected in 2013 and this past November. Byrnes will be sworn in on January 1st. This will be Councilman Byrnes 4th stint as Council President, having served in 2012, 2013 & 2014.
Byrnes is a 33-year resident of Bayville and a former two-term member and President of the Berkeley Township Board of Education. He also served as Chairman of the Berkeley Township Planning Board and Member of the Berkeley Township Board of Adjustment. Councilman Byrnes currently serves on the Ocean County Construction Board of Appeals and the Ocean County Board of Social Services. He’s a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 9503, St. Barnabas Knights of Columbus 8603, former Vice President for the International Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 2018, and a volunteer for Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Amato and the rest of the Council in 2018.” Byrnes said.
“I am proud of what has been accomplished together with the Council, but there is always more work to do. I would like to thank outgoing Council President Sophia Gingrich for her dedication and contribution this year. Councilman Byrnes lead our Council during the most difficult time in our history, in the aftermath of Sandy. Councilman Byrnes provided that steady leadership that was needed. I anticipate another good year for our Township working with Councilman Byrnes.” Mayor Amato said.
Mayor Amato has announced goals for 2018:
Keep taxes stable, while we maintain the second lowest average overall property taxes in Ocean County. “Our recent bond upgrade from “A+” to “AA-” is good news, as S&P recognized our efforts to be fiscally responsive.” Mayor Amato said.
Redevelopment of the Beachwood mall site and continue improvements that have begun to spark long-awaited revitalization along the Route 9 Corridor. “We will continue to attract new business, work with property owners as they renovate existing buildings and work with code enforcement to make the Route 9 corridor more attractive.” Mayor Amato said.
Continue to improve our infrastructure including parks and playgrounds; add additional police officers, provide additional public safety improvements and improve our Recreation Department efficiency while continue to provide our free summer concerts and events in Veteran’s Park. “Working with the Council, we will continue to improve township services that our residents have come to expect.” Mayor Amato said.
“We still have some work to do post Sandy as well. Together, we want to continue to establish Berkeley Township as one of the best places to live, work and retire in all of New Jersey.” Mayor Amato said.
The Berkeley Township Council will reorganize on January 1st, 2018 at Noon at Berkeley Town Hall. Councilmembers James Byrnes, Angelo Guadagno, Judy Noonan and Sophia Gingrich will all be sworn into new 4 year terms respectively.