CRANFORD — Special guest Senate President Nicholas Scutari administered the oath of office to Mayor Brian Andrews last Wednesday as the latter was sworn in for a new term during the Cranford Township Committee’s reorganization meeting.
“I’m joined tonight by my parents and my wife, Jill, and kids, and I want to thank them for all the support and encouragement they continue to give me. Thanks to all the neighbors and friends who supported Paul [Gallo] and I. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you to all the people who took the time to talk to us. It’s good to hear your advice and questions. We’re here to serve you and the rest of the community,” Mayor Andrews said.
Next, Commissioner Kathleen Miller-Prunty administered the oath and swore in Mr. Gallo as deputy mayor.
“I’m honored to not just be filling an empty seat; to be voted in for a full term is truly something special,” said Mr. Gallo, who was first appointed to fill a vacated seat on the committee last year.
“I’m still a parent and a resident,” he said. “And I hope you all are comfortable talking to me about what is in our town’s best interest, and I look forward to accomplishing great things over the next three years.”
The meeting began with an invocation led by Senior Pastor Tom Rice in honor of the Cranford Police Department and the heroism and sacrifice of its members, including a recent incident where two Cranford officers put their lives at risk in the line of duty. A special prayer was said for the officers involved.
“They put their lives on the line for our health, safety, and well-being,” said Pastor Rice during the invocation.
“We are very fortunate to have a team that works so hard to deliver for this community and we are also blessed to have public servants who work for our municipality and who, day in and day out, serve our community,” Mayor Andrews said. “As the pastor said at the beginning, we had a stark reminder of that just last week when two of our police officers demonstrated real bravery and heroism, putting themselves, their lives, and their safety at risk to protect the public. Immediately after that incident, we saw their fellow police officers rushing to the hospital to be with their colleagues and stepping up to volunteer to fill in for shifts to continue to keep us safe.”
Mayor Andrews also was made chair of the Council Committee and Union County Surrogate Chris Hudak administered the oath.
“I want to extend my good wishes to Brian and Paul and wish them success to the betterment of Cranford,” Mr. Hudak said.
“We had a productive 2023,” Mayor Andrews said, listing the library renovations, the opening of the new recreation center, road-paving efforts and new pedestrian-safety and infrastructure improvements among last year’s biggest accomplishments.
“We have also advanced a new flood strategy in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers to create a solution while doing everything we possibly can here locally,” Mr. Andrews said.
He also thanked all the many volunteers who took the time to support the various committees. The mayor made mention of the civic virtue of volunteerism that they embody, saying the township will draw upon the diverse backgrounds and skill sets of these volunteers in moving the community forward.