At its Jan. 4 reorganization meeting, newly elected Mayor Mark Freda was sworn in by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and re-elected council members David Cohen and Leticia Fraga were sworn in for new terms. Fraga was subsequently elected unanimously as council president.
In introductory remarks, Freda outlined a broad vision for his term. “Where do we go from here? What is next?” he said. “There are many issues ahead for us including COVID and all its impacts on our community. These impacts will most likely persist for years. During those years new challenges and new issues will arise. And they will require resilience, agility, and effort from all of us to address them.”
He continued: “We will build on the lessons learned this past year: the need to communicate often and in clear details. The need to share information at the elected official level, at the town staff level, and of course with all our residents.
“We will look to improve our speed and efficiency in digesting information and getting to the point of making decisions as quickly as we reasonably can.
“We will continue to expand our skills at big picture thinking and long-term planning. We will continue to improve out listening skills.”
And he emphasized the need for fairness and kindness even in the face of disagreements.
“This past year has amplified that being fair to all is a never-ending effort,” he said. “This past year has also amplified the need for consistent and ongoing effort to support everyone in our community to the best of our abilities. To create partnerships and to question the way things are done as we look to improve services and how they are delivered. We need to address how to maintain and create opportunities for people at all economic levels to stay in our town.
“We need to continue to address the realities of a world that is not fair and just to all. We need to foster the growth of business in our community, to create job opportunities to help grow our tax base, to continue to grow Princeton’s attractiveness as a destination in New Jersey. We need to look at providing the best services we can within a reasonable municipal budget.”
At the Board of Education’s Jan. 5 reorganization meeting, Beth Behrend was re-elected as School Board president, while Dafna Kendal was elected as vice president.