Message From the League President

Mayor Janice Kovach (Clinton Town)

The following is President Kovach’s acceptance remarks made at the NJLM Business Meeting during the 105th Annual League Conference.

Thanks Jim and thank you Congressman Malinowski, I appreciate the fact that he was able to be here with us and for his commitment to our communities here in New Jersey. It’s so important, with the work that needs to be done, we have to all work together. 

I’m not the best at writing out my speeches, I just have a couple of points I want to make.

Who would have thought? When starting this year, we thought our biggest challenge was replacing Mike Darcy as executive director

And then 2020 happened. 

It has been a wild ride for so many of us. It’s been an opportunity and a challenge and each and every one of us has had to step up in ways that we never anticipated. We have become not just local elected officials but we have been individuals for our residents to come to when they’ve needed something. We have learned all about unemployment, we have learned all about our utilities. Anything and everything that has impacted our communities, we have had to step up and we’ve been on that front line for them. 

While I want to say that I’m planning that 2021 is not going to be that way, I think going into the year we’re still going to be facing a lot of these challenges. And with that, this is a project for all of us to work together on. We are a community of elected and appointed officials. 

And Jim–I think Chegwidden and I are going “Phew!” Thank God it wasn’t us that had to take on the presidency this year. We looked at that one as you got stuck and we dodged that bullet but you really have stepped up, you’ve done an amazing job. Mike did want me to let you know that normally, if we were all together, we’d be giving you a plaque. Your plaque is in the mail.

While not being in Atlantic City has felt different and seeing all of the sessions online has been a new experience for many of us, I have to say everyone coming together to step up and help has been tremendous. I’ve gotten nothing but praise from individuals who have attended the sessions. So, to the staff of the League–Mike and Lori–not only did you have to step into roles, but you’ve stepped into a new reality. You’ve done an amazing job, you and the staff. For that I do say thank you on behalf of all us. 

To the other individuals who have helped me get to this place, obviously my family: I wouldn’t be here providing the support to this community if I didn’t have the support of my family here. I also have the support of my Council as well as the staff members of the Town of Clinton. We all work together on everything that needs to be done for our community. I can’t do this job without all of their support.

Finally, the residents of the Town of Clinton who continue to believe in me and let me serve as their mayor. It has truly been an honor and a privilege and I hope that I continue to do you proud serving as president of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. 

To Mayors Chegwidden, Heck, and Pikolycky, we definitely have our work cut out for us. We’ve got a lot of things that need to get done and we’ve got a lot of plans we’re going to start working on.

With that, I want to say thank you to everyone who continues to believe in me, who has been there and has been a support. I will be reaching out to each and every one of you and please reach out to other elected officials in your local communities who may not be part of the everyday work of the League. We’re not going to do what needs to be done unless we all take a seat at that table. 

Remember, if we’re not at the table, we’re on the menu. With that, I’m going to say thank you.