Councilmen John Lamia, left, and Charles Rooney were sworn in to their terms Jan. 3
SEA BRIGHT - The borough looked back at 2014 as a year of many comebacks, and looks forward to the year ahead for even more of the same, said Sea Bright officials at the annual organization meeting.
Besides setting the agenda for 2015 as one of continued rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy, the annual meeting on January 3 also swore in two councilmen to their new terms. John M. Lamia, Jr., who joined the council this fall as an appointment after the resignation of C. Read Murphy, was sworn in to his first term as an elected official. Charles H. Rooney III was also sworn in as the newest face on the six-member council.
Councilman Brian Kelly, having served the maximum three terms as council president, nominated Councilman William J. Keeler to the role. Kelly gave a 2014 year-end address at the meeting, summarizing the projects the borough completed as it rebuilt its infrastructure after Hurricane Sandy.
The year saw many residents return to their homes, among them Kelly and Long, who only recently were able to move back in to their respective homes due to the damage of the storm.
"Dina and myself were the last two officials displaced by the storm able to move back in," Kelly said. "We've been going through some of the same things you've been going through."
Many projects were completed, or are in the midst, he said. For 2015, a cell tower will go up in Sea Bright, and the planned community center will be a multi-use pavilion on the beachfront, scheduled to break ground later this year.
In her annual address, Long expressed the spirit of the community as one of perseverance, and that has allowed Sea Bright to rebuild at a strong pace, she said. "We get knocked down by a wave, and we get right back up," she said, adding that there is still much to do to get residents back into their homes and to focus on to make Sea Bright the best it can be.
While so many have been moved to help rebuild Sea Bright, often the choices of how to make the borough the best it could be leads to impassioned opinions, often differing. Long advocated finding common ground to all the questions Sea Bright is faced with for its future.
The meeting also appointed the borough's professionals. The vote for borough engineer, T&M Associates, was met with debate by Lamia and Rooney, who voted no in favor of better researching engineer firm's rates. But the appointment of T&M had enough votes to pass, securing the firm for another year in Sea Bright.
A benediction by Rev. Michael Turner of Sea Bright Methodist Church concluded the meeting, asking for prayer to help the elected officials to be strong servants during the hard work facing the borough, he said.