mayor & council
Honorable Jay Coffey
A Message from Our Mayor
January / February 2016
It took a while, but winter weather finally arrived in 2016 and the cold, bracing winds of early January were a reminder that the change in season had occurred. Some of us love the cold weather, some of us abhor it and some of us are neutral about it, but since we live in the Northeast, there really isn't anything we can do about the weather except talk about it. For the most part, people treat politics and government much the same as they do the weather: love it, hate it or neutral about it, they usually feel resigned to just talking about it. Starting in August of 2015, however, the people of Oceanport stopped talking about politics and government in town, started participating in it and on November 3, 2015, they changed the way people all across the State of New Jersey were talking about politics and government in a profound way. As only the second write-in candidate in New Jersey to be elected Mayor, I was the beneficiary of the political activism and collective community involvement of a very committed, obviously large and motivated group of people who decided that it was time for them to take the bull by the horns and effectuate change for themselves. The success of a write-in candidacy is living, breathing proof that a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” isn't just something that Abraham Lincoln wrote on the back of an envelope in 1863. The people of Oceanport should take a moment to reflect on those nine words and take comfort in the knowledge that they have proved that they still hold true, at least on the municipal level.
At the Borough's Reorganization Meeting on January 1, 2016, Patricia Cooper, Joseph Irace, Ellynn Kahle, Stuart Briskey, John Patti and Richard Gallo were recognized as our Borough Council. Patricia Cooper, John Patti and Stuart Briskey were all sworn in as newly elected officials as part of the change in our local government. Joseph Irace was chosen by his peers to serve as this year's Borough Council President. Together, we will serve as your Governing Body, but our government “of the people, by the people, for the people” has to be more than just seven elected officials. We need the people of Oceanport to participate in our public meetings --- Council meetings, Board of Education meetings, Planning Board meetings, Town Hall meetings, etc. --- and make their voices heard on a regular basis and we need volunteers from the community at large to fill the open positions on various boards and committees. In turn, we, as your elected officials, have to make it easier for the people of Oceanport to be involved in the governance of our wonderful, little borough. To that end, cognizant of the fact that many of us lead overscheduled, incredibly busy lives, we will endeavor to televise and live stream all of our council meetings so that if you can't make a meeting, we can bring the meeting into your home via television or computer. Additionally, we will be promoting a “Call to Service” in an effort to solicit volunteers for the many committees and boards that have been underutilized for far too long.
The people of Oceanport got involved in their government in 2015 and reminded everyone that the power of governing rests with and emanates from the people, but the people of Oceanport need to stay involved in their government in 2016 and beyond for the events of 2015 to have a lasting impact. As such, I hope to see record numbers at each and every one of our Borough Council meetings going forward. Come on in, have a seat and step up to the microphone when the spirit moves you. I can promise that your Governing Body will be listening to you.
Honorable Jay Coffey
Mayor, Oceanport Borough, NJ