Highland Park Borough Council Inaugurates Mayor Elsie Foster and Council Members; Focuses on 2024 Priorities

In a recent gathering of the Highland Park Borough Council, Mayor Elsie Foster, alongside councilpersons Matthew Hersh and Jason Postelnik, were sworn into office, marking the commencement of their terms. The ceremony, officiated by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, set the stage for the year ahead. Mayor Foster used this platform to deliver the State of the Borough address, articulating an ambitious vision for 2024, including the support of new businesses like the Super Fresh supermarket, the completion of library renovations, and a strong emphasis on downtown redevelopment.

The State of the Borough address was the centerpiece of the council meeting. Mayor Foster expressed her profound gratitude for the opportunity to lead and serve the Highland Park community. She extended thanks to former mayors and mentors, Meryl Frank and Gayle Brill Mittler, and acknowledged the collaborative efforts of her fellow council members. The mayor’s recounting of the previous year’s accomplishments highlighted new business openings and improvements to the town’s infrastructure and recreational facilities.

Looking to the year ahead, Mayor Foster’s priorities are sharply focused on economic development and urban renewal. She underscored the importance of the Super Fresh supermarket, a new addition to the town expected to invigorate local commerce and provide residents with enhanced shopping options. The mayor also detailed ongoing projects like the public library’s renovation, which, once complete, will serve as a cornerstone of community engagement and learning. The revitalization of downtown Highland Park emerged as a top priority, with plans aimed at boosting economic activity and improving the urban landscape.

In her address, Mayor Foster celebrated the town’s various departments for their unwavering service and commitment. She praised the fire and police departments, public works, the first aid squad, and staff at the community center and public library for their dedication.

Within the ceremonial aspects of the meeting, a benediction delivered by a local rabbi offered gratitude and blessings to the leadership, including Mayor Foster, Council President Matthew Hersh, and Councilperson Jason Postelnik.

The council also focused on the procedural elements that underpin governance. The adoption of the Rules of Order and the mission statement of the Borough set the operational framework for council meetings and activities in the coming year. Matthew Hersh was nominated and appointed as the council president for 2024, a role critical to the leadership and direction of the council’s initiatives.

Further administrative actions included the introduction and adoption of various resolutions essential to the functioning of the local government. The establishment of standing committees and the appointment of members to these committees were enacted, ensuring that the town’s different sectors and concerns are addressed systematically. The council also confirmed its representatives to the planning board and the Middlesex County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) committee, entities that play pivotal roles in urban planning and the allocation of federal funds for local development projects.

Moreover, the council took decisive steps in financial planning by adopting the 2024 Municipal and Water Sewer Temporary Budgets. This early budgetary measure paves the way for the sustainable financial management of the town’s resources and sets the stage for the full annual budget to be discussed and adopted in due course.

The meeting concluded with the announcement of the next council meeting, scheduled for January 16th at 7:00 p.m. at Borough Hall. This sets the next date for the council’s deliberations and public engagement in the governance process.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Elsie Foster
City Council Officials:
Tara Canavera, Philip George, Matthew Hale, Matthew Hersh, Stephany Kim Chohan, Jason Postelnik

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