As His Term Comes to a Close, Maplewood Mayor McGehee Thanks Colleagues and Community

by Frank McGehee
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Editor’s note: McGehee gave the following remarks at Tuesday’s Township Committee meeting, after which TC member and Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis was chosen as the township’s next Mayor.

It has been an absolute honor for me to serve and lead our town as Mayor.

From COVID and so many crises and great wins for our community along the way.

It has been an absolute privilege to work with our amazing Township team – Jerry, Bailey, Gregg Schuster, Liz, Nick, Candice, Ana, Roger, Cesare, Paul, Annette, Len, Adele, Sarah, Missi, CFO Joe, Our Chiefs Jimmy – Webber and Chris – thank you All.

Being on our Township Committee is about service sacrifice and dedication.  Whether you’re Black or White, LGBTQ, a man, a woman or non-binary, it’s about this work. Working tirelessly for the greater good.

In our community the vote for who leads our town as Mayor ultimately comes down to three people currently serving on the Township Committee. And that is why it is so important for our residents to pay attention and become more informed and engaged in how the process works with the Maplewood Democratic Committee, who they vote for as their district leaders and what actually happens behind the scenes in terms of their vetting process. In the near future I hope that we will see more candidates run in our primaries and that any candidate who’s interested in running will not have their campaign truncated by any future endorsements or lack thereof.

Our Maplewood Democratic Committee could pivot and work to train residents interested in running for office vs narrowing the field through endorsements.  For anyone interested in running, I pledge to lend my support and to be of service.

Yes, it is possible for a candidate of color or one with less economic means or from any neighborhood to win a race in our community. We don’t have to look too far to see that fact as our Board of Ed races have demonstrated.  Otherwise this is how systemic issues are able to manifest and prevail which does NOT serve our community well.

Regardless of who leads our amazing community in 2022 as Mayor, I will continue to collaborate with my colleagues on the Township Committee, the residents of Maplewood, and elected officials in Essex county, Trenton, and Washington to finish the work.  Our master plan. Our fire merger. New development and businesses in underrepresented areas. Our athletic fields and our schools.

As I have stated, it’s about the work – service, sacrifice and dedication. And with that, tonight I will be supporting the nomination to appoint Dean as our next Mayor.

Again from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my family, thank you, it has been an honor.

Now and always,

Mayor Frank

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