BLOOMFIELD, NJ — The Bloomfield Town Council kicked off 2021 with its reorganization meeting on Jan. 4, swearing in Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, Councilwoman Sarah Cruz and Councilman Nick Joanow to new terms. Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver administered the oath of office to Mundell and Cruz; state Sen. Ronald Rice read the oath to Joanow.
“You are doing a phenomenal job at making certain that Bloomfield remains a residential community and a center of commerce,” Oliver, who lives close to the Bloomfield border in neighboring East Orange, said at the meeting. “It does my heart well when I see new businesses in town, when I see the vibrancy of the restaurants. The township is in good hands under the leadership of Mayor Venezia and this municipal council.”
U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill sent a video message to the meeting and in it congratulated Mundell, Cruz and Joanow. She had met with all three prior to the election.
“We face so many challenges right now in the community and the country, but I know with all of the support in Bloomfield we can work together to get to the other side of this crisis,” Sherrill said.
Mundell has been on the council since 2017; this is her second full term on the council after previously completing an unexpired term. She represents the 1st Ward.
“Over the last year our community has suffered immense losses as a result of this virus, the effects of which will be felt for many years to come,” she said at the meeting. “As a country, we’ve seen over and over in the news the effects of systemic racism that has long plagued us, even before it was getting so much attention. But in the last year, I have also borne witness to kindness, compassion and coming together in our community, and a willingness to learn, from those who might least expect it. This gives me a lot of hope, and it reminds me why I love this town and why I am so grateful that you entrusted me again to serve as one of your representatives.”
Joanow, the 2nd Ward councilman, is beginning his fourth term. He spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic that is still spreading throughout the country as well.
“We are not alone. Every community has stresses of health care, of deprivation in terms of employment, food shortages that have become very apparent in our society between those who have and those who have not,” he said at the meeting. “The key words going into 2021 are kindness and compassion. We have a responsibility to make things better for our neighbors and our friends within this community.”
Cruz, the 3rd Ward’s representative on the council, is beginning her second term this year.
“I’m really proud to live here in Bloomfield; I’m really proud to represent my neighbors,” she said at the meeting. “We live in an amazing community. If you put in a lot, you will get out a lot. All of the people who work in this town are really devoted people, really smart people, considerate and very friendly. I am happy to serve you, Bloomfield. I’m happy for the opportunity to continue what we’ve begun. Individually and as a team, there is so much more to do.”