On January 1, 2016, GluckWalrath associate, Ryan Jones, took the oath and was sworn in as Councilman of the Borough of South River, a town in Middlesex County, New Jersey. At 31 years old, Mr. Jones takes office as the youngest current member of the borough governing body and received the highest tally of votes of anyone on the ballot in the results of the November election within South River.
Mr. Jones’s inaugural council comments focused primarily upon a message of restoring trust upon the dais. As he described it,
[T]he biggest challenge facing our town is the current lack of trust upon the dais. The entire reason I decided to run for office had to do with the frustrations I felt with our governing body, because frankly, I don’t trust them. I’m not alone in this sentiment. I want to make major strides in restoring this trust and will be dedicating much of this year to rehabilitating our relationship with residents.
Mr. Jones ran on a platform focused upon reevaluating the local government’s policies in order to foster a climate that promotes property investment—not discourages it. For him, that means reevaluating the town’s permit, fee, and rate structure and ensuring that specific focus is placed on growth and cultivation of civic activity. He is also focused on returning the council’s role to one that serves residents built upon respectful, civilized discussion and one that offers residents real opportunities to voice concerns and feedback. He sees that input as the basis for a larger foundational plan to rejuvenate the downtown, premised upon concepts of placemaking, purpose-driven design, and expanding public-private relationships.
We are incredibly proud of strides that our firm make within the communities around this state and are proud to have Mr. Jones as a member of our firm. We wish him much luck, success, and patience as he takes on this new role as public servant.