Being a public servant is one of the great privileges afforded to those of us who choose to serve.

Among other things, leaders in government need to have a long-term perspective on good governance and human development, along with a sense of what is in the best interest of the public. They also have to have their finger on the pulse of the constituents they serve, and keen knowledge of the historical, cultural and social complexities of their community. Perhaps most importantly, they must be accountable to the public.

I would like to begin this month’s column by thanking Sheree McGowan for her many years of dedicated public service to our township, including the last eight as a member of township council.

Involved in our community long before becoming an elected official, McGowan was sworn in to her first term on council in 2009. She was re-elected to a four-year term in November of 2013 on the same ticket as me and Councilman Vince Calcagno, who was re-elected this past November along with first-time candidate Mike Cipriano, who ran a terrific campaign and begins his first term this month.

Sheree was a two-term council president (2010 and 2014) and the governing body’s vice president in 2011. In addition, she served for seven years on the planning board and was a long time liaison to the Economic Development Advisory Committee. Sheree played a key role as Robbinsville transitioned to its new form of government in 2005, and she should be proud of her work as council liaison to the Affordable Housing Committee, Plan Endorsement Committee and the Rent Leveling Board. McGowan was presented with the township’s highest honor—a “Key to the City”—at the Dec. 14, 2017 council meeting. Vice President Vince Calcagno accepted on her behalf.

Join me in thanking Sheree for her many years of service to Robbinsville.

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While I am very pleased with the completed repair projects on Main Street and Richardson Road, suffice it to say I was furious with how the Route 130 paving was handled by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the contractor hired via the State’s flawed “low bid” process.

While the project plans may have met the required construction specifications, the duration of the uneven pavement, damaging wedges between the surfaces and flying chunks of asphalt not only slowed traffic to a crawl across our major intersections, but also constituted a serious safety hazard. Frankly, it was an embarrassment and the worst road project I have seen in my nearly two decades in Robbinsville.

The fact it took well over a month to properly pave two miles of one of the busiest highways in Central New Jersey is unacceptable. If this is the type of results taxpayers can expect after they voted to increase the gas tax in 2016 to fund such projects, it is fair to consider rolling back that tax.

Dave Fried is the Mayor of Robbinsville.