Albert Kelly (Mayor, Bridgeton City)
I want to thank all of you for your vote of confidence in my ability to serve as President of your League of Municipalities.
I’m honored to preside over an organization that has weathered the storms of 101 years, an association that unites Democrats, Republicans and Independents, an institution that serves the interests of cities, suburbs and rural communities, an enterprise that continues to find new ways to help New Jersey’s local leaders better serve their hometowns and their hometown neighbors.
At the same time, I’m humbly aware that you expect me to preserve that resilience, the unity, that consistent record of steady service and of prudent progress.
Despite the odds against it, the League has only been able to protect and promote the principles of local self-government by continually relying on its members for ideas and action. Throughout its history, our League has always known, and always shown, when New Jersey local leaders put their differences aside and focus on their common problems and opportunities, nothing is impossible.
During my year as President, I will rely on all of you for your support and counsel. I know how much you appreciate the importance of municipal government. I know you are dedicated to preserving the vital life-enhancing and life-sustaining programs and services that can best be delivered by municipal governments – effectively, efficiently and economically. And I know how you value the part played by the League in representing your interests in the Statehouse and in supplying the information and analysis to help you to better serve your neighbors, at home.
We all work individually to protect the interests of our fellow citizens. And we become active in the League of Municipalities so that we can work together to protect their interests, also.
I hope that this year I am able to continue the standard of service set by my predecessor and friend, Mayor Joe Tempesta of West Caldwell. Mayor Tempesta recognized the diversity of municipalities in this State and what can be the diversity of our interests, but he always emphasized the need for unity in action on key public policies. As has been said before, unity in action and the active participation of more and more friends of local government are the only tools that we can use to build a better New Jersey.
The League has been blessed by a series of great leaders and I salute all of our Past Presidents for their leadership, integrity, intelligence and skill. I also want to thank all the Members of our Executive Board with whom I have served and on whom I will continue to rely for support and wise counsel.
I thank you, again, for calling me to the office. And I urge all of you to continue to support the League and to get more involved. One finger cannot lift a pebble. But together, we just might be able to raise high the hopes of all our colleagues in local government for a better future for our neighbors and for our children.
Let’s get to work.