Township of Monroe

The Mayor's Column

Taking The Lead from A Homegrown Leader

April 01, 2017

What can I tell you about the first time I crossed paths with former Councilwoman Leslie Koppel? I vividly recall a bright-eyed, dynamic and more importantly, curious young woman.

As a Monroe native, she always had her finger on her hometown’s pulse, but that’s because she never stopped exploring it – whether it was the physical landscape, some longstanding historic treasure, a school board meeting or even a new resident.

So you can imagine my excitement back in 2006, when I first learned that I’d have an opportunity to work with Leslie on the Council.  Today, I’m even more elated to announce that she’s bringing that same enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge to a higher platform as a Middlesex County Freeholder.

As some of you are aware, Freeholder Koppel resigned from the Monroe Township Council seat and took on her new post February 16.  While there is some reluctance on my part to see such a civically engaged and now seasoned member of our Council depart, I know it’s equally as important that she use her gifts at an elevated level of government and in a way that will benefit all Middlesex County residents.

Yet another silver lining is that Freeholder Koppel steps into this role with special insight into the concerns that represent our municipality, and is now in a position to communicate those interests with a much broader audience.

I know one of Freeholder Koppel’s greatest loves was the community garden that she was so instrumental in culminating right here in Monroe.  I’m sure that we’ll see her out there, from time to time, tending to her small plot and watching it flourish, much like she did for our community. Don’t hesitate to say hello.

In fact, taking a cue from Freeholder Koppel, I encourage you all to venture out into our sprawling township.  For you, that might mean taking a walk through a newly discovered park or introducing yourself to a neighbor.

However it translates, I think we build a better community by staying interested in and in tune with the people and the places that surround us.

Freeholder Koppel will forever be a sterling example of that philosophy and I believe we could all benefit by taking a page from her book.

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