Berkeley Township Councilman James "Jim" Byrnes who won re-election to Ward One back in November will succeed Councilwoman Sophia Gingrich as Council President for the year 2018.

Byrnes is no stranger to having the title of Council President after having done it in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Spending the last 33-years as a Bayville resident, Byrnes has a lengthy resume that includes being a former two-term member and President of the Berkeley Township Board of Education as well as serving roles as Chairman of the Berkeley Township Planning Board and member of the Berkeley Township Board of Adjustment.

He currently serves on the Ocean County Construction Board of Appeals and the Ocean County Board of Social Services.

“I look forward to working with Mayor Amato and the rest of the Council in 2018,” Byrnes said.

He'll officially be sworn into the post on Monday January 1, 2018 at the township's re-organization meeting alongside Councilman Angelo Guadagno, Councilwoman Judy Noonan and Councilwoman Gingrich who all won re-election in November.

Berkeley Island County Park Groundbreaking ceremony in December 2016. (L-R: Freeholder Virginia 'Ginny' Haines, Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato, Berkeley Councilwoman Judy Noonan, Freeholder John Bartlett, Ocean County Parks and Rec Director Michael Mangum, OC Surrogate Jeff Moran, and Berkeley Township Councilman Jim Byrnes. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)

Maintaining his spot on the council in 2018 is John Bacchione who is also Chairman of the  Township Finance Committee.

Also returning to the council is Tom Grosse.

"I am proud of what has been accomplished together with the Council, but there is always more work to do," Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato said. "I would like to thank outgoing Council President Gingrich for her dedication and contribution this year. Councilman Byrnes lead our Council during the most difficult time in our history, in the aftermath of Sandy and provided the steady leadership that was needed. I anticipate another good year for our Township working with Councilman Byrnes."

Mayor Amato has goals and plans for 2018 he's hoping to work with Byrnes and the council on.

"Working with the Council, we will continue to improve township services that our residents have come to expect," Amato said.

Services to improve include the long-standing eye sore on Route 9 at the cite of the Beachwood Mall, improving infrastructure that includes parks and playgrounds, adding more police officers to the department, enhancing public safety efforts and providing residents with entertainment such as the township's free summer concerts and events.

"We will continue to attract new business, work with property owners as they renovate existing buildings and work with code enforcement to make the Route 9 corridor more attractive," Amato said. "We still have some work to do post Sandy as well. Together, we want to continue to establish Berkeley Township as one of the best places to live, work and retire in all of New Jersey."

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