Woodbridge is a big township of 100,000 people, but it's really just ten small towns who all hang out together.
Don't doubt it. Mayor John McCormac knows every last one of us.
In several tragic but regionally newsworthy events of the last few months, McCormac managed to personally know every person involved.
The mayor's latest insinuation is with Woodbridge Police Officer Edward Barrett, Jr. Just days ago, the patrolman managed to stop a crazed shoplifter who held an elderly woman at knifepoint in Woodbridge Center with one shot from his gun.
The hostage holder is dead, the shopper is safe, and Mayor John McCormac somehow put himself into the middle of it, so to speak.
The mayor told NBCNewYork.com less than 48 hours after the Woodbridge Center shooting that Barrett's father, a retired Woodbridge police lieutenant and current head of the Woodbridge Township Ambulance and First Aid Squad, gave him a merit badge.
"42 years ago, (Barret, Sr.) gave a freckle-faced little kid named John McCormac his First Aid merit badge as a Boy Scout," McCormac told NBCNewYork.com.
The mayor said he has "known the family for years."
He said the same thing about the family of Corporal Kevin Reinhard, the Marine from Colonia who was catastrophically killed in a January helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
"It’s rough,” McCormac told the Home News. He "went to high school" with Reinhard's mother.
Then there is the death of much-beloved Hopelawn Fire Chief Bruce Turcotte. The firefighter passed away after courageously fighting a January fire in Menlo Park Terrace.
McCormac told the Star Ledger he personally "grew up two blocks from the fire scene."
He also told the newspaper that he remembered a similar fire in the 1970s at the same house that ended with tragic results. (This was apparently after he received his Boy Scout merit badge.)
It wouldn't be fair to say knowing Mayor McCormac isn't good for your health.
But Mayor McCormac relating how he is the BFF of everyone who makes a headline and comes from Woodbridge really isn't the point.
Did you expect your mayor to be gracious and low key, to stand back and let families and the heroes themselves take the spotlight?
Not in Woodbridge, and not with John McCormac, the self-proclaimed "mayor for life".
It's that the man feels this extraordinary need to insert himself personally into anything that happens in Woodbridge as long as it puts him front and center. He seemingly would rather jump off the Victory Bridge than miss a chance at a headline.
It's almost as grimly amusing as watching any of Woodbridge's cable channels. The mayor's face is plastered on everything; any piece of paper out of anything in Woodbridge that has a bulk mailing permit has McCormac's name smeared all over it.
The era of politicians with grace, wit, good sense, and intelligence seems to have bypassed Woodbridge Township.
Why, one would think the mayor paid for all these things himself. He didn't; taxpayers did.
But then, what's a little favor between best friends?