Mayor John McCormac and the recently re-elected town council officials celebrated their Sunday afternoon with a New Year's Day swearing-in celebration and reorganization council meeting.
Instead of being held at the , the ceremony took place at the auditorium to accommodate crowds of supporters and a three high school-strong choir who sang revamped songs celebrating McCormac's November reelection.
The meeting included a swearing-in ceremony for reelected at-large council members James Carroll, Gregg Ficarra, and Brenda Yori Velasco. Kyle Anderson and Michelle Charmello, who had been appointed to their council seats and who won in November's election, also took the oath of office. Anderson won his at-large council seat, while Charmello held her Third Ward council slot.
Ficarra was also chosen as council president, with First Ward councilman Charles Kenny taking the role of vice president.
Mayor John McCormac, who also took the oath of office in the crowded auditorium, beamed as he spoke. The assembled crowd returned his warm sentiment with a standing ovation.
"You may have pulled a lever with my name on it...but that's only because there's not enough room for all 600 plus" members of the township government team, said McCormac in addressing the gathered crowd comprised of Democratic stalwarts as well as appointees to commissions and boards, and their families and friends.
"We promise to provide an open and honest ethical government for the people of Woodbridge," McCormac said.
Following a round of thanks to a variety of township departments from Public Works to police, first aid squads, and more, McCormac pledged that "economic development and job creation" will be a primary focus in 2012. When asked afterward to speak further on the topic, McCormac refused, saying that he would discuss his plans for 2012 at the next council meeting on January 17.
In between the swearings-in and the appointment of members to a number of different township commissions and boards, members of the , , and high school choirs - collectively known for the day as the "Johnnie Mac Singers" in honor of the mayor - provided entertainment.
The combined choirs - dressed in matching green and white teeshirts with the "Johnnie Mac Singers" logo - launched into well-known songs reworked to invoke the names of McCormac and other council members and their November election victory.
One such song included a revamping of Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," featured a saxophone solo and new lyrics:
"You better not pout/
you better not cry/
you had a chance to dump him/
and you didn't even try/
Johnnie Mac is staying in town."
The Johnnie Mac Singers also performed a reworked version of Bon Jovi's "I Love This Town" as well as more traditional versions of "God Bless America" and the national anthem.
The event was followed by refreshments for the elected officials, appointed representatives, and gathered crowd of well wishers.