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New Hazlet Mayor: Committee Will Work Together to Improve Township

The newly appointed mayor reflected on the way everyone worked together after Sandy, emphasizing that the best way to work to improve the township is to check partisanship at the door.

Committeeman Joseph Belasco placed his left hand on the bible and held his right hand in the air as he took the oath of office for chairman of the township committee, officially beginning his one-year term as mayor of Hazlet. 

After being sworn in, Belasco hugged his family members, shook hands with his fellow committee members and turned to address the packed room in the Hazlet Township Municipal Building. 

Belasco envisions a Hazlet where his young grandchildren will group up one day to be proud Hazlet residents.

"Did you see the group that was up with me before? Did you see the children up there? They call me Pop-Pop. And I want to make Hazlet a town that in twenty-five years, God-willing I'm still here, they can say that they're a resident of Hazlet, that they were able to stay here and live here because that's what it's all about," he said. 

During his address, Belasco explained that achieving that goal includes improving quality of life issues in Hazlet such as poor road conditions. None of it will be possible, he emphasized, without the committee - which contains three democrats and two republicans - band together as residents and not as politicians. 

"What Sandy showed us it that the people of Hazlet were brought together for a common purpose. We went into Union Beach; We went into Keyport; We took the needy, we took the people that needed to be helped," he said. "It was an amazing feet and through all that time no one heard the word 'democrat' or 'republican.' They were just people working together."

James DiNardo, who was also sworn in as a committee member Saturday, was selected by the five-member committee to serve as deputy mayor. DiNardo echoed Belasco's sentiment and thanked the public for their support. 

The next meeting of the Hazlet Committee will be held on Jan. 14. 

Susan S January 09, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Unfortunately the town needed much prodding to help its own residents. Many of us have been left with bad feelings about the way the storm was handled. It's wonderful to see the way Union Beach has pulled together and I don't feel like that would happen here.
Deborah January 13, 2013 at 04:25 PM
I understand that the Jersey shore has had some rough times in the past few months. I have lived in Hazlet for the past 17 years and like the area. Recently as I walk for exercise I noticed that the town is very run down and not taken care of. I pay a substantial amount of taxes and if I would like take a walk do not want to walk through a cespool of litter. There is litter everywhere. Especially on Rt 35 near the Fridays in the wooded area. It is disgusting. I lived in Newark NJ for many years and even though it was not considered the better part of town we never had litter like that . The township should be ashamed. Get some crews out there to clean the litter!! I will continue to harass the township about this. Clean up your act!

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