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Donohue Chairs Middle Township Committee for Last Time

Donohue Chairs Middle Township Committee for Last Time

By Vince Conti

Tim Donohue speaks during his last Middle Township Committee meeting as mayor, Dec. 18.
Courtesy Middle Township’s Facebook page
Tim Donohue speaks during his last Middle Township Committee meeting as mayor, Dec. 18.

COURT HOUSE – The Monday, Dec. 18, meeting of the Middle Township Committee was the last committee meeting that Timothy Donohue chaired as mayor. Donohue, who declined to stand for reelection, will be stepping down at the end of the month from his committee position, where he has served the township for 12 years.

County and local officials as well as township residents turned out to testify to his accomplishments and to wish him well.

As the agenda for the meeting turned to the engineer’s report, former Mayor Dan Lockwood usurped the agenda slot to act as master of ceremonies for those who waited to speak about Donohue’s tenure.

Lockwood started with a gift to Donohue of a wooden wall hanging replica of a U.S. flag with an often-used quote from Donohue emblazoned on it. It was how he saw his job for those years of public service and read, “Bringing good people together to do good things.”

Former Mayor Dan Lockwood, right, gifts Mayor Tim Donohue with a wooden replica of a U.S. flag with an often-used quote from Donohue emblazoned on it. Courtesy Middle Township’s Facebook page

County Commissioner Andrew Bulakowski was present, saying, “The county is a better place because of your leadership.” Newly elected county Commissioners Bobby Barr and Melanie Collette also turned out to honor Donohue, with Collette saying she was reminded of the “many years we have battled together.” She added that until the meeting she had been in denial about Donohue’s leaving and wished him well in Florida, where he will retire.

Dennis Roberts, longtime member of the township school board and local restaurateur, reminded the audience of Donohue’s contributions to the business community. “A well-run town attracts businesses,” Roberts said.

Former Police Chief Christopher Leusner, recently elected to Donohue’s seat on the committee, spoke of the many difficulties the township overcame due to Donohue’s leadership. He referred to the 2009 financial crisis, when the police force was down to 39 officers.

It was Donohue’s commitment to public safety that helped bring the department back to a level commensurate with the task of providing 24/7 policing for the county’s largest municipality in size and second-largest in population.

Leusner also mentioned the implementation of a radio system that allows officers to speak directly with dispatch when calling for backup, of the protests in Rio Grande following the death of George Floyd and the unsanctioned car rally that took two lives in Wildwood while also presenting Rio Grande with dangerous challenges. Leusner said Donohue’s leadership was instrumental in arriving at the proper resolution to each challenge.

Township Administrator Kimberley Osmundsen joined in by a video phone link to speak of the difference Donohue meant to those who work for the township.

His colleagues on the township committee, Ike Gandy and James Norris, both talked of what they had learned from their working relationship with Donohue, with Norris choking up as he spoke.

In the end, Donohue addressed the audience, saying it had been an honor to serve the people of the township. “We made our mistakes,” he said, but, he added later, “We fought for what we believed was the right way to govern.” He said he felt comfortable that the future of the town was in good hands.

Finally, Donohue thanked his wife Carole for her support throughout his years of service, presenting her with flowers.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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