Several Matawan residents, employees and volunteers were honored by Mayor Paul Buccellato as the 2012 Citizen Of The Year for their dedication to the borough before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.
"The destruction that followed Sandy was, to say the least, incredible. Not only to New Jersey but to New York, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania. None of us will ever forget Sandy," Buccellato said before presenting plaques to the recipients at the Matawan reorganization meeting.
Buccellato recalled the destruction after the storm and the challenges that not only the borough but the entire Bayshore faced, highlighting the way the Matawan Police Department, Matawan Volunteer Fire Department, Matawan First Aid Squad, Matawan Department of Works and the Matawan Office of Emergency Management did everything they could to support the community.
"During the next ten to twelve days after the storm, the OEM, DPW, police department, fire department and first aid responded to our residents and businesses as events changed second by second, minute by minute and hour by hour, members of each department were there protecting our community," he said.
Although Citizen Of The Year is normally bestowed on one citizen, Buccellato emphasized that the extraordinary teamwork and dedication the the borough by so many people left him unable to single out an individual.
"Today I continue this tradition, however naming one person, individual or entity as Citizen Of The Year was extremely difficult in light of Sandy," he said, before naming the members of the Matawan Police Department, Matawan Volunteer Fire Department, Matawan First Aid Squad, Matawan Department of Works and the Matawan Office of Emergency Management as the Citizens Of The Year.
"Our first aid provided medical assistance; our police department provided uninterrupted law enforcement and assistance with communication with residents; our DPW worked tirelessly prior to, during and for weeks after the storm. Our fire department was also there to protect our residents and respond to any emergency. They set up a subcommand station at Washington Engine Company and provided food not only to borough personnel but to members of the community," he said.
"I along with the council and the residents of Matawan cannot thank the four members of the Matawan OEM enough for all the work they did prior to and continued to do weeks after Sandy," he continued.