Byram bids farewell to long-term council members

| 24 Dec 2019 | 07:27

The council, staff, and residents of Byram Township said an emotional good-bye to three of its longest-tenured council members on Tuesday, Dec 17, as they gathered for their last meeting with David Gray, Nisha Ali, and Scott Olson as part of the town’s governing body. Gray had served on the council for six years, Ali for eight, and Olson for twelve.

Township Clerk Doris Flynn teared up as she shared a memory of swearing-in Olson on his deck in 2007 with his parents as witnesses, and Township Manager Joe Sabatini also fought tears as he spoke of his relationship with Olson. Referencing Charles Darwin’s quote about a man’s friends being the measure of his worth, Sabatini said that Olson was beyond measure.

“Over the years and along the way, we’ve become great friends,” Sabatini said, “and you always display such genuine caring for me, my staff, and the people of Byram. I’m going to miss you.”

Olson offered some advice to the incoming council, with two of the three electees, Lisa ‘Cris’ Franco and Jack Gallagher, in attendance.

“Pay attention to others and learn from them,” he said, “You don’t always have to agree, but listen, work together, and admit when you’ve made a mistake or were wrong.”

Ali concurred.

“The greatest thing I’ve learned from my time on this council is to agree to disagree,” she said, “Learn to compromise and you’ll get things done. I’m confident that the town is in good hands moving forward.”

Gray offered gratitude to the residents for their support over the years and said that the biggest asset to his time on the council has been the people around him.

“What makes this town great,” he said, “is the people, and what they come out and do for this town. And I thank you.”

Byram will hold its reorganizational meeting and the swearing-in of new officials at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020. Weather permitting, the fire department’s new truck will also be dedicated that night. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the proceedings, which will be at the municipal building. The next regular council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan 21.