Belmar Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay began a three-year term on the council by being sworn in twice.
The atmosphere was one of celebration for Nicolay, who was first sworn in by Borough Clerk April Claudio so the meeting could proceed, but was sworn in again ceremoniously after the mayor and Nicolay's family members arrived.
A beaming Nicolay had young daughter Julia hold the bible she swore on, as husband Bart was by her side.
Mayor Matt Doherty warmly praised Nicolay for a resounding win in November, her first contested race. But the mayor focused on how in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy, Nicolay showed strong leadership helping to coordinate much of the volunteerism and relief efforts for Belmar.
"Once a hurricane hit, to see the way she took charge and to see her leadership ability for the days weeks that follow," said the mayor," a lot of folks in Belmar saw the same thing as well."
"I am honored to be re-elected to serve the community the next three years," Nicolay said. "We had many great accomplishments last year... By the end of the summer it seemed Belmar was perfect. But as you know Sandy hit."
Though the devastation from the storm is great, Nicolay said she is thankful there were no lives lost and is thankful for the great strength and spirit of the people of Belmar.
"They say difficult times bring out the best in people; we can all agree Sandy brought out the best in us," she said.
At the reorganization meeting, Claire Diecke was chosen again to serve as council president.
A variety of annual appointments to municipal committees ensued through the meeting agenda, and the 2013 meeting schedule was set.
The same professionals in place for 2012 remain for the coming year. However, the process of appointing Colleen Connolly the borough administrator came with comments from Councilman Jim Beam, who voted no, saying the process should have been more competitive.
"It's not a criticism against you, you are doing a fine job," Beam said to Connolly. "I just wish we would have more competitively done this," since the current contract matches the previous administrator's salary.
The next meeting of Belmar Council is Jan. 16.