Howell names driveway at municipal complex for former mayor

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HOWELL – Municipal officials have named a driveway in front of town hall Robert F. Walsh Way and dedicated it to Bob Walsh, who served Howell as a mayor and member of the Township Council for more than a decade.

Walsh, who is a native of Manalapan, and his family have lived in Howell for more than 25 years.

In November 2005, he won an election to complete an unexpired term on the council and began his public service. In November 2006, Walsh ran for council as an independent candidate and won a new term.

In November 2008, he was elected mayor and served from January 2009 through December 2012. He returned to a position as a councilman in 2013 and served through 2018.

Walsh has been dealing with a medical issue since 2018 and did not seek re-election last year. He joined officials at the municipal complex on May 9 for the naming ceremony.

Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell said Walsh is one of the few people she knows who will never need an introduction.

She cited Walsh’s “selfless acts, his many years of dedication to our community and his family. We have had good leaders through the years … I think by virtue of the fact of the people standing here, we know he is very loved.”

O’Donnell said the council misses his guidance from the dais, adding, “Through the years, there are sometimes a few people who make a lasting impression on a district, a township, a community. The man who stands before you today is one of those people. We are very fortunate to have had him serve.”

Walsh thanked officials for the honor, saying, “I am very happy to have lived in Howell all these years, to serve was just a little icing on the cake. I found where I wanted to live years ago … I told my wife that night that I found a place we would like to have good time raising our family. About a week later I bought the property. I have been in Howell ever since and if I have it my way I will never leave.”

Councilman Thomas Russo could not attend the ceremony, but sent the following statement: “Bob, it was the honor of a lifetime to have had you as a running mate and even more of an honor to call you my friend. The years you gave to Howell speak volumes to the kind of public servant you are.

“People may disagree with you, but they always know where you stand. You pull no punches, which is a rare trait in a public servant. Your love for our hometown was always crystal clear. You were Trump before Trump; a true original I am proud to have had the opportunity to run a tough campaign with.

“Thank you for the years of dedication to our hometown. Thank you to Mrs. Walsh and the rest of your family for allowing you to serve us. We were lucky to have had you. I’ll see you at the gym,” Russo said.