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Jonathan M. Busch

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Jonathan M. Busch
Honorable Jonathan M. Busch.jpg
35th Mayor of Metuchen
Assumed office
December 18, 2017
Personal details
Born
Jonathan Matthew Busch

(1977-01-05) January 5, 1977 (age 42)
New Brunswick, NJ, US
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kathy G. Busch (m. 2003)
Children3
ResidenceMetuchen, NJ, US
Alma materUniversity of Maryland (BA) Columbia University (MA) Rutgers Law School (JD)
OccupationEducation Lawyer

Jonathan Matthew Busch (born January 5, 1977) is an American politician and attorney, serving since 2017 as the 35th Mayor of Metuchen, New Jersey.[1] He is an education lawyer and the founder of The Busch Law Group LLC, with offices in Metuchen and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and New York City.[2] A member of the Democratic Party, Busch was appointed as Mayor on December 18, 2017, when the previous mayor, Pete Cammarano, was appointed as Chief of Staff by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.[3] On November 6, 2018, Busch was elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.[4]

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

Busch was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and earned his master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2000.[5] He earned his law degree from Rutgers Law School in Newark in 2003.

Career[edit | edit source]

Legal career[edit | edit source]

In 2003, after law school, Busch joined Saiber Schlesinger Satz & Goldstein LLC as an associate. In 2006, Busch became an associate with Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer P.A. in Woodbridge. In 2010, Busch joined the law firm of Schwartz Simon Edelstein & Celso LLC in Whippany as Counsel and became Partner in 2013.[1]

In 2014, he founded The Busch Law Group LLC in Metuchen “for the primary purpose of specializing in the representation of public school boards.”[6] The firm has 10 attorneys, offices in Metuchen, New York City and Mount Laurel and represents school districts in 18 of New Jersey's 21 counties.[2] Busch and his father, Leonard Busch, currently work together at The Busch Law Group LLC.[7]

Busch has served as the school board attorney for numerous school boards around New Jersey, including Woodbridge Township,[8] Asbury Park,[9] Sayreville,[10] Belleville,[9] Highland Park,[11] Edison Township,[12] and North Brunswick Township.[6] Busch previously served as Board Attorney for the Metuchen Board of Education and resigned upon becoming Mayor.[13]

Political career[edit | edit source]

Party Chairman (2016-17)[edit | edit source]

Busch served as Chairman of the Metuchen Democratic Organization from June 2016 until December 2017. According to the Metuchen Democrats,Busch was credited as Chairman with fostering “an inclusive local political party. He [was] a strong advocate for transparency, open meetings, and opportunities for civic engagement and discourse among Metuchen residents.”[14]

Appointment as Mayor (2017-18)[edit | edit source]

Busch was appointed and sworn-in as Mayor on December 18, 2017, by the Metuchen Borough Council to serve the term vacated by Cammarano, who left to serve as Chief of Staff to Governor Murphy.[3]

Election as Mayor (2018-Present)[edit | edit source]

Busch ran unopposed in the 2018 election held on November 6, 2018.[15] He received 4,963 votes.[4] On January 1, 2019, Busch was sworn-in by Congressman Frank Pallone Jr.[16]

Service as mayor[edit | edit source]

Local initiatives[edit | edit source]

Open government[edit | edit source]

As mayor, Busch announced his intent to promote transparency by opening communication channels between the Metuchen government and its constituents. These initiatives include holding open office hours at Borough Hall and broadcasting or live-streaming all council meetings via the Borough's local television channel, YouTube, the Borough website and Roku.[17][18]

Busch also announced a planned partnership between the borough, the Metuchen Board of Education and the Metuchen Downtown Alliance to invest in the borough's social media and television presence.[19][20][21]

Preservation and infrastructure[edit | edit source]

In August 2018, Busch announced plans to protect, preserve and restore Metuchen's Forum Theatre and develop two adjacent properties as part of a new Metuchen Arts District. In 2016, the Forum Theatre was listed by Preservation New Jersey as one of the “10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey.” Busch said that the Forum Theatre “would be preserved and restored as much as possible to its original 1928 look."[22]

On October 6, 2018, Busch joined Members of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freedholders at a press conference to announce that a $3.5 million grant from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund was allocated for the creation of the Metuchen Arts District.”[23]

Under Busch, the Borough council voted to make Metuchen one of the first towns in New Jersey to use LimeBike, a self-funding dockless bike-share program,[24] as well as for the placement of sharrows, or shared lane markings, to increase safety for bicyclists.

Under Busch, the Borough has also implemented a new signage and wayfinding system, installed new parking meters downtown and committed to the construction of a new firehouse.[25][26]

Response to national issues[edit | edit source]

ICE arrest of Roby Sanger[edit | edit source]

On January 25, 2018, Metuchen resident Roby Sanger was arrested by ICE officials after driving his daughters to school.[27] Busch appeared at a press conference that day with Governor Phil Murphy, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler and Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale at the Reformed Church of Highland Park supporting the families of multiple immigrants who were detained.[28] Busch described these events as “a local example of an unfortunate national movement that appears to target good, hard working, and family-oriented members of our communities.” Busch described Mr. Sanger as someone who “is active in our community through his church and is also a dedicated father and husband. It is our job to work for all residents, regardless of their immigration status, because we value them as friends and neighbors.”[29] Later that week, Busch helped rally over 500 Metuchen residents who called for Sanger's release from ICE detention at a march to and rally in front of Borough Hall in Metuchen.[30] In November 2018, Sanger was released from detention on bail.[31]

Responses to gun violence[edit | edit source]

In response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, Metuchen joined communities throughout the country for a “March For Our Lives” rally at Borough Hall on March 24, 2018.[32] This event was followed-up by a “National Day of Action” event by Metuchen students who walked out of Metuchen High School on April 18, 2018. Of the students’ actions, Busch said, “This generation has shown itself to be highly aware and civic minded and our future looks bright with them at the helm."[33]

After the shooting at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018, Busch immediately requested that the Metuchen Police Department provide increased security at Neve Shalom Temple in Metuchen. A multi-faith vigil was then held at Neve Shalom on October 29, 2018, with Governor Phil Murphy, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., and several religious leaders.[34]

Federal Shutdown/"It Takes A Borough"[edit | edit source]

In response to the 2018-19 United States federal government shutdown in January 2019, in an effort led by Borough Council President Linda Koskoski, Busch helped initiate a program called “It Takes a Borough” to support federal employees from Metuchen who were not being paid by their employers.[35] The program created a website to help impacted residents find support from businesses, individuals and other resources. The program offered federal workers assistance in the forms of food, discounts on local products and free lunches for children of federal workers through the School District's food service provider, among other services.[36] Busch explained that the program was designed “to serve as many of our community members as possible and maybe in the process establish a model for other communities across the state and nation."[36]

On January 18, 2019, Busch along with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman met with federal employees and called upon President Donald Trump to end the federal shutdown.[37]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "GOVERNMENT Mayor". www.metuchennj.org. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Group, The Busch Law. "The Busch Law Group". Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Metuchen names mayor to replace Cammarano". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Middlesex County Election Results". mcgisweb.co.middlesex.nj.us. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  5. "12 Aug 2000, 14 - The Central New Jersey Home News at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Edison BOE Retains Legal Counsel Under New Law Firm". TAPinto. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  7. The Busch Law Group LLC (2017-07-21), Our Philosphy, retrieved 2019-03-01
  8. Zaremba, Justin (2016-10-04). "Woodbridge High School teacher fired over 9-11 conspiracy links". nj.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "New legal representation approved for Belleville schools". North Jersey. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  10. Amaral, Brian (2014-10-13). "Sayreville suspends 7 students charged in hazing, sexual assault". nj.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  11. "Highland Park BOE challenges charter school expansion". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  12. Kent, Spencer (2016-05-19). "No restitution in 2014 Edison school fire case, report says". nj.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  13. Writer, Kathy Chang, Staff. "Metuchen school board seeks counsel". CentralJersey.com. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  14. "New Metuchen Mayor Sworn In". Edison-Metuchen, NJ Patch. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  15. "NJ elections: Democrats keep stronghold in Middlesex County". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  16. "Metuchen, Pallone, and the Reorg Within the Reorg". Insider NJ. 2019-01-02. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  17. "Metuchen outlines goals for 2019". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  18. Writer, Kathy Chang, Staff. "Metuchen Borough Council meetings now air on Facebook Live". CentralJersey.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  19. Writer, Kathy Chang, Staff. "Metuchen will partner with school and downtown officials for METV revamp". CentralJersey.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  20. Writer, Kathy Chang, Staff. "New multimedia and communications director will bring Metuchen closer to residents". CentralJersey.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  21. Writer, Kathy Chang, Staff. "Metuchen will partner with school and downtown officials for METV revamp". CentralJersey.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  22. "Metuchen looks to preserve, restore Forum Theatre". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  23. "Metuchen receives $3.5M grant for proposed arts district". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  24. "Metuchen welcomes LimeBike to the borough". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  25. "Metuchen outlines goals for 2019". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  26. "Metuchen outlines goals for 2019". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  27. Jerde, Sara (2018-01-29). "'Stop deporting dads' community demands after ICE arrests". nj.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  28. "Murphy visits Indonesian immigrant seeking sanctuary from ICE | Video". NJTV News. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  29. MetuchenLiving (2018-01-27). "Metuchen Immigrant Detainment Press Release". Metuchen Living. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  30. "Justice sought at rally for detained Indonesians". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  31. "NJ Dads Arrested By ICE After School-Drop Off Out Of Detention". Edison-Metuchen, NJ Patch. 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  32. "March For Our Lives events held through Central Jersey Saturday". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  33. "National Day of Action: Central Jersey schools ready for protest". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  34. "Police Presence Increased At Neve Shalom In Metuchen". Edison-Metuchen, NJ Patch. 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  35. "Metuchen offers furloughed federal workers discounts on website". newjersey.news12.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Government shutdown: Metuchen program aids furloughed federal workers". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  37. "Government shutdown: Central Jersey entities aiding federal employees". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved 2019-03-04.


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