Editorial-Jan. 5, 2006

Fond farewell to longtime city councilman

By: Mae Rhine
   We say farewell — for now — to longtime Councilman John McManus, who served Lambertville faithfully for 23 years.
   Mr. McManus, citing work pressures, withdrew from the election last fall.
   In his quiet, steady way, Mr. McManus was the backbone of the City Council, lending his hard-earned experience to benefit the city.
   Mr. McManus joined the council in 1983 almost as an afterthought. He felt it was a good way to "volunteer."
   He ran for a seat on the new five-member City Council, which replaced the former three-member City Commission.
   What he didn’t know at the time could have filled volumes, he said in an interview with The Beacon this week. What he knows now could fill volumes.
   He learned the hard way. He fought unsuccessfully for five years for many things he felt were important on a council controlled fiercely by Mayor Mary Sheridan.
   When the mayor abruptly walked off the job at the beginning of 1988, he was thrust into the leadership role with no paperwork or records, which were being held by the former mayor in another office.
   But he got through that year and turned things around for the city. He stepped down with relief, allowing Frank Fuzo to take over as mayor in 1986. After Mr. Fuzo’s able first term as mayor, the city has been in the capable hands of David Del Vecchio.
   Mr. McManus has seen the city change from a small blue-collar town to a sophisticated hot spot for tourists. He adjusted accordingly, learning as he went along.
   We will miss his dedication, his loyalty, his determination.
   We can only hope, as he told The Beacon this week, that someday he might return to public office if he sees the need and has the time.