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People On The Move - Jarrett Engel
10/31/2010

People On The Move - Jarrett Engel



ALIVE WITH COMMUNITY SPIRIT



Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.” And Colts Neck’s Jarrett Engel has certainly embodied that  philosophy over the past 20 years. Beginning with his position on the Colts Neck First Aid Squad while still in high school and up to his current position as one of  five members on the Colts Neck Township Committee, Jarrett has always felt a strong bond to the community through his different roles in town.

“You’ve got community service and you have volunteering, and I think the two really come together,” says Jarrett, who credits his start with the First Aid Squad to  cementing his connection to Colts Neck. “Our town is very unique and there is a very strong spirit of volunteerism.”

Jarrett began his time with the First Aid Squad after not being able to relate to some of the dinner table topics his parents, who were both physicians, were discussing.  After learning that a friend’s older brother was on the Marlboro squad and inquiring about that experience, Jarrett asked his mom if he could become a cadet on the  Colts Neck unit. The answer was yes, and within weeks Jarrett was helping out at accident scenes. One particular incident, which involved a car hitting a tree and the  passenger being seriously injured (but surviving), allowed Jarrett to see how citizens can help each other. “That process of going through that First Aid call with the  other squad members enabled me to have this special bond with the First Aid squad members, with the police officers on the scene, with firefighters involved,” he  says. “There was this whole community effort, and I saw it all just work together.”

Even while attending school at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania, Jarrett continued his efforts to help others by working on Lancaster’s First Aid Squad,  where he dealt with gunshot wounds among other incidents. He also served as an EMT for the school’s football team. And in the summer while home from school he  not only continued assisting the Colts Neck squad but also worked in the emergency room at Bayshore Medical Center. Through the years, Jarrett has kept his  connection to the squad by serving as its cadet adviser, treasurer, vice president, and president. He is a squad life member and still does consecutive call nights every  two weeks.

At the end of his term as squad president, Jarrett was looking for another role in order to help out in the community. He was influenced by former Colts Neck mayor  Art Goodwin and Monmouth County Freeholder Director Lillian Burry, two of the area’s foremost volunteers, to become involved in local politics. He landed a spot  on the Colts Neck Municipal County Republican Committee and began looking at what the township committee did. That allowed Jarrett to see just how deep  community spirit ran in Colts Neck. “There was this whole world of volunteering that I didn’t know anything about. I thought it was just about firefighters and first aiders, but then I realized that our Board of Health, our Planning Board, our Zoning Board were all run by volunteers,” says Jarrett, who works full time as a corporate  account manager. “There were all these committees in town that I didn’t know existed. I figured I am hungry for community and I started getting more involved.”

After some time on the Board of Health, as well as working with the township to help create a partnership with the New Jersey Clean Energy Program and serving as  campaign manager for some local office candidates, Jarrett eventually ran for and was elected to the township committee in 2009. Next year, he will be Deputy Mayor.  If he chooses to run and is reelected in 2011, serving as Mayor traditionally follows. Following tradition, it is expected he will serve as Mayor following the 2011  election. In the meantime, he’s putting together a volunteer base that will help with fund raising efforts for the any sports and school programs that were squeezed  because of budget cuts.

Being in politics is foremost about helping the community, he maintains. “It’s all about preserving Colts Neck’s past and protecting its future,” says Jarrett, whose  wife, Jennifer is on the town’s historic preservation committee. “It’s about identifying specific problems in our community and working with the community members  to come up with solutions. It’s really a tremendous feeling when you’ve worked together and seen in action what you have done. We all volunteer together as a team.”



STATS

FAVORITE RESTAURANT

Huddy’s, Colts Neck

FAVORITE MUSICAL GROUP
Maroon 5

FAVORITE MOVIES
“Star Wars” & “Pulp Fiction”

PET PEEVE
Complainers

THREE PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
My late maternal grandmother, Dorothy, and my two daughters, Emma and Charlotte




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