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Montgomery Has a New Deputy Mayor and a New Committee Member

The Montgomery News Staff | Posted November 11, 2022

Montgomery Township Committee elected Neena Singh as the new deputy mayor and appointed Patricia Taylor Todd, esquire, as a township committee member on Thursday to replace Shelly L. Bell, who resigned from her position last week to take a job with Somerset County. Singh is the first Sikh to serve as a governing official of a municipality in New Jersey.

From left: Montgomery Deputy Mayor Neena Singh, Mayor Devra Keenan, Former Deputy Mayor/Committee Member Shelly L. Bell, New Jersey Assembly Member Sadaf Jaffer (a former Montgomery mayor), and newly appointed Committee Member Patricia Todd.

Deputy Mayor Neena Singh

Deputy Mayor Singh is the first Sikh to serve as a governing official of a municipality in New Jersey, as well as the first to serve as a deputy mayor. She was initially appointed to the Montgomery Township Committee in 2021 to fill the unexpired term of Committeewoman Catherine Gural (D).

In her professional life, Singh works as a senior partner with Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty in Belle Mead. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and English literature from Kurukshetra University in India.

Singh has lived in Montgomery for 26 years. Her husband Paramjit Singh runs a life sciences consulting company. Their three children all graduated from Montgomery High School: Daughter Natasha (PharmD) is now a director of clinical safety for Genentech; Daughter Prianka (PharmD; MS in public health) is now a director of global health economics for Bristol Myers Squibb; and their son Sahib is a neuroscientist at Boston University School of Medicine.

Committee Member Patricia Taylor Todd

Mayor Devra Keenan nominated Todd to fill the vacant seat on Montgomery Township Committee left by Bell. Todd, who is also a member of the Montgomery Planning Board, is an attorney who is married to Montgomery School Board Vice President Patrick Todd. (Yes Patrick and Patricia). They have two children: Cameron, 23 and Evan, 16.

Patricia Todd is employed as Chief Executive Director (CEO) for diversity, legal and regulatory affairs, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Ethics Officer for the State of New Jersey. According to LinkedIn, she was recruited as chief legal officer to the Chairperson/CEO and legal liaison to the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, while simultaneously acting as EEO, ethics and compliance officer for the agency.

Through executive oversight to the Commission’s Division of Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action (EEO/AA); Office of Diversity Programs (ODP), and Division of Regulatory and Appeals (DARA), she designed and implemented landmark programs to promote and increase diversity and inclusion in the state workforce. She also provides leadership for key legal and regulatory initiatives includes Diversity in Law Enforcement, State as A Model Employer of Persons with Disabilities (SAME), and N.J. Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines.

Patrick and Patricia Todd

She previously served as assistant general counsel for Jersey City Public Schools in the 1990s. Represented the district in administrative, civil and appellate litigation. Resolved or litigated tenure, special education, and civil service matters and jury trials, with virtually 100% success. Accomplished limitation of district special education expenditures by successful defense or negotiated settlement of classification and placement decisions. Involved in issues surrounding negotiation and administration of the district’s several collective bargaining agreements.

She earned her juris doctor degree from Rutgers Law School in 1991 and her bachelor's degree in political science from Temple University in 1988.

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Former Deputy Mayor Shelly L. Bell

Mayor Keenan and township committee passed the following resolution on Thursday:

WHEREAS, a community derives its strength from people who endeavor to help others and contribute to the public good; and WHEREAS, Shelly L. Bell has worked diligently on behalf of Montgomery Township residents during her years of service to the Montgomery service; and WHEREAS, Committeeperson Bell left public office in October of 2022, having served Montgomery Township in the following capacities: Deputy Mayor – 2022 Board of Health – 2021 One Montgomery – 2020 Shade Tree Committee – 2021 Youth Advisory Council – 2021, 2022 Planning Board Member – 2019, 2020 Township Committee Member – 2021, 2022 Inclusion and Equity Committee Liaison – 2021, 2022 Recreation Committee, Township Committee Liaison - 2021 Landmarks Commission, Township Committee Liaison – 2022 Montgomery/Rocky Hill Municipal Alliance/Youth Services Liaison - 2021 WHEREAS, during her years of service, Shelly faithfully performed the duties and obligations of the office, and has given her utmost to the residents of Montgomery; and WHEREAS, much of Shelly’s focus has been on establishing and strengthening community relationships by establishing events such as Coffee with a Cop, celebrating Juneteenth, and for rallying support for Ukraine, and for the Asian community after the 2021 Atlanta Spa terrorist shootings; She also led the search and transition for our new Township Administrator; and WHEREAS, Shelly L. Bell has set a standard for excellence in public service with her civility, humility, determination, dedication and sense of humor. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the Montgomery Township Committee on behalf of the people of Montgomery, express our deepest appreciation to the Honorable Shelly L. Bell for outstanding service to our community, and extend a fond farewell and warmest wishes for the future to Shelly on this 10th day of November 2022.


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