Jim Cahill is the 62nd Mayor of the City of New Brunswick. He has served continuously as Mayor since 1991. During his tenure as Mayor, New Brunswick has experienced an unprecedented wave of growth and investment that has transformed this once declining industrial City into a thriving 21st Century Urban Center. Mayor Cahill spurred collaborations among the private sector, the City’s health institutions, Rutgers University, Middlesex County, and the City’s redevelopment partner, the New Brunswick Development Corporation, to propel the New Brunswick Renaissance forward with more than $3 billion invested in the construction of new residential, retail, office, educational and healthcare facilities.
Today, these projects provide significant tax relief to homeowners by generating over $22 million in annual revenue to financially support government and community services and public schools. Mayor Cahill also worked to create new housing and homeownership opportunities throughout the City and provide funds for low and moderate-income residents to make needed repairs to their existing homes. Since Mayor Cahill took office, over 4,000 market-rate and affordable homes have been built or rehabilitated citywide, helping New Brunswick become New Jersey’s fastest growing urban center, according to the 2010 Census. These economic successes have fueled tremendous job growth in New Brunswick. With over 7,000 new jobs created for New Brunswick residents over the past 10 years, the City’s annual unemployment rate is the lowest for New Jersey’s urban centers, despite a national recession.
Under Mayor Cahill, New Brunswick has emerged as the State’s premier Health Care City. New Brunswick is home to internationally renowned researchers, practitioners and facilities including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital and the PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital. Partnerships cultivated with these institutions have resulted in a dynamic outreach network that brings its health care services directly into City neighborhoods to the most vulnerable and traditionally underserved populations.
New Brunswick has also experienced an unprecedented drop in crime with the number of crimes cut in half. Mayor Cahill has increased the size of the New Brunswick Police Department and increased the scope of its mission by instituting programs such as DARE, GREAT, Crime Watch, National Night Out, Anti-Crime Unit, bicycle patrols, and marine patrol unit. The New Brunswick Police Department has also achieved accreditation and adheres to the best policies and practices in the nation.
Mayor Cahill has supported the preservation of open space and the development of new parks and recreational facilities for all ages such as Recreation Park, the Youth Sports Complex, Alice Jennings Archibald Park, the Raritan River Conservation Area, the HUB Teen Center and an the expansion of the New Brunswick Senior Citizen Resource Center. New Brunswick has also expanded its after-school programming in all its elementary schools. Mayor Cahill received the Community Leadership Award in 2006 from the New Jersey School Aged Care Coalition for his strong support of after-school programs.
Mayor Cahill has also worked to improve educational opportunities in New Brunswick. He helped create an innovative school construction strategy for neighborhood redevelopment with the Lord Stirling School, which came to be seen as a model for new school construction statewide. Following this same model, construction of the new, New Brunswick High School began in 2007 with the doors opening to students in 2010. The Small Learning Communities at this $185 million facility provide opportunities for in-depth career exploration and training in the following Institutes: STEM, Human and Public Services and Fine, Visual and Performing Arts.
In 2015, working with the School Development Authority and the City’s Board of Education and then-Superintendent of Schools, Richard Kaplan, Mayor Cahill opened the doors of the new 101,000 sq. foot A.C. Redshaw Elementary School and secured funding for an addition plus renovations to the Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts. Mayor Cahill was also instrumental in the opening of both the Greater Brunswick Charter School and the New Brunswick Health Sciences Technologies High School, the only school in New Jersey with a focus on training students for careers in the healthcare industry or to pursue an advanced degree in medical fields of study.
Mayor Cahill’s focus on widespread health and wellness for all New Brunswick residents has yielded a number of initiatives in conjunction with community partners, including the City’s Parks and Gardens Commission, the Wellness Plaza, Healthier New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, New Brunswick Ciclovia, Breakfast After the Bell and the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market.
This expanded focus on wellness also led to the City’s establishment of its Complete Streets policy in May 2012, a strategic plan intended to make New Brunswick safer and more accessible for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. This has entailed the installation of miles of bike lanes and sharrows (shared lane markings) and bicycle corrals to provide cyclists with safer travel routes.
Pedestrian improvements include the installation of flashing crosswalks in various neighborhoods, curb extensions to shorten distance when crossing some of the City’s busy neighborhood streets, and pylons to increase visibility at street corners.
Mayor Cahill is a lifelong resident of New Brunswick. He was educated at St. Peter’s Elementary and High Schools and earned an Associates Degree from Middlesex County College. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law Justice from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall School of Law.
His professional memberships include the New Jersey Bar Association, the Middlesex County Bar Association and the New Brunswick Bar Association, for which he is a past president. He is a past member of the New Jersey Supreme Court District Ethics Committee, and the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Tax Court. Mayor Cahill’s public service career began in 1980 when he was named Assistant City Attorney for the City of New Brunswick. He served in that capacity until he was sworn into the Mayor’s Office in January 1991.
Mayor Cahill and his wife Laura are the proud parents of their daughter Rebecca, son in-law Michael and grandsons Colton and Harrison, son Casey and daughter in-law Lindsay.