Following a unamious vote by the Scotch Plains Town Council, Deputy Mayor Mary DePaola was sworn in as the acting mayor on Monday, June 4. DePaola will serve out the remainder of , which ends on December 31.
“I am really happy with tonight’s outcome,” DePaola said. “I am glad that the gentlemen who were here tonight chose not to prolong this process and are dedicated to working for the people Scotch Plains and making this transition smoother for all.”
Prior to the vote, Councilman Mickey Marcus reviewed . The three candidates put forth to the Council were Mary DePaola; Edward Saridaki, a Republican candidate for council; and Llewellyn Jones, a member of the Scotch Plains Republican Committee.
As the only Democratic member of Council present that evening (Councilman Glover was ill and unable to attend), Marcus gave a speech further explaining his decision to support a vote for DePaola to fill the mayoral vacancy.
“To me the choice is very straightforward. Mary DePaola has served as Deputy Mayor of the Council for the past two years. She has been called upon to serve as the acting mayor due to the vacancy occurring in that position.
I believe that the person selected as the successor to fill the vacancy of the office of Mayor should be a current member of the town council. The other two nominees are not current members of the town council.
I also know Mary DePaola personally. She is my colleague on the council and I have served with her since the time I was elected. We have a good and mutually respectful relationship. I do not personally know the other two nominees. These are very good reasons why I support appointing Mary DePaola as a nominee to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the seven month term.
This decision has nothing to do with the election in November. In my view, there is no reason to prolong this process any further. I believe that this is in the best interest of our town that this nomination to appoint Mary DePaola as Mayor should be supported in order to facilitate an orderly process to fill the vacancy of the Mayor’s office in our town council. For all of these reasons, I will vote to approve Mary DePaola to fill this vacancy.”
Councilman Vastine did not give such a speech; however, he did express his support for DePaola before addressing the rest of the evening’s agenda.
“I believe that given the issues we will face in the next few months, preserving continuity on the council makes the most sense,” Vastine said. “I want to acknowledge my colleague Councilman Marcus for his willingness to look beyond party lines and do what is best for the township.”
Now that there is a vacant council seat, the Scotch Plains Republican Committee will have to undergo the same legal process to fill that seat. The Republican Committee will select three candidates in the next fifteen days. The Council will then have fifteen days to vote on an individual to fill the council vacancy until the end of the term. To read more about this legal process, click .
After the meeting, DePaola, now the Mayor of Scotch Plains reaffirmed what she hopes to achieve in the next seven months as Mayor.
“Our first priority is to hire a good manager who is committed to staying with us for many years,” DePaola said. “We also have to fill the vacant Council seat which means the Republican Committee and the Council will have to undergo the same process. We are also working steadily to negotiate a police merger. That is our next goal.”