BELMAR, NJ — Brian Magovern is the new mayor of Belmar — the town he has called home his entire life.
During a special meeting of the borough council on April 14, Magovern, 65, was officially sworn in by Belmar municipal judge — and longtime friend — Dennis Lavender, following a unanimous vote by the governing body to name him to the post.
He will complete the unexpired term of Matthew Doherty, who served his last day as mayor on April 10 as he settles into his new role as executive director of the state’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Belmar Democratic Chairman John Hutchinson provided the names of the party’s three current council members — Magovern, Thomas Brennan and Jennifer Nicolay — to be placed in nomination for the mayor’s seat. And with no hesitation, Nicolay and Brennan chose their colleague, with Republican Mark Walsifer concurring with their selection.
Some 100 people gathered in the council chambers for Magovern’s swearing-in, which was highlighted by his heartfelt remarks on Belmar’s small town appeal. And he quickly demonstrated how his own personal ties to the borough run deep, as do his friendships.
Magovern thanked the many friends and family members who came to mark the special occasion with him, singling out his Little League coach, several of his Little League teammates, classmates from high school and fellow Belmar lifeguards from way back when, including judge Lavender.
He recalled the time he first met Doherty, who also was in attendance. “Matt came over to my house to ask me to run for council,” he said. “I didn’t know Matt well, but I got to know him.”
Magovern also shared anecdotes about each of his fellow council members. “This is how important it is to be from a small town,” he said. “What is best for Belmar is best for me.”
Magovern will serve as mayor until the end of the year, when the winner of the borough’s mayoral election in November will assume the seat. And that match-up is likely to be Magovern on the Democratic ticket and Walsifer for the GOP. Both men are running uncontested in his respective party’s primary election on June 5.
As for Magovern’s vacated council seat, the borough council will appoint a new member from a selection of three more individuals to be provided by Democratic Chair Hutchinson.
Meet Belmar’s New Mayor: Serving the Community for Nearly 40 Years
Born and raised in Belmar, Brian Magovern has been a borough council member since 2010, serving as council president for the past five years. He also was the borough’s recreation director for 28 years, from 1979 to 2007.
As mayor, Magovern said he is committed to working with the council and all administrative departments to continue forward progress for Belmar.
In his role as a council member, he has served on the planning board, beach committee (operations and activities), tourism committee and community services committee, including youth services, recreation, senior citizen services. He also is the council liaison to the Belmar Council of Churches.
Magovern also is a member of the Belmar Historical Society, currently serving as a trustee through this year, and is director of the borough’s shade tree commission. From 2004 to 2015, he was the Belmar Geese Peace representative and dog handler.
Magovern earned his bachelor’s degree from William Paterson University, Wayne. He taught at St. Rose Grammar School for five years and then was Belmar’s recreation director until 2007. He recently retired from St. Peter’s Grammar School, Point Pleasant Beach, where he was the physical education teacher.
He was recognized as the 2007 Monmouth County Employee of the Year, 2002 Belmar Citizen of the Year and received the 1988 George Hixon Distinguished Kiwanis President Award
Brian was married to his late wife, Jane, for 40 years, and has two daughters, Meghann and Colleen, and four grandchildren, Drew, Grant, Rose and Sean.
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