FLEMINGTON, NJ – Al Brewer has been chosen to replace Carla Tabussi on Borough Council.

Tabussi resigned on March 16 after serving on council for about 15 months. Tabussi cited health as the reason for her departure.

“It’s her decision, and we respect that,” Mayor Phil Greiner said at tonight’s regular meeting of council.

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Council members praised Tabussi’s work. Council President Brian Swingle said that serving on council “is a second full-time job” that often requires 30 or more hours of work per week, work that Tabussi didn’t shy away from. Councilman Marc Hain agreed, noting that Tabussi often gave him a thick stack of notes regarding projects they were working on jointly. “She’s very detail oriented,” he said.

“She leaves tremendously large shoes” to fill, Swingle said.

Brewer was chosen over the other two nominations made for the position by the borough’s Republican Committee, which also offered Pete Cocco and Steve Tuccio as candidates for the job.

Brewer has sometimes been a controversial figure. He most recently served on the Flemington-Raritan school board, from which he resigned just a few days ago. Council members are not permitted to serve on both bodies simultaneously.

As a school board member, Brewer chafed at board policies that limited his ability to speak freely with the press. He and the board also had disputes about how school board members’  mail was handled and details regarding school security. The acrimony led to an ethics complaint being filed against Brewer with the state Department of Education, but Brewer said the complaint has since been withdrawn.

Brewer thanked council for its selection, and called Tabussi “a great councilwoman, and an even better friend.”

But, Brewer added, he wasn’t concerned about filling her large shoes. “I’m a size 13,” he quipped.

This article was updated on March 29 to accurately reflect the status of the state Department of Education ethics complaint.