Government

Somerville Council Elects Newcomer Steve Peter as President Over Objections of Mayor

eb49518fd303b0dd32c4_sompixstevepeter.JPG
Newly-sworn Councilman Steve Peter was elected president of the Somerville Borough Council over the objections of Mayor Brian Gallagher. 
75eba19448f453dad9a8_sompixbriangallagher.jpg
Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher objected to the election of newly-sworn Steve Peter as council president.
eb49518fd303b0dd32c4_sompixstevepeter.JPG

SOMERVILLE, NJ – More than once during yesterday’s annual reorganization meeting, Mayor Brian Gallagher spoke with pride about the bi-partisan good will on the borough council that has helped to encourage progress, bolster redevelopment and boost the borough’s image and fortunes.

But for just a few minutes, politics came to the forefront in full public view and bi-partisanship was shoved aside in favor of raised voices and wrangling over election of a new council president.

The Democratic majority on the council pushed back against the Republican mayor’s choice for borough president, electing newcomer Steve Peter as its new president.

Sign Up for E-News

The contentious vote came just a few minutes after Peter took the oath as the borough’s newest council member in front of several hundred people who attended the meeting held in the auditorium of Somerville High School.

He replaces Robert Wilson, who resigned to become a Superior Court judge last month.

Council member Jane Kobuta interrupted the mayor as he made a motion to nominate Councilman and fellow Republican Ken Utter as council president.

“I have not yielded the floor,” Gallagher snapped back.

Kobuta raised her voice to remind Gallagher that it is the council’s responsibility to nominate its president.

Gallagher’s move to nominate Utter was defeated along party lines, with Kobuta, Thompson Mitchell, Dennis Wilson and Peter voting no. The Democrats then nominated Peter, who was approved 4-2 along party lines. Utter and fellow Republican Councilman Jason Kraska voted no.

Gallagher said Peter was more than capable to serve as president, but objected to his inexperience as a member of council.

“You need a year of experience to be able to facilitate things,” Gallagher said.

Before assuming his position on the borough council, Peter had served as a board member of the Downtown Somerville Alliance which directs development and infrastructure improvements and governs the landlords and merchants on Main Street.

He is a project and systems manager at Princeton University Press.

Peter dismissed the face off with the mayor said he’ll have no problem working in a bi-partisan spirit with Gallagher.

The new council president and Gallagher did agree on one thing afterwards.

“It’s just politics,” they both said. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 14, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Carousel_image_0a79b254f45583c80861_048

Wed, August 22, 8:30 AM

American Legion Post 253, Spotswood

Bus Trip to AC Air Show

Giving Back Other

Wed, August 22, 8:30 AM

American Legion Post 253, Spotswood

Bus Trip to AC Air Show

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 17, 2018

 

TRENTON, NJ – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in New Jersey, leading to chronic lung disease, heart disease, stroke and cancer,” said New ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...