Other NJ News

Republican Ellen Brain Appointed First Woman Mayor of Somerville by Council Democrats

55f3c4ab8224c76a33e1_sompixbrainbrady.JPG
Newly-appointed Somerville Mayor Ellen Brain talks with Granville Brady, council president,after she was sworn to office Tuesday night. Credits: Rod Hirsch
7e84979109be34084f6d_sompixbrainoneil.JPG
Republican Ellen Brain reacts to her selection as appointed mayor by the all-Democratic Borough Council at Tuesday night's meeting. Retired firefighter Richard O'Neill is at right. Credits: Rod Hirsch
184b1e3242d3db068186_sompixbrainsullivan.JPG
Ellen Brain is congratulated by Borough Councilman Dennis Sullivan while Councilwoman Jane Kobuta looks on. Credits: Rod Hirsch
5ab555d8675453db08f0_sompixbrainswearingin.JPG
Borough Clerk Kevin Sluka administers the oath of office to Somerville Mayor Ellen Brain, a Republican. Her friend Roberta Karpinecz, a Democrat, holds the Bible. Both were on the library board. Credits: Rod Hirsch
55f3c4ab8224c76a33e1_sompixbrainbrady.JPG

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Ellen Brain, a former AT&T executive who has served on the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and is an adjunct professor at Raritan Valley Community College, is the new Republican mayor of Somerville and the first woman to serve as mayor since the borough was incorporated in 1909.

“I’m delighted and I’m honored,” she said Tuesday night before she was sworn in to the office by Borough Clerk Kevin Sluka. Afterwards, she said “I’m shocked.”

She was one of three Republican candidates interviewed for the open position by the six members of the all-Democratic Borough Council during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Sign Up for E-News

The others were former Republican councilman Jason Kraska and Bernards police officer Hank Werner.

“I was sure it was not going to be me,” she said. “First, I’m a woman, and to have a Republican as the first woman mayor of Somerville carries a bit of prestige to it, and Jason and Hank were both excellent candidates."

The Democrats, however, did not let that influence their decision.

“The people who are on Borough Council are bigger-minded than that; they’re all Democrats, I’ve known them for years, I like them all, yes, they are Democrats, but that doesn't mean anything to me, whether a person has a D or an R after their name.”

Each of the three was interviewed for 20 minutes at the beginning of the meeting before the borough council took up routine matters on its regular agenda. The six members of the council – Granville Brady, president; Dennis Sullivan, Jane Kobuta, Thompson Mitchell, Fred Weid V and RanD Pitts - retired to an executive session, closed to the public, to deliberate. They returned about 15 minutes later to announce their selection of Brain.

As appointed mayor, Brain will fill out the next ten months of former Mayor Brian Gallagher’s unexpired term. Gallagher resigned Jan. 5 after serving 14 years as mayor to be sworn in to a three-year term as a Somerset County Freeholder.

She will serve in office until the results of the upcoming November, 2018 elections are certified. At that time, whoever wins the election will be sworn to office, and serve until the end of 2019.

Brain, 66, is single and a resident of Altamont Place; she has lived in the borough for 30 years. She is a “Jersey girl,” born in Bayonne and has lived in the state her entire life. She traveled extensively during her 25-year career with AT&T.

She was also a teacher in North Plainfield public schools for 10 years.

She described herself as “friendly, not adversarial.”

“I’m not a career politician but I’m a very good leader; I’ve been told that by people that have worked for me and my bosses,” she said. “People think that I’m kind and that goes a long way,” she added.

Brain also said she is pragmatic, but expects to have some impact during her ten months in office.

“I’m not a seat-warming kind of gal,” she said. “What I’ll do is listen to what Granville and the rest of the Council has to say, collect those thoughts and then see what makes sense, what can be done,” she added. “There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit, we’ll see what can be done quickly, put together a list and start knocking things off.

“What can I do in ten months about taxes; not much, I’m a realist,” Brain said, “but if I can make a difference, I’ll look to continue,” she said, suggesting she might seek elective office in the fall.

She has run as a Republican for a seat on the Borough Council twice, losing both times.

The next few weeks will be busy for Brain. She expects to meet with Brady on Friday and make the rounds before she presides at her first Borough Council meeting Jan. 29.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Valeski: Placing Police Officers in Schools was Planned for Two Years

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In the midst of a media firestorm today, Dr. Victor Valeski, East Brunswick Superintendent of Schools, fielded questions from local and national journalists regarding the placement of armed police officers inside each of the district's K-12 buildings.  The move seemed to many as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the fear generated by the massacre of ...

Obituaries

Christina C. Sweet (Diaz) 79 years, died Monday January 1, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson University ...
Read more
- Nov 15, 2017
Phillip A. Petracca, also widely known as Filippo Neri in the Italian-American Radio and ...
Read more

Fast Break Buddy Ball Game This Saturday is a Slam Dunk for Fun

February 22, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Join East Brunswick's Fast Break Buddy Ball Team on Saturday, February 24 at 2:00 at Churchill Junior High School for their 11th Annual Findlay Urban Game Day in a celebration of mentoring, partnership, ability, and some great basketball.

Fast Break Buddy Ball gives our Buddies (players) a chance to enjoy the spotlight and showcase their newly learned ...

Wreath Laying for Local Vietnam Hero Lost 50 Years Ago Today Held in Piscataway

Childhood friends of Soldier & Family Join Mayor Brian C. Wahler, Township Councilmembers, RU Army ROTC Cadets, Local American Legion & Lake Nelson Residents Today at Park Named After Veteran

PISCATAWAY, NJ – On Feb. 18th, the 50th anniversary of the passing of Jeffrey R. Byrne, a Piscataway-raised 19-year-old who died serving in Vietnam, childhood friends of him and his family ...

Trees Have Sex? Rutgers Researchers Have All the Answers

New Brunswick, NJ - A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia. 

“They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ‘No ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Edison High School Auditorium, Edison

Free community viewing of "BAG IT" - Award ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

American Legion, South Plainfield

Boy Scout Troop 207 Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Carousel_image_3d7e35618f05795eb00f_omstbydesignnew_jpeg

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

“Olmsted By Design!” Free First-Person, Dramatic ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Thu, March 1, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, PISCATAWAY

Empowerment for the Job Search

Business & Finance

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

Height during childhood associated with increased stroke risk in adulthood

Researchers in Denmark studied the health records of more than 300,000 people born between 1930 and 1989 and found that those who were shorter than average height between ages 7 and 13 had a greater risk of stroke as adults. The results of this study were published in the February 15, 2018 issue of the journal Stroke.

Summary: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320922.php

Journal ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...