SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Acting Mayor Mary DePaola was approved by a unanimous Council vote and sworn in as Mayor on Monday evening, to complete the vacancy left by Nancy Malool’s resignation last month. DePaola will complete the balance of the Mayoral term, which ends on December 31, 2012.
Democratic Councilman Mickey Marcus presented a review of the processes taken to present candidates for the position, where the Republican Committee selected three names for the Council to consider. The other two candidates presented were Edward Saridaki , a Republican candidate for council, and Llewellyn Jones, a member of the Scotch Plains Republican Committee. He then clarified the Democratic support for a Republican candidate, saying that the selection was “straightforward” due to the fact that DePaola was currently the acting Mayor and he believed that the person selected should be a current member of the Council as well.
“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… 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,” said Councilman Marcus.
“I am very pleased with how thing went last night,” said DePaola. “Councilman Markus chose to make things go smoothly and I feel like he has the best interests of the City of Scotch Plains at heart. He is a long term resident and he really does want what is best for the town and he has shown he is above playing politics just for the sake of playing”.
“I think it shows that it is possible to build consensus on the council, which is a good thing, considering that we have enough going on right now, without further contention. Number one priority is getting someone in in to take over management of the town, and we also need to fill the Council seat made vacant by my becoming Mayor,” said DePaola. “The other priority is to continue talks with Fanwood regarding the potential merger of our police departments.”
Bill McClintock, Chairman of the Republican Committee, was please with the outcome of the brief public meeting. “ I thought it was a wonderful outcome. It’s been a little bit of a struggle to get to here, but it was nice that the Democrats seconded the nomination and had some nice words to say as well”.
“The Republican committee is meeting again next Monday and we will select three names for Council and hopefully at the June 19 meeting the Council will make a selection and things will go as smoothly as the Mayoral selection. I think Mary will do a great job as Mayor,” concluded McClintock