PEAPACK AND GLADSTONE NJ - The dominoes are starting to fall in Peapack & Gladstone.  This morning Mayor William Muller announced that he would not seek a second term as mayor.  This afternoon Dr. Donald Lemma, a Councilman in the twin borough, declared his intention to seek the Republican Party nomination for Mayor.

"As mayor I will continue to maintain the unique rural character of our town, and will hold the line on costs and taxes," said Lemma.

Lemma, 55, recently retired from Columbia University where he held the dual titles of CIO and Associate Dean of the Business School. Previously, Lemma served as Vice President, CIO, and a named corporate officer of two Fortune 1000 companies.  Schering Plough (now Merck) and Applied Biosystems (now Thermo Fisher). He began his career in law enforcement, having served as a patrolman in the early 1980’s in Colts Neck Township and then was appointed Deputy United States Marshal for the District of New Jersey.

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Lemma has been active in Peapack and Gladstone having served for three years on the Land Use Board, Chair of the Borough I.T. Advisory committee, President of the Board of Health, Director and Chair of the (STAB) regional sewer authority, and Fire Commissioner. He is currently Chair of the Police Committee and is will finish his three-year term as a Councilman in December.

Lemma holds three University degrees including a Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems with a specialization in cryptography. Lemma is married and lives on Mendham road. He has two adult children and enjoys hiking, high-altitude mountaineering, and adventure travel.

Lemma is in the third year of a three-year term on the borough council.  He was the top vote getter in a three-way race in 2015.

When asked what were the top two most important accomplishments of his first term, Lemma pointed to the thirty per cent reduction of the sewer use fee, and holding the line on the budget and taxes.

The Republican primary election will be held on June 5.