SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Democrat and Zoning Board of Adjustment member Kenneth Bierman is now on the Township Council.

Council members unanimously voted Tuesday night to appoint Bierman to fill the seat vacated after Chris Killmurray was appointed mayor April 11 following the death of Mayor Frank Gambatese.

“I’ll do my best,” Bierman said after taking the dais and being welcomed by the other members.

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Gambatese, 81, passed away March 25 in the middle of his fourth term in office.

Killmurray, who was deputy mayor at the time, was elevated at the April 11 council meeting, giving the governing body and township Democrats 15 days to then fill his vacant council seat.

A pool of 11 candidates, including three members of the Board of Education, Azra Baig, Deven Patel and Arthur Robinson, screened for the seat during a Democratic Committee meeting Monday night.

The Democrats picked three of the 11 and then selected Bierman to serve on the panel.

Both Killmurray and Bierman will run for the seat in an off-year general election in November, and if they win, again in 2018 during the normal election cycle for those four-year seats.

The Republicans are now looking for candidates to run for those seats in November.

Council members also unanimously appointed Democratic Councilman Charles Carley as deputy mayor.

Bierman was immediately sworn into office by Township Clerk Barbara Nyitrai.

The council also introduced its 2017 municipal budget with a unanimous vote, and tentatively scheduled a public hearing and final adoption in late May.

Financial Office Joe Monzo said the council “is in the middle” of the budget process as it works to pare down a potential 3.8-cent per $100 of assessed valuation increase.

The council conducted several budget meetings during the past two months and will continue to look at the spending plan before it is finalized, members said.

If adopted as is, the plan would increase property taxes by $76 for the owner of a home assessed at $200,000. Did you like this story?

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