Jul 29, 2014

See Committee, Residents Spar Over Mayoral Appointment

Kevin Sullivan was appointed Chatham Township mayor by 3-2 vote at contentious reorganization meeting Friday.

Here are some clips from the Chatham Township Committee's at times contentious reorganization meeting Friday, where Committeeman Kevin Sullivan was appointed mayor for 2014 by a 3-2 vote. (Tried posting video Friday, but ran into technical difficulties.)

Committeeman Bailey Brower Jr., after responding to residents who called out from the audience questioning why Sullivan should be mayor, and following some initial confusion about his vote, cast the deciding vote for Sullivan.

Newly sworn in Committeeman Curt Ritter, who was appointed deputy mayor at the meeting, also by a 3-2 vote, supported Sullivan.

Sullivan is starting his second year on the governing body.

Committee members Katherine Abbott and Robert Gallop voted against Sullivan's appointment as mayor. They voted to have Gallop, who is starting his third, three-year term, serve as mayor, and to have Abbott serve as deputy mayor, which the other three members opposed.

Gallop and Abbott read statements outlining each other's experience and accomplishments before the votes for mayor and deputy mayor were taken.

Before the vote for deputy mayor, Ritter gave a statement outlining his experience and accomplishments, and said he was the highest vote-getter in the June Republican primary without any endorsements from elected officials or media.

Sullivan is starting his second year on the Township Committee. Gallop, who was re-elected in November, is starting his third, three-year term.

Nicole Hagner, whose term was up at the end of the year, served as Chatham Township's mayor the past several years until letting Brower serve as mayor for the month of December. Brower said it was an honor to serve as mayor, but he can be more effective as a committeeman.

Sullivan, in his mayor's address Friday, said he is honored and looks forward to working with all the members of the Township Committee. He also invited residents to talk with him about his qualifications.

"The township is the oldest form of government in New Jersey and as such, we are a committee of equals," he said. "I believe as a town we are fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals serving on this committee."

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