On Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 6:00 P.M. the Somerville Borough Council will conduct
public interviews of the three Republican candidates for Interim Mayor.
With cameras in the room from VilleTV and SoVille, the Somerville public will have an
opportunity to “meet” the candidates and gain a bit of insight into who they are and what they
Regrettably, this did not happen with the selection of a deserving Ran D Pitts as Councilman
to replace Steve Peter. At the special Council meeting on January 8, 2018, the all-Democrat
Council voted without public interview to appoint Councilman Pitts. With those same two
cameras in the room, the public had no opportunity to find out who the three candidates are
and for what they stand. The first major decision made by the new Council was made behind
closed doors, a frightening prospect for the year to come.
The candidates for Interim Mayor to be interviewed on Tuesday are Ellen Brain, Hank Werner,
and former Councilman Jason Kraska.
Ellen Brain has been a member of the Board of Adjustment since 2005, served on the Library
Board and the Regional Animal Shelter. She is an adjunct English professor at Raritan Valley
Community College following a long and productive corporate career.
Hank Werner has been a police officer since March of 1990, currently serving on the Bernards
Township Police Force assigned to patrol, traffic, community policing, and teaching the Law
Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) program at the middle school.
Jason Kraska served on Somerville Borough Council from March of 2015 to December 31,
2017 acting as Police Commissioner, Liaison to DPW, Recreation, Youth Services, Municipal
Alliance, Regional Center Partnership, Gaston Ave Redevelopment, Complete Streets, and
Board of Health. He started Annual Turkey Trot 5K, raising over $10,000.00 thus far for
Somerville senior recreation programs. He also spearheaded the initiative to revitalize South