With the resignation of Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher on Friday, January 5, 2018, prior to his taking the oath of office as Somerset County Freeholder, a process will begin to select his
As of the submission of his resignation, the Council President, Granville Brady, will assume the
additional position as Acting Mayor. This title affords Acting Mayor Brady limited power, with no ability to make or change Mayoral appointments. He will run meetings and oversee the process of selecting the Interim Mayor.
The Somerville Municipal Committee is empowered to select three potential candidates who will be screened by Borough Council, selecting one of the individuals to serve. This process must take place within 15 days of the day that Mayor Gallagher resigns.
The Municipal Committee met in early December and screened five potential candidates. The three who were selected are former Councilman Jason Kraska, Board of Adjustment Member Ellen Brain, and Hank Werner, Somerville resident and Bernards Township police officer.
The Interim Mayor will be sworn in following selection by Council and will serve in Interim capacity until the November, 2018 election results are certified. At that time, the candidate who won the Mayoral election will be sworn in and will serve the remainder of Mayor Gallagher’s term, ending on January 1, 2020.
The candidate who is victorious in the November, 2019 election will be sworn in on January 1, 2020, hopefully serving out a four-year term.
In addition, with the recent resignation of Councilman Steve Peter to assume his new position as Somerset County Clerk, the Somerville Democrat party has the same responsibility to fill his seat.
Somerville government will be quite interesting in the coming months and years but I have faith that everyone making these important decisions are making them in the best interest of the Borough of Somerville and its residents and businesses.