Council president will not seek reelection

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BELMAR — Borough Council President Pat Wann said Tuesday that she will not seek a second term on the council this November.

Citing personal reasons in a statement to The Coast Star, the councilwoman, who was chosen to serve as council president this year, said that her biggest accomplishments in her brief time in office are restarting the community policing initiative and police explorer program, as well as working with the borough’s Adults with Disabilities Act [ADA] Committee and Parks and Recreation committee. She will continue to serve as the council’s liaison to those bodies until the end of her term, on Dec. 31.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed tackling the many challenges we’ve had to deal with. So it is with a heavy heart, after all the good work we have done, that I will not be seeking reelection,” she said. “I really wanted to continue with this hard-working governing body, but for personal reasons, I am unable to.”

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Council President Wann was elected in 2018 as part of a slate of new Republican council members that turned the majority on the borough council in favor of the GOP.

When elected, she was part of a governing body that sought to reverse what she said was a “desperate financial situation,” which saw Belmar increase taxes for the first time in nearly a decade.

“We may not have made the most popular decisions, but we did what needed to be done,” she said.

She served on a council that received public push back on some several issues, from redevelopment of properties on Main Street, raising taxes and raising sewer rates.

While on the council, she said she was proud to be a councilwoman when the borough promoted its first female chief of police, Tina Scott, on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Of challenges she has faced, she said dealing with the coronavirus pandemic 15 months into her time in office made for a “year of frustrations questions and the fear of the unknown.”

“It was difficult for me personally, as well as our residents and businesses,” she said. “Decisions had to be made daily, even hourly. Each day brought a new challenge.

“We had to work within the governor’s [Gov. Phil Murphy] guidelines and follow specific laws.”

The borough’s Republican Party has yet to announce who they will nominate as a candidate to run in the GOP primary on June 8, the winner of which will be on the ballot for the open, three-year council seat in November.

The borough’s Democratic Party has already nominated Jerry Buccafusco to run in the party’s June 8 primary.

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