BELMAR — The borough mayor and council nominated a new council member and voted for new council president at their meeting Tuesday night to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Council President Thomas Brennan that went into effect as of May 31.
Caitlin Donovan has been sworn in as the new council member, with Councilman Mark Levis being nominated and voted in as new council president.
Councilwoman Donovan was one of the three candidates selected by the Belmar Democratic Committee, alongside Ellen Ramey and Donna Falk. She was nominated by Councilwoman Maria Rondinaro, who announced the submitted names from the committee at the start of the meeting. Mayor Gerald Buccafusco seconded this nomination.
This was unanimously approved with Councilwoman Jodi Kinney’s affirmative vote, who was the only other council member present at the start of the meeting. Councilman Levis was absent.
“Welcome and congratulations to Councilwoman Donovan, I have full confidence you’ll be a great addition to our council,” Councilwoman Rondinaro said at the start of her council report later in the meeting. “Thank you for giving your time, your energy and experience to serve our borough.”
Councilwoman Donovan was sworn into council after her nomination and joined the mayor and councilwomen as an acting member of council for the remainder of the meeting to applause from the audience.
The newly-appointed councilwoman recently ran unopposed for the Democratic slot in last week’s primary election for the one available council seat on the board, receiving 205 votes, and has recently gained notoriety in the borough for her activism in combining residential efforts against the impending Verizon 5G cell tower construction project set for Ocean Avenue.
“I’m so impressed by the grassroots effort that she has made in getting the community not only educated, but activated in the Verizon construction of the towers, and we need that type of initiative and I think she’s going to help us out,” Councilwoman Rondinaro said after the meeting.
Despite his absence, Councilman Levis was nominated and voted in as council president. He was nominated by Mayor Buccafusco and seconded by Councilwoman Rondinaro. Councilwomen Kinney and Donovan voted in favor of this nomination as well.
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