ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — At the borough reorganization meeting New Year’s Day, two incumbent Republican council members and the Republican mayor were sworn in. This is the fifth year that the makeup of the borough governing body has remained the same.
Frederick J. Rast III was sworn in for his second four-year term as mayor (and, as he said during the campaign, likely his last term as an elected official), joining his GOP colleagues, veteran Councilmen John Archibald Jr. and Peter Doyle, who each took the oath for another three-year term on the six-member council. The council consists of a 4-2 split with Republicans retaining the majority, with all six members remaining the same for these past five years.
It is, said Rast, “a governing body that has put aside all political ambitions and has worked side by side with our professional town employees to Keep Atlantic Highlands as great as it truly is.”
That cordiality and cooperation appeared to be in evidence in the votes on the annual appointments. The council voted unanimously on all appointments, again naming Bernard Reilly as borough attorney and giving enthusiastic support to have Adam Hubeny continue as borough administrator.
The council also reappointed Thomas Fallon as auditor and John Draikowitz as municipal bond counsel.
Republican Jacob Hoffmann was installed as council president.
At last year’s reorganization meeting, the only dissention occurred when the two Democrats, Roy Dellosso and Robert Sutton, expressed objections to naming Christine Giordano Hanlon as the municipal prosecutor; the two said they preferred to keep the former one, James Butler.
But this year, they voted to endorse Hanlon, with Dellosso telling Hanlon, who was in the audience, “I think you’ve done a great job this year.”
Butler was named as the alternate prosecutor, replacing last year’s appointment, Michael Halfacre.
Rast in his remarks told the audience they live in a wonderful community, one that embraces the best elements of a small town (and criticizing those who derided those qualities and who have dismissed the borough as “Mayberry, U.S.A.). “As a lifelong resident of the town, nothing makes me happier than seeing families and their dogs continually walking our main street,” he said. “New babies and puppies always are signs of a happy community.”
“Yes, things are expensive,” he said, “but things are good.” And adding his endorsement of the work he and the council have been doing, he added, “At least we get the best bang for our buck that we can expect.”
If you liked this story, you’ll love our newspaper. Click here to subscribe