By WILLIAM CLARK
The Ocean Township Council appointed Kelly Terry to take the vacant position left by former Mayor Chris Siciliano, who resigned to take a position with the county. It’s the first time the council has had two women members.
John Napolitani, who had been serving as deputy mayor and was sworn in as mayor last week, said that the governing body interviewed “five very dynamic candidates,” but ultimately decided on Terry.
“Kelly Terry has an impressive resume along with a lot of activism and involvement among the the township of Ocean,” Napolitani said. “I like the fact that Terry likes to ask a lot of questions and get to really understand what’s being asked and what the role is of an elected official.”
Siciliano was sworn in two weeks ago as county superintendent of elections.
A lifelong resident of Ocean Township, Terry is currently a project manager for the Department of the Army. Terry also runs the Mya Lin Terry Foundation, a local non profit for pediatric cancer in honor of her late daughter. The foundation has given over $10 million since its founding 10 years ago.
As for her new duties as a public official, Terry said she is going to ease into her role.
“For one, I have to acclimate myself to local politics,” Terry said. “This is my first stint in politics.”
Terry appreciates that the council is bipartisan and will not feel pressure from one side or the other. She also said she wants to help communicate to her new constituents about the intricacies of finances at the township level.
“As a resident that’s now going to be on the council, I would like a proper balance between quality of life and generating revenue,” Terry said.
Terry said that she understands the confusion some people have at how money is generated and spent and wants to “convey how the tax process works.”
She said she may need to reach into her other love in life to make tax policy sound interesting: metal music. The 55-year-old still goes to concerts although her years in the mosh pit have passed.
In addition to swearing in Terry, Napolitani was named mayor to replace Chris Siciliano. Napolitani thanked Sen. Vin Gopal, Commissioner Director Tom Arnone and Assemblywoman Kim Eulner for attending the swearing in of himself and Terry, emphasizing how important working together is in the non-partisan Ocean Township.
Napolitani said when he began his role in public office, he was told. “It’s all about representing the people,” he said.
The position of deputy mayor will be filled at a future meeting as the council did not want to interfere with the other swearing in ceremonies.
Congratulations were sent around to Terry and Napolitani from the members of the dais with Councilwoman Margie Donlon saying that she welcomed having Terry on the council.
“I can’t believe it’s 2022 and it’s the first time we’re having two women on the Ocean Township Council,” Donlon said. “It is history making and I’m happy that you’re a part of that.”