Former Neptune Township Committeeman Kevin McMillan has resumed his spot on the dais after being selected to replace Committeeman Michael Brantley.
Brantley, who has been ill, was removed from his seat earlier this month.
McMillan was sworn in during the Dec. 21 committee meeting after several speakers came up and voiced their opinions on the candidates. Most comments revolved around former Board of Education Member Jason Jones. He received the highest vote total during the meeting of the township’s Democratic Committee. Former Assemblyman and Neptune Committeeman Eric Houghtaling was the final of the third candidates put forward by the Democratic Party.
Township Attorney Gene Anthony said that the process was inherently political in terms of statutory requirements to fulfill the vacant seat.
“There’s no public referendum or participation,” Anthony said. “In fact, the only participation is when you were able to speak when the resolution was proposed. And that’s by statute,” he said.
Although how many votes each candidate received was made public, Anthony said the committee is not obligated to follow any of those rankings. Their choice is independent of any influence.
Since Brantley is a member of the Democratic Party, it was up to local party leadership to put forth three names that the committee could choose from.
Jones was a contentious option based on terms that surrounded his departure from his role as business administrator with the Roselle school district.
After public comments, Committeeman Rob Lane nominated McMillan’s name for approval. Lane, Committeeman Nicholas Williams and Mayor Keith Cafferty voted yes. Deputy Mayor Tassie York abstained.
McMillan was sworn in and took his seat at the end of the dais but abstained from all votes throughout the night. McMillan and William’s seat will be up for reelection November 2024.
“Congratulations to Kevin,” Williams said. “I’m certain he will work with the rest of the committee and continue to move Neptune forward.”