Bill Borowsky, who is running for the Point Pleasant Borough Council in this November's election, was appointed last night to fill the unexpired term of Mitchell Remig.
The council accepted Remig's letter of resignation last night with regret, with all the council members praising his service.
Remig's term was due to expire at the end of this year, and he had announced before his hiring by the the prosecutor's office that he was not planning to seek re-election in order to spend more time on his college studies and planning his career.
"He's a very ambitious young man," Mayor William Schroeder said, noting his multiple jobs as an emergency medical technician, a special police officer in Manasquan and his college studies as well. "Now he can concentrate on college more since he'll be working one job instead of two."
Borowsky, owner of Nature's Reward farm market on Bridge Avenue, was appointed by a unanimous vote of the council, but it was not without a political debate.
Before the council listened to statements from Borowsky and the others nominated to fill Remig's seat -- Joe Furmato and Pamela Snyder -- Councilman Christopher Leitner questioned whether it was a conflict for Council President Antoinette DePaola to vote on the matter, as Borowsky is her running mate in the council elections this fall.
"I know Mr. Dasti (Jerry Dasti, the borough attorney) had written an opinion that there is no legal bar to it," Leitner said, referring to a situation in 2007 where the council had to fill a vacant seat, and then-Councilwoman Susan Rogers and then-Mayor Martin Konkus raised ethical questions about voting for a replacement who was a councilmember's running mate.
"Susan Rogers had said quite vehemently that it was wrong," Leitner said. "Mayor Konkus said he would have abstained."
"I assume you do agree with your own party's position," Leitner said, referring to the fact that Rogers and Konkus both are Republicans.
"I don't know what my party's position is," DePaola said. "I will take the advice of counsel."
"I was right five years ago and I'm right now," Dasti said. "There is no conflict."
After brief statements from the three candidates, Borowsky was approved unanimously, with Leitner voting yes after drawing a comparison between voting in favor of the Republican choice to fill the spot and the mayor's appointments for the borough's professional staff.
"I don't believe it's appropriate for me to substitute my judgment for theirs, so I have to vote yes," Leitner said.