HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—With a year and half remaining on his term in the tiny borough's largest office, Democrat Gary Minkoff resigned Tuesday June 10 to take advantage of an unspecified professional opportunity.
Minkoff's abrupt departure calls into effect state laws that put the burden of finding a replacement on two different organizations, one political and one governmental.
Because Minkoff is a Democrat, the Highland Park Democratic Committee has fifteen days to select and submit three candidates to the Boro Council, which then has thirty days to select a new Mayor.
The Democratic Committee is comprised of 26 elected members from throughout the borough, and the Boro Council consists of six members including Acting Mayor Padraic Millet.
Longtime Democrat Chair Bruce Morgan told New Brunswick Today he was confident the committee will help find someone who is a good fit for the unique town.
"Weve been fortunate to have a series of good mayors, and I'm sure we will find somebody else who will serve the town and serve the town well," Morgan said.
The next mayor will serve without having to face a public election until 2015, when Minkoff's term was set to expire.
The interviews are being held tonight, June 16, at 7pm in the Pride Center, 85 Raritan Avenue, Suite 100 in Highland Park.
Morgan did not say he knew of any front-runners or definite candidates, but he said he was confident the democratic process would be respected.
"We take this seriously," said Morgan.
The only requirements to serve as mayor are that you must be a US citizen age 18 or older and have lived in the town for one year or more.
According to the flyer posted on the organization's Facebook page, "All interested parties should attend this meeting… and be prepared to present their current resume to the Committee at that time."
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.