MILLVILLE – City Commission on Tuesday appointed a former panel member as the newest member of the municipality’s governing body.

James Parent replaces Joseph Derella, who resigned after being elected to the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders in November.

Mayor Tim Shannon and City Commissioners Jim Quinn and Dale Finch voted in favor of Parent’s appointment. City Commissioner David Vanaman abstained.

Vanaman said he thought there were other options, including leaving Derella’s seat open until the November election.

However, Shannon said he felt that the “seat needed to be filled.” Finch said Parent’s familiarity with city government means he can step in and do the job right away.

Parent spent 20 years on City Commission. He opted not to seek reelection in 2006.

City Commission voted Tuesday to put Parent in charge of the Department of Public Affairs. Quinn moves from supervising the Department of Public Affairs to the Department of Revenue and Finance. Derella oversaw the Department of Revenue and Finance.

Parent will serve the remainder of Derella’s term, which expires at the end of this year. The city used to hold its non-partisan elections in May, but changed to a November election this year, in part as a cost-saving measure.

Parent was one of five people – including Zoning Board member Larry DePalma, former city police Capt. Wayne Smith, and former City Commission candidates Robert McQuade and Robert Tesoroni – who submitted “letters of interest” regarding the vacancy.

Finch thanked all the city residents who applied for the position.

“They stepped forward and said they all wanted to serve the city,” he said. “They’re all qualified people.”