After a nomination was defeated at a special meeting Thursday night, Northfield is still without a seventh council member to replace former Council President Lisa Brown.
By law, now the Atlantic County Republican Committee will decide on the new council member.
Brown, a member of the New Republican Club, resigned in June after moving out of the 1st Ward she represented.
According to statute, the Northfield Republican Club — now controlled by the New Republicans — decided after Brown’s resignation on six names to be sent to the county Republican Committee, which then selected three to be selected by council to fill Brown’s seat until November. The three chosen were retired Linwood police officer Larry Carlson, Northfield Republican chair Dennis Mahon and John Dunn.
Dunn, who is currently running for the other 1st Ward seat in the November election after defeating Tom Polistina in the Republican primary, declined to be considered to fill Brown’s seat. The Northfield Republicans then attempted to add Northfield Board of Education member Erland Chau to the list of three possible replacements, but it was past the deadline to submit his name.
At Thursday’s special meeting Carlson did not receive the four votes necessary to be appointed. Republicans Jim O’Neill and new Council President Jim Travagline voted yes, while Republicans Tim Carew, Polistina and Greg Dewees voted no and Democrat Frank Perri abstained. There was no vote taken on Mahon.
O’Neill and Travagline are New Republicans, while Carew and Polistina, both outgoing members after losing their primaries, are not. Dewees is running for re-election as a New Republican member.
Polistina said that council received no information about the candidates’ backgrounds or views, “and it would have been nice to have that.”
Perri also said he was disappointed that there was no information about their political views, adding that he would abstain because “I don’t want to try to divide one club against the other.”
Carew said that “I don’t believe this was handled properly or thoroughly by the Northfield Republican Club. It will be tough to cast a vote in the affirmative tonight.”
Dewees said that he was disappointed in how Chau’s nomination was handled, adding that “it doesn’t seem like the process is fair and everybody got a fair shake.”
Now, the county committee has 15 days to select Carlson or Mahon, and their selection will be sworn in without a council vote. Dunn could also be considered if he were to change his mind.
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