LINWOOD – The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to appoint Darren Matik to the council seat vacated last month by former Councilman Matthew Levinson.
Matik, 43, is the co-owner of the Pompton Lakes-based beverage brewing company, H2M Beverages. He moved to Linwood from Northfield five years ago and most recently served as the president of Linwood’s Recreation Board.
“We are extremely lucky to live in a town like this. … It’s my goal and my passion to help keep this town a wonderful place to live,” Matik said after being sworn in by Mayor Richard DePamphilis III with his wife, Brett, and 9-year-old son, Xander, by his side.
Levinson, the son of Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, was sworn in on Monday be the new chairman of the Casino Control Commission.
This was second time this year that the city council had to fill a vacant seat.
In January, Todd Gordon was appointed to fill a seat vacated by Alex Marino, who was elected to the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in November.
“They keep taking all my good people,” DePamphilis joked. “But I do think that Linwood is a town that makes sure they put strong people on council, so we do have some incredibly professional and very talented young people up here. And I think those are the kinds of things that they look for on the county level when filling positions.”
Marino was in attendance for Matik’s swearing in, but Levinson was not.
Matik’s new colleagues on council heralded him as a proven leader and “blue chipper.”
“(Linwood) couldn’t ask for a better councilman to have up here. He is interested in this community and has really rolled up his sleeves to dedicate a lot of time, talent and dollars to the town,” Gordon said
“From the moment he was appointed to the Rec. Board he went all out and did a great job … I have high hopes for him,” Councilman Elliot Beinfest said.
Matik will now have to run for reelection in November if he wants to stay in office.
“I look forward to it,” he said. “I’m extremely thankful to be given this opportunity. Not a lot of people get a chance like this, and I want to make a difference.”
Matik’s tenure in office did not get off to the smoothest start, however.
When he was being sworn in, Matik forgot to put his hand on the bible that DePamphilis was holding. His young son’s hand was there instead, which – before DePamphilis swore Matik in for a second time – drew some light-hearted comments that the younger Matik was actually the new councilman.
“It was fun while it lasted,” Xander Matik said of his brief stint in office.