A Brick Township councilman has resigned his post, citing retirement and changing life circumstances, prompting a vote by remaining council members to appoint a replacement to the open seat.
Councilman Art Halloran, a Democrat who served on the governing body since being elected in 2015, has relocated and submitted a letter of resignation effective Sept. 30. Halloran drew heaps of praise from his council colleagues and township professionals at a meeting Tuesday night, though he was not present.
“He was a great councilman for the years he was here,” said Mayor John Ducey. “He had perfect business acumen from all of the years he worked in business in New York, and he was someone who always was thorough and thoughtful.”
Halloran’s departure triggered a state law that governs the handling of vacancies on municipal councils. Normally, a special election would be held the year following the resignation, however Halloran’s term was due to expire at the end of 2023 notwithstanding. The law, as it applies to Brick’s form of government, calls for a candidate from the same party of the former member to be appointed to serve in the interim period. As Halloran was a Democrat, the local party committee submitted three names for consideration: Maria Foster, a former Board of Education member, Thomas C. Curtis, a current commissioner on the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority, and Derrick Ambrosino, who is also a current BTMUA commissioner.
The six remaining council members voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Ambrosino to the seat. He will serve through Dec. 31, 2023, and will have the chance to run for a full term on council in next year’s general election. With Ambrosino’s appointment, the status quo balance of power on the governing body remains 6-1 in favor of the Democrats.
“Derrick Ambrosino has shown great leadership in town and has lived here for over 40 years,” said Councilwoman Heather deJong, who motioned to cast the nomination. “He is fiscally conservative, does more with less, and always takes into consideration what is best for our residents.”
Ambrosino was unsuccessful in his 2021 bid to join the council, having been defeated in the general election by Republican candidate Perry Albanese. Albanese voted in favor of appointing his former opponent to fill the unexpired term.
Ambrosino, 41, has served on the BTMUA board since 2020 and works in technology and software sales, according to a biography submitted during his council campaign.
It is expected that Ambrosino will be sworn in to his seat at the council’s next meeting.