Seaside Heights welcomed back a former council member to the borough’s governing body on Wednesday following the resignation of another council member Dec. 31.
Councilman Richard Tompkins was forced to resign because he retired from his job with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. In order to receive his pension, he is barred from public employment in New Jersey for six months. Though council members receive just a nominal stipend for their service, the position is still counted as a job, thus forcing Tompkins’ resignation.
Tompkins was replaced by Guy Mazzanti, a former councilman and planning board member, who was appointed to serve the rest of Tompkins’ term.
When a council member resigns in New Jersey, the party organization to which they belonged submits three names for consideration. Sandra Lazzaro and Peter Smith represented the other two considerations for the seat.
“Guy Mazzanti has the knowledge and experience,” said Tompkins, who was seated in the audience at Wednesday’s meeting. “For a time when Seaside Heights is still having a tough time getting back [from Sandy], you picked the right guy.”
“I’ll do the best I can,” pledged Mazzanti, who was sworn into office by borough attorney and county Republican Chairman George Gilmore. “There are a few things I’m aware of, and a few things I have to learn all over again. We have a lot of work ahead.”
Councilman Michael Carbone was also sworn into office Wednesday following his election victory in November. Councilwoman Agnes Polhemus was also re-elected, but was absent from the meeting due to a bout of the flu.