South Amboy officials thank Applegate for years of service



SOUTH AMBOY — The Dec. 21 South Amboy City Council meeting was the last one for First Ward Councilman Donald Applegate.

Applegate, who had been the coach of South Amboy’s American Legion baseball team, was named to the council in 2010 following the death of Councilman Russell Stillwagon.

Applegate did not run for re-election this year, and the city’s Democratic Party’s choice, Francis Butch Mulvey, did not advance beyond the primaries. He lost to the Democrat who ultimately won the general election, Brian McLaughlin.

“I would just like to thank everybody, and have a merry Christmas,” Applegate said during his comments at the Dec. 21 meeting.

His fellow council members wished him well and encouraged him to continue to participate in making South Amboy a better place.

“Maybe we’ll see him on the other side of the table in the future,” Councilwoman Zusette Dato said.

“Donnie, thank you for your service. You’ve got the heart of a lion, there’s no question about it,” said Council President Mickey Gross. “We’ll miss you.”

Law Director John Lanza said he appreciated Applegate’s contributions over the years and congratulated him for his years of service.

“I certainly valued his opinions and his comments during those times when it was necessary to move forward and do things on behalf of South Amboy and its people,” he said.

Business Administrator Camille Tooker said Applegate has a history of giving back to the community, especially in terms of recreation, adding she is hopeful he will continue to do so.

“I want him to know that we haven’t forgotten that,” she said of his prior contributions.

Mayor Fred Henry also praised Applegate’s efforts, adding that Applegate has made the city a better place for residents.

“Being on the City Council is most of the time a very thankless job. You usually only hear from residents when there is a problem needing to be solved. But tonight, I would like to take the time to thank Councilman Don Applegate for his service to the City of South Amboy,” Henry said. “He has served selflessly for many years, having taken over for the late Russ Stillwagon. Don is very passionate not only for his constituents in the First Ward, but also for the citizens of South Amboy.”

Henry said he took on personal projects like the maintenance of the American Legion baseball fields.

Robert Mezey, a Perth Amboy resident who spoke at the meeting, asked Applegate if he would miss his City Council colleagues.

“They’re all my friends,” Applegate said. “They’re great people.”