Republican Township Committeeman Eric Hinds will serve as Holmdel’s mayor and Republican Township Committeeman Michael Nikolis will serve as deputy mayor in 2019.
Hinds and Nikolis were elected to those positions by their fellow members of the Holmdel Township Committee during the municipality’s 2019 reorganization meeting on Jan. 2 at the municipal building.
In Holmdel’s form of government, residents do not directly elect a mayor. In January, the five members of the governing body select a committee member to serve as mayor for the year. A second committeeman is chosen to serve as deputy mayor for the year.
Hinds and Nikolis join Greg Buontempo, Tom Critelli and Rocco Pascucci on the governing body. Republicans hold a 5-0 majority on the committee.
Prior to the votes for mayor and deputy mayor, state Sen. Declan J. O’Scanlon Jr. administered the oath of office to Critelli, who was re-elected in the Nov. 6 election. His new term will run through Dec. 31, 2021. Critelli served as mayor in 2018.
Following a unanimous “yes” vote to elect Hinds as mayor, O’Scanlon administered the oath of office to Hinds, who was joined by his wife and children. Hinds will be serving as mayor for the third time.
When it came time to elect a deputy mayor, Hinds nominated Nikolis for the position. Critelli, Hinds, Nikolis and Buontempo voted “yes” and Pascucci voted “no.”
When asked by a reporter why he voted “no” on Nikolis’ nomination, Pascucci said he did not want to disclose the reason why he voted the way he did.
State Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso administered the oath of office to Nikolis.
In his mayoral remarks, Hinds said, “I’m a little bit at a loss for words … This is an incredible town and this is an incredible honor … I’m going to start by thanking the leadership (Critelli) possessed last year. I know you took a lot of personal attacks and that’s not easy.”
Hinds thanked Township Administrator Donna M. Vieiro “for building an incredible team” and said he is eager to work alongside her as mayor.
He thanked his relatives and parents and said they have always supported him.
“I thank my parents. I know a lot of this stuff is hard for them at times,” Hinds said. ” … I think sometimes they take things extremely personally, but I will always remember what my father said before I left for college. He said, ‘as long as you have me and your mother, you can’t fail.’ ”
Finally, Hinds thanked his wife and three children for their support.
“So what do I see in the next year? I see a united Holmdel. We live in a world that is divided at times. The nation, the state, even our community … United we stand. If I’ve got one goal for the next 365 days, it is to see a united Holmdel,” he said.
Hinds said he wants to improve communication and inclusion in the township. He said he would like to increase volunteerism and “create a culture and a spirit that rewards that.”
Finally, Hinds said municipal officials will continue to “invest in the right infrastructure,” saying preservation of certain sites and “keeping the right mix of everything is really, truly important.”
Following Hinds’ remarks, Nikolis swore in members of the Holmdel First Aid Squad and its administrative officers.