ENGLISHTOWN – Daniel Francisco has been selected to fill an open seat on the Englishtown Borough Council.
The seat on the governing body was previously held by Lori Cooke, who had been a member of the council since 2006.
Borough officials said Cooke’s seat was vacated under a state statute after she was absent without an excuse from three consecutive meetings. Officials said the vacancy was required by law.
On Oct. 23, council members interviewed three residents who applied to fill the seat: Cooke, Francisco and Nathaniel Mann, the son of Councilman Eric Mann.
Cooke expressed a desire to continue serving on the council. She said she experienced a situation that caused her council seat to become vacated.
“I’ve always loved serving,” she said. “I would like to continue to do that.”
Mann said he is studying economics at Rutgers University and works for a hotel company in East Windsor. He said that after he graduates he wants to remain in Englishtown and not pursue a career in another state.
“I was motivated to apply because of how well the town has treated me,” Mann said. “I want to stay in town and for the town to be a great place for people to stay. This is a place where I can settle down and I want to keep it that way, while making it better.”
Francisco ran for a council seat in 2018 as a Libertarian. During his interview, he told the council members he had intended to run as a Republican that year, but did not file a nominating petition in time and changed his affiliation to Libertarian to seek a seat.
Because Cooke is a Republican and only a member of her party could be appointed to the open council seat, Francisco said he was eligible for the appointment because he had switched back to the Republican Party.
Following the interviews, Councilman Dan Marter made a motion to appoint Francisco and Councilwoman Cecilia Robilotti seconded the motion.
Councilman Gregory Wojyn made a motion to appoint Cooke, but his motion failed to receive a second.
A vote was called on Francisco’s nomination and Marter, Robilotti, Wojyn and Councilwoman Maryanne Krawiec voted “yes” on the motion. Mann abstained from the vote.
Francisco was sworn in by Borough Clerk Peter Gorbatuk and was seated on the dais for the remainder of the meeting.
“I am excited to be working with my borough colleagues to improve the value proposition of living in Englishtown,” Francisco said after the meeting. “Having grown up a few blocks away in Manalapan, my wife and I chose Englishtown to start our family.
“We enjoy the borough environment and have fantastic, friendly neighbors surrounding us. I appreciate the council’s faith in me and look forward to listening to the community’s needs while finding new ways to bring the best value possible to our taxpayers,” he said.
Francisco was appointed to serve through 2020. He may run in 2020 to serve the remainder of the term.