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Perry expected to serve as Middletown mayor for third consecutive year

MIDDLETOWN – When the Township Committee reorganizes at its virtual meeting on Jan. 3, the governing body is expected to elect Tony Perry to serve as mayor for a third consecutive one-year term, according to a press release from Middletown.

This will mark the first time in more than 45 years that a committee member has served as mayor for three years in a row, since Thomas J. Lynch served as mayor from 1972-74.

Committeeman Rick Hibell is expected to be chosen as deputy mayor for 2021, which will be his first time serving in that role, according to the press release.

Under the Township Committee form of government, residents do not directly elect a mayor. Each January, the five members of the committee select one member to serve as mayor and one member to serve as deputy mayor for the year. The mayor runs the meetings of the municipal government.

“It has been an incredible honor to serve as mayor over the last two years and I look forward to continuing the important work that is ongoing in 2021,” Perry was quoted as saying in the press release.

“Despite COVID-19, this Township Committee did not slow down on any of the initiatives and projects we started in 2019 and early 2020, and as we begin to emerge from this pandemic, it is imperative that we continue to provide our residents with innovative solutions which will keep Middletown a great place to live and raise a family,” Perry said. “I am extremely grateful to my colleagues on the committee for their leadership and trust to once again serve as your mayor.”

Hibell was appointed to the Township Committee in 2018. He is the owner of a marine construction company based in Middletown. Hibell has served as a member of the Planning Board and is a second generation fire chief and life member of the Middletown Township Fire Department, according to the press release.

“I am honored to have the support of my colleagues to serve as deputy mayor in 2021,” Hibell said. “I look forward to working alongside Mayor Perry and the Township Committee to continue providing sound fiscal policies as well as initiatives that will contribute to the betterment of our community.”

According to the press release, the committee’s accomplishments in 2020 included completing turf fields at Nut Swamp Elementary School and Normandy Park, moving forward with the Belford Redevelopment Plan, and providing environmental leadership for the state through its Recycling Education Campaign.

Middletown’s virtual reorganization meeting on Jan. 3 at 10 a.m. will be live-streamed via Webex Event Center from the courtroom at Town Hall. Committeewoman Patricia Snell and newly elected Township Committee member Ryan Clarke will be sworn in to begin serving three-year terms. Visit www.middletownnj.org for more information.

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