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Brennan takes seat as member of Township Council in Howell

HOWELL – Republican Suzanne M. Brennan has taken her seat as a member of the Township Council in Howell. Brennan has filled a vacancy that was created when Republican Thomas Russo resigned from the governing body on Nov. 6.

Because Russo is a Republican, GOP officials in Howell provided the names of three Republicans – Brennan, Dr. Daniel Cardellichio and John Leggio – to the remaining four council members to select Russo’s successor.

On Nov. 30, the remaining seated Township Council members – Democrats Theresa Berger and John Bonevich, and Republicans Evelyn O’Donnell and Pamela Richmond – could not agree on Russo’s successor and the choice reverted to Howell’s Republican municipal leaders, who tapped Brennan for the one-year appointment.

Russo was serving a four-year council term that began in January 2019 and was due to end in December 2022.

Brennan ran for mayor in 2020 and lost to Berger, who won her second four-year term in that election.

Brennan was sworn in to office on Dec. 10 in a private ceremony. She attended her first meeting as a member of the governing body on Dec. 14.

Brennan, who is an attorney, was serving as Howell’s public defender at the time of her appointment to the Township Council.

Township Attorney Joseph Clark said Brennan resigned from the public defender’s position just prior to being sworn in as a councilwoman.

Brennan previously served on the Howell K-8 School District Board of Education and is currently serving as a Brookdale Community College trustee.

In comments from the dais during the Dec. 14 meeting, Brennan said, “I am truly honored for the privilege of serving my community in this new capacity. I have lived in Howell for 25 years and I love my town, I love the people in it. I have served in a variety of ways, but this is truly special.

“I look forward to serving with my fellow councilmen and councilwomen, and the mayor, of course, so we can collaborate and do really good things for this town.

“We need to really start looking ahead and planning, getting a little innovative and dealing with all of the challenges we are faced with because there are many.

“I look forward to the work and to getting things done in a meaningful way for everyone in town. I think it is really important to look forward while we hold on to the rich traditions we hold so dear, and I am just thankful,” Brennan said.

Brennan was welcomed to the governing body by her fellow council members.

“I know she has a good heart, I know she will do the right thing for Howell. I hope the community also embraces the new member,” O’Donnell said.

Township Manager Brian Geoghegan read a letter into the record from Russo, who thanked the residents of Howell, the council members and the township’s professionals, and wished his successor good luck.

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