The Pennington Council has appointed Katrina Angarone to fill former Councilwoman Beverly Mills’s vacant seat on the governing body.
The council unanimously voted to appoint Angarone to the unfilled seat on the council at a meeting on Feb. 7.
Angarone was one of three candidates nominated by the Pennington Democratic Committee to fill the council vacancy.
The other candidates nominated were Carol Cole and Art Firestone. At the meeting, Cole withdrew her name in support of Angarone.
“While I am very gracious that all of you would consider my appointment to the council I think I will withdraw my name for nomination in favor of Kati. Having checked out her credentials and her long experience in the state I think she would be a lovely candidate to be a member of the council,” Cole said.
Before the vote, Angarone was also given the chance to provide remarks. Firestone was not present for the meeting.
“I consider myself a Jersey girl, even though I’m a transplant. I was born in Massachusetts and moved to Monmouth County when I was in grade school. This is relevant information because I was raised by practical and some might say thrifty New Englander parents,” she said.
“I remained in state for my education with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University. How I landed here in Pennington, my husband and I did extensive homework when choosing the community we wanted to raise our children in. We did find a home in Pennington to call our own,” she said.
Angarone said in her professional experience she has spent more than 20 years serving the state by protecting public health and the environment. She is the associate commissioner for Science and Policy at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
“I have both the education and experience in policy development for land use, water, public health and emergency response. For over two decades, I have lived the principals of my agency. They are to follow the law, the science, listen to all sides, find the best balance and to be transparent,” she said. “These are the principals I would bring to this role. I believe strongly that the role of the council is to learn, ask hard questions, inform, listen so that you can truly represent and make and communicate decisions. That is the effort I would bring to this role.”
Angarone also served on Pennington’s Shade Tree Commission for six years.
When asked by Councilman Charles Marciante about her feelings regarding taxes in Pennington, Angarone said, “I feel as though at least 55% of our tax bill is not the responsibility of this council it is the school tax and I know that. The taxes in New Jersey are high, so are the wages and so are the services. I believe that the services we get in Pennington are outstanding and therefore I’m at peace with it.”
Marciante followed by nominating Angarone. Council President Catherine “Kit” Chandler, Marciante, Councilwoman Deborah Gnatt, Councilwoman Nadine Stern, and Councilman Ken Gross voted “yes” to her appointment.
Angarone’s appointment fills Mills unexpired term, which ends later this year on Dec. 31.
Mills resignation from the governing body went into effect on Jan. 6 and was announced at the council’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 5. She indicated in January that the resignation was in part due to the amount of work left for her second book.
With Elaine Buck, Mills previously wrote “If these Stones Could Talk: African American presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain and surrounding regions of New Jersey.”