HAZLET — Two new members have been appointed to the Township Committee in Hazlet, following the recent departures of two individuals from the governing body.
Tara Clark, who was serving as mayor in 2022, announced her resignation in late February. She cited unexpected health issues with her family for her departure from the dais.
In a letter of resignation, she wrote, “It has been an honor to serve the residents of Hazlet since 2019 as a committeewoman, deputy mayor and mayor. Over the past three years, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with talented, committed professionals, and to meet so many caring, dedicated volunteers who give of themselves to make our town a great place to live. I have learned so much and am proud of all I have accomplished.
“As mayor, I have passionately dedicated my time to serving our town’s citizens, and after being re-elected in November 2021, was pleased to continue working toward our goals. But in recent days, unforeseen health issues have arisen which require my full attention. I know every parent would understand. I would like to say thank you to those who will step up and take over my duties. I hope to return to serving my community in the future,” Clark wrote.
In early April, Peter Terranova was appointed to fill the seat that was previously held by Clark.
Clark voiced support for Terranova following his appointment, writing on her social media page, “We are blessed Pete stepped forward to replace my seat on the Township Committee. He will be a fantastic addition.”
According to his biography on the municipal website, Terranova worked as a technical analyst for an investment banking firm on Wall Street for 35 years.
Committeeman Scott Aagre announced his resignation from the Township Committee ahead of Terranova’s appointment.
Aagre’s resignation was accepted by the committee members during the same meeting at which Terranova was appointed to succeed Clark.
On May 3, Robert Preston was appointed to fill the seat that was previously held by Aagre.
Committeeman Michael Sachs, who in January was elected by his fellow committee members to serve as deputy mayor during 2022, was elected to succeed Clark as mayor for the remainder of the year.
After Sachs was elected mayor, Committeeman Michael Glackin was elected to serve as deputy mayor for the remainder of 2022.
Under Hazlet’s form of government, the mayor is not directly elected by residents. Each January, the five members of the Township Committee select one member of the committee to serve as mayor and one member to serve as deputy mayor for the year.
All five members of the Township Committee – Sachs, Glackin, Terranova, Preston and James McKay – are Republicans. Under state statute, the seats previously held by Clark and Aagre could only be filled by Hazlet residents who are affiliated with the local Republican Party.
Terranova and Preston were appointed to serve for the remainder of 2022.
Because Clark’s term was not set to expire until Dec. 31, 2024, the remainder of the term will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as a two-year unexpired term. Terranova will run for the two-year term.
Aagre’s term was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022. Preston will run for the full three-year term in the Nov. 8 election.