Dec. 5, 2017: Mayor Pete Cammarano officially resigned effective midnight Dec. 5, he announced at the Borough Council meeting Monday.
Cammarano is joining the administration of New Jersey Governor-elect Philip Murphy as chief of staff. “I just want to address what could perhaps be the worst kept secret in Metuchen,” Cammarano joked as he discussed his decision.
Cammarano thanked Council and staff members. “I consider you all very true public servants and very good friends. The seven years on the Council and my two years as mayor have been nothing but wonderful experiences,” he said.
“I think we’ve accomplished a great deal and we’re on the brink of completing but we have a lot more to go. Metuchen really is on the rebound and I’m really happy I could play a role in helping to create that.”
Democrat Cammarano was elected Mayor in 2015, replacing Thomas Valhalla who didn’t run for reelection. His tenure coincided with major changes in the borough, including major redevelopment downtown, the opening of a Whole Foods supermarket and the creation of the Metuchen Downtown Alliance.
Cammarano served on Council from 2008 to 2014, when he was replaced by Reed Leibfried. He has worked in state government before, serving as Governor Richard Codey’s chief of staff and deputy director of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg’s 1994 re-election campaign.
Cammarano told me he slightly knew Murphy from his time in state government.
The Democratic County Commission will meet and choose three people to serve as Cammarano’s replacement. The committee then submits those name to Council, which chooses the replacement. That person then serves out Cammarano’s term until the election in 2018 — and can run again if he or she wants to complete Cammarano’s term, which is up in 2019. That County Democratic Committee is expected to meet this month.