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Buena Council set to fill vacant seat tonight -- and some residents are calling foul
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Buena Council set to fill vacant seat tonight -- and some residents are calling foul

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More than six months after a de facto vacancy opened up on the Buena Borough Council, the borough government is finally going to try to fill the seat – but some residents are calling the move illegal.

The agenda for Monday's Buena Borough Council meeting indicates that the council will vote to fill the seat left vacant by former Councilman Aldo Palmieri.

The agenda said that the replacement for Palmieri will serve until the next general election in November 2022, as prescribed by state law.

Opponents of the current borough government maintain that under state law a special election must be held to fill the seat.

The argument over whether the current council can fill the seat turns on a dispute over when  Palmieri resigned.

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Palmieri announced his intentions to resign at the May 10 Borough Council meeting – something that is reflected in the minutes for that meeting – and has not sat at a council meeting since.

Buena Borough Solicitor Angela Costigan, however, said at the Nov. 8 council meeting that Palmieri had not yet technically resigned. The agenda for Monday’s meeting indicates that Palmieri’s resignation was officially effective only on Nov. 8.

The date of Palmieri’s resignation determines, per state law, whether the current council would have the authority to appoint a replacement, or whether the borough would have to hold a special election.

Buena elected Democratic challengers over Republican incumbents – the only municipality in Atlantic County to do so.

During the Nov. 2 elections, Democrats Patricia Andaloro and Gina Andaloro — a mother-daughter pair – defeated GOP Councilman Joseph Mancuso Jr. and GOP Councilwoman Rosalie Baker.

Those two outgoing members of council are slated to vote to fill the vacant council seat tonight.

Contact Chris Doyle

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