By Vincent Todaro
Ocean Township — Long time Councilman Christopher Siciliano has been selected to serve as the new deputy mayor.
At its July 1 Reorganization meeting, the Township Council voted Siciliano into the position, where he replaces David Hiers, who left council to pursue a paid fire commissioner job in the township. Hiers said he did not feel it would be proper for him to hold a paid position and serve as a council member.
Sicilano was recently elected to his third consecutive term on council, and said that many residents seek out the deputy mayor when they have a problem.
“In our town, most people go to the council member they know,” he said. “But some folks will go to the deputy mayor if they can’t get to the mayor.”
Siciliano has served on the Planning Board, Environmental Commission, and PTA, in addition to volunteer coaching a number of sports.
“My family’s been here over 50 years,” he said. “My parents were involved on various committees when I was a kid.”
While most towns do not have a deputy mayor, Siciliano said Ocean does in case the mayor is not available for certain responsibilites, such as performing a marriage or running a council meeting.
“There’s no other duty up and above the other council members. It’s just to fill in when the mayor’s not there,” he said.
Siciliano said the meeting agenda is set by the clerk and township mananger.
“But any of us (council members) can pull something if we’re uncomfortable with it, unless it is time sensitive,” he said.
Hiers served for several years as deupty mayor, though Siciliano said he did get to chair a meeting last year when both Larkin and Hiers were out.
Siciliano said he may get more involved in the town’s relationship with Monmouth University, perhaps serving as the town’s liasion to the school.
“Towns with rentals sometimes have some problems,” he said. “We created a committee years ago, and and we keep in touch with Monmouth Univeristy. If we have issues, we identify trouble spots and make it a little more peaceful,” he said.
The town has a task force of police officers to specfically watch over the rental areas. In addition, the township adopted ordinances to quell problems such as violence, underage drinking, noise, and littering. He said that has greatly reduced the problems.
The deputy mayor’s term runs four years coinciding with the municipal election.
“You serve as much as much as your schedule allows at this point,” Siciliano said. “There’s always something you can do.”