Franklin council chooses Fanale's replacement

Joseph Martinez selected to fill empty council seat until November election


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  • Photo by Scott Baker Joseph Martinez is sworn in as Franklin Borough councilman by Municipal Clerk Robin Hough in the presence of his wife, Cathy, and children, Chris, 14, and Sara, 12, on Tuesday night.



Following short speeches from the three candidates, the Franklin Borough Council chose Joseph Martinez to fill the seat vacated by David Fanale by a vote of 3-2.

“This was a situation that was brought up through a lot of bad publicity for Franklin. I’m proud to say that I’m very happy for Franklin today.”
Franklin Councilman Nick Giordano

The candidates were nominated by the Sussex County Republican Committee and included Martinez, Dawn Fantasia and Michael Rathbun.

“I’d like to thank Ginny Littell and the Republican Committee for their work in this endeavor,” Franklin Mayor Paul Crowley said to open the meeting. “All three are good candidates with a diverse background. it’s going to be a tough choice.”

Each candidate was given time to introduce themselves to the council and explain their platform. Fantasia, who has a master’s degree in educational leadership, focused on “transparent leadership and accountability,” and said her administrative role as an urban school administrator has her “very accustomed to doing a lot with very little.”

Martinez stood behind the tenets of family, community and volunteerism, as he and his family have been a contributing factor to Franklin’s recreation committee and programs since he came to town. Currently, he is spearheading the Franklin Pond Revitalization Committee, which has garnered interest from both the council and borough residents.

Rathbun touted his work experience as a Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority operations manager.

“I’m very familiar with government contracts and regulations,” he told the council. His main point of focus included getting new businesses into the Route 23 corridor.

After a short period of deliberation, Giordano nominated Martinez for the seat. Councilman Frederick Babcock then nominated Fantasia. Martinez then got the second and was voted in 3-2. The other dissenting vote came from Councilman Joe Limon.

“I’m going to work my damnedest,” Martinez told his councilmates after he was sworn in by Borough Clerk Robin Hough. He will serve on the council until the general election on Nov. 4. The election winner will then take office immediately and fill the rest of the unexpired term, which ends Dec. 31, 2016.

The entire council applauded each of the candidates for their time and effort, encouraging Fantasia and Rathbun to run for office again in the future as their individual expertise would benefit the borough.

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