The Vernon Township Council on Jan. 11 unanimously appointed Toni Cilli to fill the remainder of former Councilwoman Jean Murphy’s term.
Murphy, who announced her resignation via a letter read by Township Council Vice President John Auberger on Jan. 1, was scheduled to serve until Dec. 31.
“I love Vernon,” said Cilli, who has been active in the community for 25 years. “I promise the residents and local businesses, I will learn. I will listen. I will work hard the next 12 months to not only get Vernon moving forward, but to help it thrive.”
Cilli was one of three people to express interest in the position. Silver Spruce Drive resident Peg DiStasi and former Councilman Brian Lynch also applied. DiStasi thanked the council for the opportunity to apply for the position, but said she was never contacted for an interview.
Councilman Andrew Pitsker, who himself was appointed to the board by the council when former Councilman Mark Van Tassel resigned and then won election to finish the term, said Cilli reached out to him to discuss the position.
“I got to hear her perspectives,” said Pitsker, who said she has “a thick skin and tenacity. I asked her the difficult questions. She had great poise and professionalism, and also being honest about the tough questions I was asking.”
Auberger indicated that he wanted to make a nomination but voted for Cilli’s appointment.
Township attorney Josh Zielinski said Cilli needed only to be appointed by a majority council vote.
“I believe Toni brings great experience to the council,” Councilwoman Kelly Weller said. “She worked on many committees over the years and I think she’ll be an asset to the town and a great value to the council.”
“Toni brings great experience to the council. She worked on many committees over the years and I think she’ll be an asset to the town and a great value to the council.” Councilwoman Kelly Weller