Dawn McAdam was sworn in Tuesday night as the new 1st Ward councilperson in Secaucus, replacing Richard Kane, who resigned from the Town Council last month. She was appointed by the Secaucus Democratic Committee one week after a divided Town Council could not agree on who would replace Kane.
By state law, the local Democratic Committee had nominated three candidates to be considered for the vacant seat since Kane won the position as a Democrat. The committee had nominated McAdam, Robert Zych, and George Heflich. These nominations were submitted to the Town Council, which had the opportunity to select one of the three candidates to fill the position. The governing body, however, split along party lines, with the council's three Democrats supporting McAdam, and the three Independents voting for Zych.
With the council unable to agree, the matter went back to the Democratic Committee for a final decision. Mayor Dennis Elwell, who chairs the committee, said McAdam received the unanimous support of those present. The committee has 28 members; 22 or 23 attended last night's session and voted for McAdam.
McAdam was sworn in by Municipal Judge Kathleen Walrod immediately after being approved by the committee.
She will now serve out the remainder of Kane's term, which ends Dec. 31 and will be the 1st Ward candidate on Elwell's Democratic slate in the June mayor/council primary.
McAdam last ran for the Town Council in 2000 against Michael Grecco, Elwell's candidate in that race. Grecco won that contest, but Elwell recently described McAdam as a formidable challenger whom he believes can keep her seat in a tough election year.
In the June primary McAdam will face Joe Morano who is running with mayoral candidate Peter Weiner for the 1st Ward council seat. - E. Assata Wright