Fair Haven Borough Council President Tom Gilmour is stepping down after nine years, he announced Monday night.

Gilmour submitted his resignation effective Dec. 31 in a letter to Mayor Mike Halfacre and his council colleagues. He cited the demands of his day job as director of commerce for the City of Asbury Park.

“The current economic downturn requires additional demands on my time in Asbury Park,” Gilmour wrote in the letter. “I have always been able to balance work and serving Fair Haven, but that is no longer the case.”

“A recent family illness has prompted me to notify you immediately of my intentions,” Gilmour added.

No one reacted or spoke after Halfacre read the letter aloud to a room filled with residents who had come out to comment on other matters, including a pending boat storage ordinance and unexpected salt dome at the town’s public works yard.

Before exiting the chambers at the end of the meeting, a smiling and visibly relaxed Gilmour, who has presided over the council for the last five years and is its longest-serving member, received well-wishers who thanked him for his service to the borough and assistance with different situations.

With the move coming less than a week after an election that returned two incumbents to the all-Republican council, Mayor Mike Halfacre sought to preempt potential rumblings that a new council member had already been hand-picked behind closed doors.

Anyone interested in the job may submit credentials to officials in borough hall, Halfacre said. The names of three prospective replacements will be submitted to the Monmouth County GOP Committee for review by January 15. The committee will then recommend three individuals among whom the council will choose.

“No one on this council is on the Republican committee,” Halfacre told the audience. “We’re following the state statute on this.”

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