Seelagy and Hambel take over Sparta's top posts

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    Sparta-Newly appointed Sparta Mayor Scott Seelagy hit the ground running at Tuesday night's special council reorganization meeting. Less than five minutes after the meeting was called to order, Seelagy was appointed the new mayor and asked to run the remainder of the meeting. Before taking his seat as the highest elected official in Sparta, Seelagy publicly thanked former Mayor James Henderson by calling him a "mentor." "The township owes you a debt of gratitude," said Seelagy to his predecesor. In addition to thanking him for his work with the construction of the new municipal building and firehouse, Seelagy also congratulated Henderson for keeping Sparta's 2004 tax increases to a minimum. After the meeting, Seelagy said he was "excited" about his new position and that he looked forward to accomplishing some of the items that he ran on during his election campaign. His goals include helping to attract commercial ratables to the township, continuing with the "aggressive acquisition" of open space, maintaining a fiscally conservative budget and continuing with improvements on Sparta Avenue while being sensitive to local business. Taking over for Seelagy as deputy mayor is Councilwoman Ailish Hambel, who has served Sparta as both Mayor and Deputy Mayor in the past. "I'm proud to serve the people of Sparta, and I will try my hardest to do the very best job possible," said Hambel as she accepted her new position. In addition to running meetings in case of Seelagy's absence, Hambel will also have the right to perform marriages. "There are a great number of functions that create more work with this new position, but it is all worthwhile and fun," said Hambel. Councilman Douglas Martin, who was elected with Seelagy in the May general election was also sworn for another four-year term in the governing body. Seelagy's and Martin's terms expire in June of 2008.