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Gattinelli resigns as mayor to join commissioners

Outgoing Mayor Joann Gattinelli won a seat on the board of commissioners in the Nov. 7 election.

Mayor Joann Gattinelli resigned her position on Nov. 27 to serve as a newly elected member of the Gloucester County Board of Commissioners.

Gattinelli won her commissioner seat in the Nov. 7 election by garnering 41,083 votes. Her running mates – incumbent Jim Jefferson and newcomer Matt Weng – received 41,048 and 39,842 votes, respectively. There were 187 write-in votes.

The Gloucester County Clerk’s Office certified the election results on Nov. 22.

County Democrats tapped Gattinelli in March to run for a county commissioner seat after Heather Simmons announced she would run for the state assembly.

“I am honored to have received the endorsement of the Gloucester County Democratic Committee to seek the office of Gloucester County Commissioner,” Gattinelli said in a statement then. “I am humbled that my service as mayor of Washington Township has been recognized and that the members of the committee have put their faith in me to represent them at the county level.

“I look forward to working together for the betterment of our county.”

Gattinelli defeated incumbent Mayor Barbara Wallace in the 2016 Democratic primary, then beat Republican Joseph Micucci to win her first term as mayor. She beat Republican Vincent Spinelli and independent candidate Giancarlo D’Orazio to win a second term four years later.

Gattinelli is a Washington Township High graduate and has lived in the municipality for more than 30 years with her husband and two sons. She owned Gattinelli Pizza and Pasta in the township for 12 years and holds a real estate license, according to the township website.

In a message, township Business Administrator Joseph Russo noted Gattinelli’s service to the community.

“We thank her for her dedication and commitment to the township of Washington and wish her well in her new role as county commissioner,” he said. “In the interim, I remain committed to working with Council President [Anthony] DellaPia, and Councilmen [Richard] Bennett, [Peter] Del Borello, [Donald] Brown, and [Johnson] Yerkes to ensure the smooth transition of power.

“Along with our department heads,” Russo added, “we are dedicated to maintaining the daily operations and services our township residents expect and deserve.”

Township attorney Stuart Platt said that according to municipal vacancy law, the township Democratic committee has 15 days to name three individuals eligible to replace the outgoing official – Gattinelli. The council will then select one of the three within 30 days of the mayor’s departure at a public meeting by Wednesday, Dec. 27.

The township has two public meetings left in the year, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20, both on Wednesday.

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