Richard Templeton Appointed Fifth Ward Councilman

Richard Templeton was officially voted in unanimously last night by council to become the representative for the Borough’s fifth ward. As previously reported first by Roselle Park News, the governing body gave unanimous consensus to appointing Mr. Templeton at the end of Wednesday night’s Municipal Capital Budget Workshop.

Councilman Templeton will fulfill the unexpired term of Michael Yakubov, who resigned his office earlier this month and has moved out of Roselle Park. Mr. Yakubov, who had unsuccessfully run for mayor last year, was arrested last year for stealing a Carl Hokanson campaign sign in late October. He later pleaded guilty to Disorderly Persons and Criminal Mischief charges in connection with the theft.

Councilman Templeton, who was not in any way connected to the arrest and ensuing scandal, himself ran for the office of Council-At-Large last year and lost by less than 60 votes to Charlene Storey. Now, 78 days after he would have been sworn in if he had been elected, Richard Templeton – with his family at his side – took the oath of office and sat on the dais to represent the residents of Roselle Park’s Fifth Ward. Mr. Templeton, a former corrections officer, was sworn in by Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan to become Roselle Park’s latest public official for the rest of the year.

New Jersey StatuteĀ  allows for a vacancy to be filled through an appointment made by the governing body until the next general election. The matter does not come up for a vote before then since the appointment was made, in line with NJSA 40A:16-5, after September 1st of the next-to-the last year of the elected office’s term; in this case, 2015.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to Mayor Hokanson and council. I’m very honored to represent the fifth ward,” said Councilman Templeton during his initial report, “I want to thank my friends and family who came out here to support me tonight, it means a lot. I’ll do my best.”

The Fifth Ward council will be up for election this November at which time voters in the fifth ward will have an opportunity to elect their representation.