Water Pollution Control Authority and Inland Wetlands Agency and Conservation Commission member Steven King Jr. is set to be sworn in tonight as the first Black to serve on the Town Council, local officials said.
Democrats at tonight’s council meeting are expected to nominate King to serve out the remainder of Councilwoman Mary Justine Hockenberry’s term. Hockenberry resigned on May 3 because she hopes to open her own seamstress business next month. The full council must vote to approve his appointment.
Mayor Andrew Paterna said King’s expected con the council is a critical step in increasing diversity in the town.
“It is a better reflection of the residents of the town with a diverse representation on the council,” he said. “I think he has a lot to offer and brings new energy to the council.”
According to July 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data, about 80% of the town’s population is white; 4.3% Black; 11.3% Asian; and 5.8% Hispanic.
The Democratic Town Committee unanimously approved King’s nomination on May 7 to serve out the remainder of Hockenberry’s term, which expires in November.
Hockenberry took her seat on the council in 2017.
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SOURCE: Journal Inquirer, Olivia Regen