By Tim O’Meilia
Manalapan Mayor Tom Gerrard resigned abruptly Wednesday, delivering a five-sentence resignation letter to town hall just before 5 p.m.
“Pressing family issues require that I spend extended amounts of time away from the town and the state,” he wrote in the letter.
Gerrard left Thursday for Big Sky, Montana where other members of his family live and where he has a home. He anticipated spending most of the rest of the year there.
“Obviously I can’t be effective when I’m not there,” he said by telephone from Palm Beach International Airport Thursday.
Gerrard was present for Tuesday’s town commission meeting which was cancelled for lack of a quorum. He gave no hint of his intention to resign then.
“I enjoyed my time on the commission,” he said. “It was a good experience for me and the net result is that we’ve come a long way during that time.”
He was appointed mayor in October 2008 after William Benjamin resigned and was elected to a full two-year term in March 2009. He was a member of the town’s Architectural Commission when he was similarly appointed to the town commission
in February 2004. He won full terms in 2005 and 2007. He never faced opposition
in his three runs for office.
Gerrard, 63, moved to Manalapan in the mid-1990s after retiring from the telecommunications industry.
“We have a new town manager and I’m sure the commissioners will carry on well without me,” he added. He hoped to be back in Manalapan by the December holidays.
By charter, the commission has 45 days to appoint a replacement. That could happen as soon as Wednesday, during the rescheduled commission meeting. In the past the commission has appointed one of its own to
the mayoral post. If that happens, commissioners would have another 45 days to
appoint a new commissioner.