Chatham Township has a new mayor for the month of December.
Outgoing Committeewoman Nicole Hagner resigned as mayor at the Dec. 4 meeting—while keeping her seat on the governing body—and the Chatham Township Committee unanimously appointed Bailey Brower Jr. as mayor for the remainder of the year. (The five-member Chatham Township Committee appoints one member as mayor for the year.)
While he's relishing the title, Brower sees the appointment as an honor for one month only, and he'll be ready to give up the title when the governing body re-organizes in the new year.
In 2014, he plans to finish his fourth term on the Chatham Township Committee, but not as mayor.
Brower, who previously served as deputy mayor for two years, said he can be "much more effective as a committeeperson." He said his direct manner and intolerance for people who "stand up and want special privileges" is not necessarily suited for the mayor's seat.
"It's quite an honor for the committee to do this," he said of his month-long mayorship.
Runs in the family
Brower's family settled in what is now Chatham Township in the 1700s, and has lived here ever since.
Brower's great grandfather, Lewis M. Noe, was Chatham Township's first mayor in 1899. Noe's son, Lewis A. Noe, was mayor in 1915. Brower's uncle by marriage, Arthur B. Churchill, was mayor in the 1940s.
Brower is involved in the Noe Pond Club, which started nearly 60 years ago. He said the club is an important resource and asset to the community.
"Mayor Brower has been a lifelong resident of Chatham Township whose family roots go back generations," Township Administrator Thomas Ciccarone said. "He is completing his 11th year as a member of the Township Committee having taken office in 2003."
Brower said he was an early proponent of property owners' rights, allowing owners to knock down houses and build bigger structures.
Brower said he does not think he will run for office again after his term is up at the end of 2014.
"It was very much an honor to be named," he said.
The Committee is scheduled to meet 7:30 p.m. Thursday for its last meeting of the year. The reorganization meeting is scheduled for Jan. 2, when Committeeman-elect Curt Ritter will join the governing body.