The Highland Park Borough Council last week appointed Highland Park Housing Authority board member Jason Postelnik to the governing body, marking the end of nearly two months of transitions since the Borough’s former mayor resigned on December 31.
Postelnik’s appointment concludes an eight-week process that saw the resignation of former Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler, the appointment of then-Councilwoman Elsie Foster as mayor, and then Postelnik’s appointment to fill Foster’s former council seat.
Postelnik works as a legal specialist for the Office of Policy and Standards Development in the New Jersey State Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development.
He previously served as lead counsel for the Local Government Section of the New Jersey State Office of Legislative Services, Central Management Unit and a deputy attorney general in the Elections and Corrections/State Police Sections of the New Jersey State Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Law.
A 15-year borough resident, Postelnik has served as a member of the Highland Park Housing Authority since July 2020. He has a wife and two daughters.
“Speaking on behalf of my colleagues on the council, I congratulate Jason Postelnik on his appointment to fill the open position on the Highland Park Borough Council,” Mayor Foster said in a statement. “We look forward to working with him in the years ahead, to improve public safety, to advance redevelopment, and to raise the quality of life in Highland Park. Jason has considerable experience in NJ State government, including nearly a decade as lead counsel of the local government section of the Office of Legislative Services. I’m sure his perspective will be very valuable in our work and I welcome him warmly to our team.”
Postelnik said he loves Highland Park and was looking for opportunities to get more deeply involved.
“I am greatly humbled by the support of the council, in selecting me for this role. I am eager to get to work with them, to make Highland Park even better,” Postelnik said in a statement.
The selection concludes an eight-week process where the Highland Park Democratic Municipal Committee, which represented the party affiliation of each appointment, was required to provide three names for consideration to the council for appointment for both the vacant mayor and council seats. Both Foster and Postelnik would have to run for election in the primary and in the general election this year to win new, full terms. Mayoral terms are four years and council terms are three years.
The Highland Park Democratic Committee interviewed candidates for both mayor and council and selected the three top vote earners to send to the council for selection. In January, the council selected Mayor Foster over council members Phil George and Matthew Hersh to succeed Mayor Brill Mittler. The council then selected Postelnik to Foster’s former position over candidates Norma Vargas and Alvin Chin. State law requires a governing body to fill vacancies within 30 days.