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Donnell Carr Is Top Choice For Westfield Council Seat

By PAUL J. PEYTON for The Westfield Leader 97Mar13

The Westfield Democratic Committee Monday night named Donnell Carr as its top choice to fill the unexpired Fourth Ward seat of James Hely on the Town Council. Mr. Hely, an 11-year incumbent, resigned March 3 after citing an increase on his time due to family and business reasons.

Mr. Carr, a resident of Hort Street, has been active in town for many years, although not actively involved in the local Democratic Party.

As required by the Town Charter, the Democratic Party has submitted three names for consideration to the entire Town Council. The other two names put forward by the committee were Rosemary Millet of Norgate and Madeleine Korfmacher of Hazel Avenue.

The council as a whole will name Mr. Hely’s successor from the three names submitted. Republicans have a 5-4 majority on the governing body. Mr. Carr has indicated he will seek election in November as Mr. Hely’s term was to expire at the end of the year.

It was the unanimous decision of the committee that Mr. Carr be put forward as its first choice to fill the council seat, according to Democratic Committee Chairman Lawrence A. Goldman, who also serves as Fourth Ward Councilman.

When reached Tuesday night, Mr. Carr admitted in the past he has not been enthusiastic about running for the council. He said though, he decided this time around that he might bring "something to the table."

"He was appointed because of his involvement in community activities and because we thought he would have something to contribute to the Town Council," Mr. Goldman explained.

Mr. Carr, who has lived in town for 15 years, is the founder and former President of Concerned African-American Parents (CAAP), a member of the Echo Lake Church of Christ, the Board of Directors of the United Fund of Westfield and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Westfield.

A former Board of Education candidate, Mr. Carr also serves on the Community Development Revenue Sharing Committee. He was just reappointed to that annual post in January by Mayor Thomas C. Jardim.

"I think he was a great choice," said Mayor Jardim, referring to Mr. Carr as "a voice of reason."

"He has a good heart and is just a good guy," the Mayor added, noting that he had first met Mr. Carr prior to announcing his Mayoral bid.

The father of two children, Mr. Carr is employed as an electrical engineer. He served in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and in the United States Air Force in the Vietnam War, reaching the title of Captain. He has degrees from Oxford and Rutgers universities.

Ms. Millet and Ms. Korfmacher have lived in town for nine years and five years, respectively. Both have long been active in the local Democratic Party. Ms. Millet serves as one of the two Westfield representatives on the Union County Air Traffic Noise Advisory Board.

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08/06/97.

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