Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan announced on facebook last night that he will not seek a third term.
Thank you to so many people for encouraging me to run for a third term as mayor. The past six years have been tough with Irene, Sandy, and all the other set backs. Last year was the toughest with my own personal health issues. Those that are closest to me know I have truly enjoyed being an elected official for the past ten years. I am honored and humbled to have been able to serve the town and all its people. I made some mistakes but tried my best to always do the right thing. My role as a father and husband has to come first. For this reason I will not be a candidate for mayor this November and will serve out my current term. I want to thank all the great borough professionals, past and present I have had the pleasure of working with. The many council people and Mayor’s who I may have had my differences with but at the end of the day I think we knew our common goal was the advancement of the town. Special thanks to my wife and soulmate Lori Ann. You have stood by me through thick and thin and I love you forever.
Elected to the borough council in 2005, Nolan was elected mayor in 2009 and reelected in 2013.
During his tenure in office, Highlands suffered two catastrophic storms, Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011 and Superstorm Sandy on October 29, 2012. The Nolan home was destroyed in Sandy. Nolan, his wife Lori and their three children stayed with the community of other Sandy victims in the shelter at the Henry Hudson Regional High School, despite having the means and opportunity to have more comfortable and private accommodations during the month following the storm.
Nolan took a leave of absence from his job as an executive for a north jersey auto group to lead the borough’s clean up from Sandy full time. Highlands was cleaned up by local contractors, including the destroyed property from inside 1200 homes before most Sandy impacted towns had selected a clean up contractor.
On November 3, 2012 Nolan announced that the borough, which had been closed to non-residents since the storm to prevent looting, would not open its borders to commuters using the Seastreak Ferry service, despite Seastreak’s announcement that service would reopen on November 5.
Nolan told MMM at the time that Highlands would need at least three additional police officers in order to allow commuters into town or the full restoration of power to the borough. Highlands is not yet on JCPL’s schedule for power restoration, according to the information they provided the Christie Administration. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno showed up in Highlands the following day to resulting in the resolution of the security concerns and the reopening of the ferry service.
“I’m happy to see that even in their darkest hour the residents of Highlands, specifically Mayor Nolan, stepped up to help others,” said Guadagno, “this is what makes New Jersey great.” Guadagno acknowledged Nolan’s integrity for not holding up the Christie administration, Seastreak or commuters with unreasonable demands unrelated to the borough’s security. “He could have asked for anything he wanted,” Guadagno said.
Like many Highlands residents, Nolan and his family have yet to return to their pre-Sandy home, almost four years after the storm.
Highlands elections are non-partisan. Nominating petitions are due with the municipal clerk by close of business on Tuesday, September 6th.