Highlands Mayor Rick O’Neil has chosen not to contest his one vote loss to Councilwoman Carolyn Broullon in court.
O’Neil conceded in a letter to the residents of Highlands posted Friday on the nation’s first online-only newspaper, ahearald.com:
Letter to the residents of Highlands from Mayor Rick O’Neil:
Before I concede the election to Carolyn Broullon, I would first like thank everyone who voted for me, supported me, worked on my campaign and trusted to let me to represent them while serving our borough for the last two decades. Kindly allow me to extend a special thanks to my family for generously allowing me to sacrifice our valuable family time when the needs of the public had to come first. The position of Mayor of Highlands was a role that I both loved and was honored to hold.
I owe much to my recent campaign manager, Brendan O’Gibney. He is a fine young man and he walked the town with me many nights and weekends during the campaign. I have deep appreciation for my fellow council members. They would sit down with me at meetings, and we worked hard together for our residents—our common goals were to improve our infrastructure, climate and economy. Our borough employees have earned my undying gratitude for their devotion to their positions and the extra hours they put in to get the job done. It has been a pleasure working with the many professionals who have contributed to the progress and improvements to Highlands.
I am conceding the election to Ms. Broullon and wish her well! It is my hope and desire to see Highlands flourish and grow under her leadership. This historic vote should be a lesson to all, your voice does matter! Please continue to work together without animosity and dissension to move Highlands in the right direction—forward!
It is my intention to stay involved in the borough. I offer my services to all if I can assist or provide any guidance, history and/or advice.
Broullon told MMM that she has not heard from O’Neil and that she learned of his concession about 2:30 on Saturday afternoon via an email from a supporter who had seen the letter.
“I’m glad it is finally over and we can move forward,” Broullon said. “Mayor O’Neil and his family have sacrificed a great deal for Highlands over the last two decades. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. I appreciate his well wishes and offer of support.”
Broullon will be sworn in as mayor and vacate her council seat at noon on January 1, 2020. Federal Immigration Judge Anna C. Little, Highlands’ first female mayor, will preside over the Oath of Office.