Democrat File Photo
to replace his father
Story by Frank Rizzo
FREMONT CENTER September 24, 2013 Last Wednesday, at the Town of Fremont Board meeting, Brian Brustman of Obernburg was sworn in as councilman, replacing his father, the late Paul Brustman.
Paul’s sudden death on September 6 put the town board in a quandary; with the death of Councilman John B. (Jack) Niflot on June 22 it left just three councilmembers, a barely functioning quorum.
“There are cases coming up where we needed a super-majority,” said Supervisor and Town of Fremont Republican Committee Chair George Conklin.
As for regular meetings, “Every one of us has to be present, or else we can’t conduct the meeting,” he noted.
Paul Kellam and John Hubert are the other two councilmen.
Brian Brustman was asked to take his father’s seat at a GOP Committee meeting shortly after Paul’s death.
“[Brian] seemed to be the obvious choice to everybody,” Conklin said.
Paul had actually garnered the most votes in the Republican primary for council on September 10, after his death. Louis Milucky also garnered enough votes to be on the Republican line come November. Brian Brustman will now be the other Republican on the ticket.
According to Sullivan County Republican Elections Commissioner Rodney Gaebel, in agreement with Democratic Commissioner] Ann Prusinski, “the party has 14 days from the date of [Paul’s]passing to come up with a replacement candidate.”
“We were blown away by the [primary result],” said Conklin. “We had to act on the behalf of the town and county.”
Brian had been appointed to the Planning Board back in January, but resigned that seat prior to being sworn in as councilman on Sept. 18.
Brustman has served for many years as the Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District manager.
‘I was honored to say yes and fill out his [dad’s] term. I’m very happy to do it. I know how important it was to my dad. He lived in the town all his life… the town’s important to me, too.”
Brustman said he was “learning a lot as I go.”
His main concern in the coming months is the shaping of the budget and keeping any property tax levy rise at a minimum.
“I’m honored that they asked me,” he said. “I look forward to doing my best. It’s what my father would have wanted.”