Maria Maruca was unanimously elected by her colleagues to head Toms River's governing body at a meeting held Tuesday night.
Maruca, who was sworn in earlier at the same meeting to begin a fresh term on the council after a sweeping re-election in November, will be joined in her leadership by Councilman John Sevastakis, who was likewise unanimously chosen as the council's vice president.
In short remarks after the vote declaring her council president, Maruca said she would build on progress during "perhaps our hardest year ever" in 2013 recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
Maruca used what would normally be a personal speech to touch on policy issues – there are still 13 oceanfront resident holdouts who have not signed dune easements, she said – and thank township officials, including former police chief Michael Mastronardy, for their leadership after the storm.
State Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin, a former Toms River council member, swore in Maruca and Sevastakis, as well as council members Jeffery Carr and Alfonso Manforti, who were also re-elected to their posts in November.