LAKE COMO, NJ — The swearing-in of Lake Como Borough Councilman Douglas Witte to his 10th term on the governing body highlighted its annual reorganization meeting.

And shortly after Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Quinn, a former borough councilman himself, administered the oath of office, Witte was unanimously chosen once again by his colleagues to serve as council president — a role he was held for some two decades over his tenure of public service.

As he began his 28th year on the council, Witte thanked voters for their support in re-electing him to another three-year term. “I will continue to do my best for the residents of Lake Como,” he said.

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Also taking her seat on January 7 was Councilwoman Hawley Scull, who also expressed her appreciation to voters for being re-elected to her third term. Both Democratic incumbents were unchallenged in their re-election bids in November.

In his "State of the Borough" report, Mayor Kevin Higgins characterized the past year as being quiet with much getting done, including:

-- Developing a “deeper relationship” with the Belmar Police Department through the new Community Policing Program.

-- Continuing conversations for water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

-- Opening dialogue with Optimum and Verizon to resolve cable wire problems throughout the borough.

-- Making progress to resolve stormwater runoff problems, including applying for grants to fund needed improvements.

-- Offering online payment of tax and water/sewer bills.

Higgins also pointed out that his “Coffee with the Mayor” sessions, launched last year and held on the third Saturday of every month, have been successful.

The mayor also announced that his council assignments for overseeing key borough services and programs will remain in place as follows: Douglas Witte, emergency services (police, fire and first aid), Virginia Kropac, finance committee and community development block grant; Christopher D’Antuono, public works and water/sewer; Hawley Scull, tourism commission, quality of life and community relations; David Gardner, environmental commission, building and grounds, and green team advisory committee; and Nicholas DeMauro, board of education and recreation.

The governing body also made a host of reappointments to municipal positions, including Marguerite Schaffer as municipal attorney, Sayreville-based CME Associates as municipal engineer, Robert Allison as municipal auditor, William McGuinn as municipal prosecutor, Dennis Lavender as municipal judge, Thomas Martin as public defender, Mark Fessler as zoning officer and Edward Kirschenbaum Sr. as emergency management coordinator.

For a full list of appointments and other resolutions approved for the new year, visit the borough’s website.

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