BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Council President Marc Faecher received accolades and two plaques at the beginning of his last meeting as a member of the council.
Faecher, who withdrew from the council race after his job responsibilities changed earlier this year, was the point person on the township’s successful efforts to meet its affordable housing obligations. A lawyer, with a vast knowledge of affordable housing issues and regulations, Faecher’s work on the issue led to a court-approved settlement with a number of developers that saw the number of very low, low and moderate-income units drop from an initial number of almost 900 units to less than 389.
“Marc has earned the respect of the whole community,” said Mayor Robert Woodruff, during a presentation of two plaques to Faecher at the beginning of the Dec. 19 meeting.
Council Vice President Jeanne Kingsley said she asked Faecher before the meeting, “’Are you sad?’ and he said, ‘I’m not sure that is the word I would use to describe my feelings, tonight.’” Kingsley told him, “A few of us are sad this is your last meeting,” then read from a lengthy proclamation that detailed his efforts on behalf of the township in the area of affordable housing and his successful efforts to find a way to save both the Berkeley Heights Community Pool and the Berkeley Heights YMCA.
Woodruff said the three state legislators, all Republicans, who represent Berkeley Heights, State Senator Tom Kean Jr., and Assembly members Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz, were at a holiday party at Democrat Governor-elect Phil Murphy’s home, but sent their regards, to which Faecher said, “You mean they chose the governor (elect) over me?”
Woodruff also presented a small plaque to Faecher to hang in his office, just to prove he served, since no one will read the proclamation on the larger one.
Matt Jessup, the township’s bond counsel, attended the meeting just to acknowledge the detailed work on the various projects put in by Faecher, “making sure everything is exactly the way the township wants it ... The way the transaction is done to benefit the residents of the township to the maximum extent possible. We just don’t see people put in the effort that Marc does.”
Faecher said, running for office “really is a special thing. You are dealing with important issues, maybe not on a national scale, but to all of us, these are really, really important issues.” He acknowledged all the work the people on the dais put in, adding, “We’re all striving for one thing. To make the town the best place it could possibly be.” He added that he is not going away and will continue to help, “as I can” and thanked “Ana, the municipal clerk, John the township administrator” as well as the Police and Fire chiefs, their respective departments, the DPW team and the treatment plant team “for all they do for us.” He ended his remarks with “Long Live Berkeley Heights!”
A brief break allowed residents and council members to enjoy cookies and coffee while before returning to the township meeting.
During the public portion of the meeting, residents of the town offered their support and thanks to Faecher.