BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Bob Woodruff was sworn in as Berkeley Heights mayor, along with Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley and Councilman Marc Faecher at the Township Reorganization Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 1.
"Mark, Jeanne and I ran for election -- we did so under the banner of 'Together Moving Berkeley Heights Forward'," said Woodruff. "Together, we have made a commitment to work together for the people of this town." Woodruff emphasized that in addition to the council working with the town, "the entire town has to work with us. We seek your assistance, we seek your help, we seek your council."
"This is an exciting time in town. We have a lot of initiatives -- we have a lot of things that we believe are going to be the best long term interests of this town. I assure you that everyone up here is seeking, on a daily basis, the best interest of the people of this town," said Woodruff. "We have respect to those in town and ask for the same respect back. That is how we get things done."
After Mayor Woodruff took the oath of office, which was given by the Honorable Alan G. Lesnewich, he swore in Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley to her second term and Councilman Marc Faecher to his first term.
Congressman Leonard Lance was in attendance and congratulated Mayor Woodruff and the governing body for their progress over the past year. -- "This municipality received federal grants and you do an excellent job," said Lance. "The 13,000 residents of Berkeley Heights should be very proud of that. We congratulate the Mayor and governing body for all they do."
"I wish for 2015 prosperity for the American people. I also wish for peace across the globe," said Lance. "Our combat mission in Afghanistan ended at midnight -- there are still brave young men and women in harms way across the world for the American freedom. As we begin 2015, let us remember all of those that served us in the past as veterans and all of those that currently serve us in the military and their family, in many ways they serve as well."
Lance thanked all of the volunteers in Berkeley Heights that serve - including fighting fires, rescue squad, as well as the men and women in blue, including the two newly sworn in officers [Ptl. Christopher Affinito and Ptl. Donald Maxwell ].
Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley was selected to continue as council president and Councilman Craig Pastore will continue as council vice-president. Councilman Tom Pirone was appointed to the Planning Board for a term to expire Dec. 31, 2015.
Each council member spoke briefly about their thoughts and ideas for the New Year.
- "Communication, commitment and working together is what we ran on in the fall and what we will continue to focus on in 2015," said Kingsley. "There is a lot going on in town - we continually have budget dollar issues and the downtown development that is going on and the development of the municipal complex All of this is going to take teamwork, support from the public and a commitment to work together collectively to ultimately do what is best for the town."
- "I look forward to working with the members of the council and Mayor Woodruff," said Faecher. "It's a great time for Berkeley Heights -- we have some challenges -- I'm sure working together, we will certainly overcome them. I'm looking forward to working with all of you to continue to make Berkeley Heights the best place in NJ to live."
- Councilman Craig Pastore is eager to serve with the council to make a positive impact on Berkeley Heights and its residents. "My goal is to foster idea sharing and open communications," said Pastore. "Every council member is an equal and we need to work together as a team to move forward."
- Councilman Tom Pirone wished John Bussiculo the best for the start to the first full year as Township Administrator and continuing with the "three strategic multi-year projects, including: the 15-year pavement improvement plan, the two-year stream cleaning plan and the Berkeley Heights' participation in the joint Union County Passaic River de-snagging effort."
- Councilman Ed Delia thanked the unrecognized volunteers, as well as the military. He further expressed his gratitude to a New Providence volunteer who initiated a police rally to show local support to the Police Department. "It really bothers me to see the negative press about police officers in this country. I want to say thanks to all of them -- they deserve some respect."
- Councilman Kevin Hall expressed the need for commitment and teamwork to accomplish the goals of the year. "It is going to be an exciting year. There are many major thresholds that are taking place in town - everything from flooding, infrastructure," said Hall. " While it is exciting, they are going to be challenging. It is all in the face of a very tight budget environment."
Ptl. Christopher Affinito and Ptl. Donald Maxwell were sworn into the Berkeley Heights Police Department. Mayor Woodruff administered the oath of office after a brief introduction by Chief of Police John DiPasquale.
The council went through the list of resolutions that outlines the various professional appointments for the year that included the appointment of Anthony Padovano as Chief of the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
Reverend Murdoch MacPherson of Faith Lutheran Church in Murray Hill provided the Invocation and benediction.