DENVILLE, NJ -- The Denville Town Council held its annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 1. A nearly packed room of residents, family and friends attended the meeting to witness the swearing in of new council members Harry Fahrer and Angela Cote, who will serve four-year terms.

After expressing her humility and gratitude for family and friends who voted for her, Cote stated, "I’m also very grateful and I look forward to working with the mayor, the council, the committees as well as the community in making them the best they can be."

Fahrer similarly shared, "I am truly honored to be elected into this position. I thank all who trusted my team and me to represent their best interests. Of course, I would not be here without the support of my family. I look forward to representing your needs for the good of the township."

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After both council members took their oaths of office, Councilman John Murphy also took the vow after being reelected for another term. Members of the Denville Town Council then voted unanimously for Murphy to serve as council president, a position previously held by Douglas Gabel.

“Thank you, Council President Gabel and to the council in its entirety for your support of my nomination for council president and for your confidence in me,” said Murphy.

“There are many to thank for this day, first and foremost I must thank my family for their encouragement for me to be involved and give back to this wonderful community. My wife Stacey and I believe we have truly been blessed, and we feel it is our duty to give back. We try to instill that spirit in our daughter Christina who is following in my footsteps as a lacrosse coach this year, and who knows, may run for office someday. I admire her commitment and passion for all she does and am so glad she’s here from Colorado on this day. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the voters of Denville for their resounding vote of confidence in my candidacy, and that of our slate. Thank you.”

Mayor Thomas Andes also was reelected in November and, after taking his oath of office, delivered the state of the municipality address.

During his address, Andes took a moment to recognize two local volunteers and married couple Donna and Bob Ott. Both are known in Denville for their volunteer efforts and have contributed to multiple town events, including at public schools, recreation, St. Mary’s Church, Denville Rotary Street Festival, Santa Land, the Joey Bella Beefsteak Dinner, the St. Francis Fall Festival, the Denville Duck Race, the Centennial celebrations and anything in Downtown Denville.

“Bob Ott is retired, and Donna will soon be retired as well,” said Andes as he read the proclamation.

“Donna’s mom is ninety-seven years old and living in Illinois. Bob and Donna Ott have raised their sons and have now decided to move to Illinois to be near Donna’s mom. With the moving of Bob and Donna Ott, it is more than losing two great Denville volunteers with a special expertise, the town will be losing two warm and caring people who live a simple life and set an example of service to God, service to community, and how to be a friend to all.”

“Now therefore I; Thomas W. Andes, mayor of the Township of Denville, proclaim January 1, 2020, 'Bob and Donna Ott Day' in Denville. I extend a heartfelt appreciation and sincere thank you to the Otts for their distinguished service to our community and urge all our citizens to pay special tribute to these very special members of our community. I would like to present them the Key to the City and remind them they will always be welcomed home to Denville with open arms.”

Bob and Donna Ott were brought to tears as they were given the proclamation and the Key to the City.

Following the mayor’s address, more oaths of office were administrated, including for Tara M. Pettoni as municipal clerk, Steven Ward as director of administration, John P. Jansen, Esq., as municipal attorney, James LaSala, Esq., as municipal prosecutor, Daniel P. Agotino, Esq., as municipal public defender, John Ruschke as township engineer and Jason Kasler as township planner.


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