FAIR LAWN – Farewells to Councilman Marc Zharnest and Deputy Mayor Amy Lefkowitz were the order of the day on Dec. 19 as both public servants exited, with two new council people “in the bullpen.”
In an emotional final statement, Councilman Zharnest thanked administrative officials and professionals who run the borough for helping him along as he learned the workings of being a councilman during his six-month stint.
“We do not do this for our own glory,” he said. “We do it to serve others.”
Zharnest, who was appointed to a seat in May prior to running for election in November, will continue to serve as an Ambulance Corps member, among other efforts.
Lefkowitz called her young daughter, Hannah, to the dais to sit with her as she offered thanks while her younger son and her husband waited for her return as a non-public official in the audience.
“Thank you to our volunteers, I couldn’t be prouder,” she said. “I’m proud of our accomplishments and proud to have served the residents of Fair Lawn.”
Turning to her council peers, she said, “I never felt a political line between us.”
“Both Marc and Amy gave up time with their families to be here,” Councilwoman Lisa Swain said. “I hope you will continue to serve and stay involved.”
“Marc, you’ve been an absolute gentleman,” Deputy Mayor Kurt Peluso said.
Peluso praised both Zharnest’s and Lefkowitz’s “dedication and sacrifice.”
“We have Josh and Gail waiting in the bullpen,” he said.
The council, as of Jan. 1, will consist of a majority of democrats—four members, to one republican—John Cosgrove, outgoing mayor, who has two years left in his term.
Gail Rottenstrich and Josh Reinitz, both democrats, were elected in November for three-year terms.
The Fair Lawn reorganization meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. At that time, the council will choose a mayor amongst themselves.