Editor’s Note: The Borough held its reorganization meeting on Jan. 7 in which each member of the Council made statements about the past year and projected into 2020. This is part two of a two-part series on the state of Fair Lawn. Part 1 here

FAIR LAWN, NJ – The Borough Council, along with Mayor Kurt Peluso, discussed the state of the borough at the Jan. 7 meeting, noting the positive direction of the borough and the accomplishments of 2019.

In part one, we heard from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Josh Reinitz. In part two, the rest of the five-member council speak about their year in government, and what’s to come.

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“It is the greatest honor of my life to serve on this council,” Deputy Mayor of Community Affairs Gail Rottenstrich said, as she thanked her husband and family for their support. The councilwoman was diagnosed with cancer later in 2019.

“This borough is lucky to have Kris [Krause, the newest councilman],” she said. “Cristina [Cutrone] has implemented changes that have already begun to impact the people of Fair Lawn.”

“And in spite of how friendly he is, I assure you, Kurt [Peluso, the mayor] is driven to work for the people of Fair Lawn.”

Rottenstrich said she looked forward to serving on the “Complete Count Committee,” designed to ensure full participation in the 2020 Census, along with former Mayor John Cosgrove.

She said there will be a community-wide Green Day on May 17 and she is working to institute a single-use bag ban in the borough, much like surrounding communities, including Glen Rock. That borough’s ban took effect on Jan. 1.

“We’re much more alike than we are different,” she said. “We will not be divided by hate. We must condemn it and promote love.”

She encouraged all to “spread the light.”

Councilwoman Cristina Cutrone thanked her husband and the “tribe of moms” that she enjoys in the community.

“While the national government makes headlines, local government does things that affect our lives every day,” she said.

Cutrone talked about the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, mentioning the Council will commemorate that anniversary this year.

She remembered a friend who lost his wife to cancer last year and said it has reminded her to understand much of the vitriol around politics, and how it’s “not so bad” when you consider her friend’s loss.

“Supporting local government is a way to make this world a better place,” Cutrone said, encouraging people with differences to listen and work together.

The newest councilman, Kris Krause, elected in November, replacing John Cosgrove, who did not run for re-election, said the Council “took [him] in and treated [him] as an equal.”

“This process has been reaffirming,” said Krause, a lawyer by trade.

The council met for its first work session of the year on Jan. 14 when they began discussing the single-use plastic bag ban, in addition to several other items. They meet again on Jan. 28.