GLEN ROCK, NJ – Councilman Michael O’Hagan, who is at the end of his 16-year career as a Glen Rock council person, said his goodbyes and thank yous to fellow council members and the community, choking with emotion several times during his presentation.
At the final formal council meeting of the year, O’Hagan thanked many individuals who supported him during his tenure.
“I tried to do what’s right,” he said on December 11.
O’Hagan, a republican, announced earlier in the year he would not run in November for re-election. The council has only democrat members after the last two republican seats were lost in a tight November election as Teresa Gilbreath and Rob Dill defeated appointed councilwoman Michelle Torpey and Eric Schlett. Kristine Morieko will move from her council seat to the elected mayor’s position. Mayor Bruce Packer did not run for re-election. The council will appoint a democrat to fill Morieko’s council seat in January.
O’Hagan coached town sports during his tenure and said many times, he had to show-up late and leave early because of his council duties, “but, boy, was it fun.”
He said he had dealt with several issues that “tested our mettle,” and came to each decision through his convictions and faith.
“I lost a few relationships along the way,” O’Hagan said. “But that was part of the job. You do what you think is right, and let the chips fall where they may.”
He thanked all the emergency service volunteers and borough employees, including Mayor Packer, borough attorney Anthony Suarez, borough administrator Lenora Benjamin and borough clerk Jackie Scalia.
He singled out his family, as well, saying without their support, he would not have been able to serve the community as he did.
John van Keuren, former Glen Rock Mayor, said O’Hagan “made Glen Rock a much better place to live,” and told him not to forget the time-honored tradition of carving his initials in the dais.
Ron Bergamini said O’Hagan is the type of man “you can call at 3 a.m. and he would be there for you.”
O’Hagan’s daughter, Juliann, was emotional as well, as she thanked her father. “I would always say, yeah, my dad is on the council. It’s weird that you’re not going to be on the council anymore.”
Robin, O’Hagan’s wife, said it will indeed be strange that he will no longer be on the council. “I am very proud of you, very proud of the person you are.”