BERGENFIELD, NJ -- Sunday afternoon, Bergenfield Borough Hall Council Chambers was packed for the swearing-in ceremony of Mayor Arvin Amatorio and Councilmembers Ora Kornbluth and Salvador “Buddy” Deauna. The three candidates ran together as a slate and were elected together in November.
Amatorio was sworn-in by State Senator Joe Lagana, while Kornbluth was sworn-in by Congressman Josh Gottheimer, and Deauna was sworn-in by former Bergenfield Mayor Robert Rivas. To begin his term as Mayor, Amatorio vacated his Council seat, and the Council unanimously appointed local businessman Marc Pascual to serve the remaining one year on Amatorio’s original Council term.
Kornbluth begins her fourth term on Council, while Deauna begins his second. Amatorio, a first-generation American from Luzon, Philippines, becomes just the second New Jersey Mayor, of Filipino ancestry after Robert Rivas. A great number of local elected officials were on hand for the historic event, including Rivas, Gottheimer, Lagana, State Assemblymembers Chris Tully and Lisa Swain, former Bergenfield Mayor Carlos Aguasvivas, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Bergen County Clerk John Hogan, Freeholders Tom Sullivan, Germaine Ortiz, and Mary Amoroso, Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes, Tenafly Mayor Mark Zinna, Palisades Park Mayor Chris Chung, Englewood Cliffs Council President Gloria Oh, Ridgefield Councilman Dennis Shim, Jersey City Councilman Rolando Lavarro, Hasbrouck Heights Councilman Chris Hillmann. Dumont Councilman Connor Gorman, Mawah, Councilman Jonathan Wong, and Legislative District 38 and 37 Democratic Chairmen Esther Fletcher and John Bang. The Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano was also in attendance at the celebration.
“I am so honored to be your Mayor, and want to thank you all for being here on this historic day. During our campaign, I met with over 10,000 residents directly at their doors, and appreciate them sharing their vision for a better Bergenfield with me. I pledge to always work in the best interests of residents, and all my efforts will be shaped by feedback from the public,” said Mayor Arvin Amatorio. “Today is a historic day for not only me but the entire Bergenfield community, who welcomed me and my wife about 13 years ago. The Filipino community is rejoicing and I am genuinely proud of my heritage, but I am here to serve all residents, from all communities. In my first 100 days as Mayor, I will work with the DPW, my colleagues in the council, and of course residents to identify which roads require an immediate repair and construct a plan to make sure we address these issues because Bergenfield residents deserve to feel safe in our neighborhoods. We are also going to begin plans to construct a new Borough Hall, that is energy-efficient and will better serve residents for at least 100 years. Bergenfield will improve its parks, sports facilities and will streamline our sports and recreation program as part of my plan to invest in our youth."
"Bergenfield is in great hands with Arvin, who's been a part of this community for thirteen years, and brings his experience fighting higher taxes and service on the Public Works & Parks and Police Committees to his new position as Mayor and to keep Bergenfield taxes stable, improve our infrastructure, renovate our parks, and continue to revitalize the community and attract new businesses,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “I'd also like to congratulate Councilman Buddy Deauna, and Councilman Marc Pascual for being sworn in today as well. Together, with Arvin, Buddy, Marc, Ora, and all of the Borough's leadership, Bergenfield will continue to be a great place to live and do business."
Mayor Amatorio began the Council meeting which followed the swearing-in ceremony by nominating Franklin S. Montero, Esq. as Municipal Court Judge for the Borough of Bergenfield. Montero was appointed by the Council, becoming the first Latino Judge in Bergenfield’s history. Judge Montero holds degrees from New York University, Fordham University and obtained his law degree from the Rutgers-Newark School of Law. He clerked for Superior Court Judge R. Rosa. He previously served as both a Public Defender and Prosecutor in Bergenfield.