HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino was named one of New Jersey’s “Outstanding Women in Municipal Government” while attending the New Jersey League of Municipalities' 104th Annual Convention in Atlantic City on November 20.
Secretary of State Tahesha Way and members of the New Jersey League of Municipalities' executive board congratulated the 2019 winners, along with officials from Hackensack, which included Mayor John Labrosse, Deputy Mayor Dave Sims, Council Members Leo Battaglia and Stephanie Von Rudenborg, and City Manager Ted Ehrenburg.
“We are proud to present this award to Deputy Mayor Canestrino in recognition of her tremendous accomplishments in supporting economic development and other worthy endeavors in the City of Hackensack,” said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, President of the League of Municipalities. “Kathy is the driving force behind the city’s remarkable renaissance and a shining example of the major contributions made by women in public service today.”
Established in 1974 by the League of Municipalities’ executive board, Women in Municipal Government is a constituency group formed to "serve as a forum for communication and networking among women local elected officials and their colleagues within the National League of Cities" and "encourages women to seek public office in their communities," according to the National League of Cities official website.
“I truly appreciate this wonderful honor, which is a reflection of how hard our entire administration is working to build a better future for our city and all of our residents,” said Canestrino. “This is a very special moment for me and our team.”
Canestrino was first elected to the city council in 2013 and has since served as a deputy mayor. A mother of three and grandmother of six, Canestrino is a retired aerospace engineer who worked for Honeywell International for 20 years. She has played a key leadership role in shepherding the city’s downtown redevelopment plan, which is producing $1 billion in new commercial and residential development and substantial new revenue for taxpayers. Those resources are helping to finance major infrastructure and recreational improvements throughout the city and to keep property taxes stable.
“No one is more responsible than Kathy for turning our once-abandoned downtown business district into one of Bergen County’s strongest economic engines,” said Mayor John Labrosse. “None of this would be happening without her hard work and dedication.”
Canestrino is also credited for negotiating an agreement facilitating a major expansion by Hackensack University Medical Center, which is generating an additional $4 million annually for the city. As part of her work with the Teterboro Airport Noise Abatement Advisory Committee with the Federal Aviation Administration, she is leading the fight against dangerous conditions at Teterboro airport by helping to create a new flight plan for the airport to divert air traffic away from the city’s high-rise buildings and medical center to enhance public safety.