WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - The Wood-Ridge police department turned out in full regalia for the July 18 Mayor and Council meeting, as oaths of office were administered to the new police chief, the new captain, and two officers promoted to sergeant. The council chambers were packed with the officers’ friends and families.
John Korin is the new Wood-Ridge police chief, and the new captain is Michael O’Donnell. Joseph T. Rutigliano, Jr. and and Jeffrey S. Geisler are the department’s newest sergeants. The oaths of office were administered to them separately, as they were surrounded by their family members.
As Mayor Paul Sarlo noted, also in attendance were former Wood-Ridge police chiefs, as well as officers from other municipalities – including the police chiefs from Saddle Brook, Moonachie, Park Ridge, Rutherford, Fort Lee, and Englewood.
Police department chaplain Father Paul Keenan, O.F.M., of The Church of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady, gave the invocation at the beginning of the meeting; and later the pastor of that parish, Father Richard Mucowski, O.F.M., offered a special prayer for the newly-promoted officers.
Chief Korin expressed his gratitude and said he was very humbled. He noted that the police department was highly respected by Wood-Ridge and also by the surrounding communities.
He commended the diligence of the police department. “You pick up the phone, these guys are at your house within a minute or two,” he said.
He also thanked the Wood-Ridge Fire Department, remarking that between them and the police department, they assure that Wood-Ridge continues to be a safe community.
Mayor Sarlo brought to everyone’s attention a recent time when, shortly after learning that he was to be promoted to chief, Officer Korin was riding on the Garden State Parkway with Council president Ezio Altamura. They came upon an incident wherein an individual was causing enormous trouble on the road. State troopers were there trying to quell the danger. Korin parked the car, jumped out of the vehicle and picked up a revolver that one of the troopers had dropped, and did what he could to help out his fellow officers.
Among the other items of business at the meeting was the adoption of the 2018 municipal budget, which had to wait until then because of the state’s delay in adopting its budget. The budget was approved by the Council in a roll-call vote. Mayor Sarlo noted that the municipality had a surplus of over two million dollars, and said that he was “very confident” that Wood-Ridge was in “strong, very stable shape” and that it would be “in the driver’s seat for many years to come.” The Mayor thanked the Finance Committee, headed by Councilman Edward Marino, for their efforts.
As part of the consent agenda, the Council authorized purchases of vehicles for use by the police department, the fire department, and the department of public works. They also accepted plans and specifications for a new ambulance, as submitted by Neglia Engineering; and authorized the borough clerk to advertise for bids.
Marcus McDaniel was appointed to the fire department as a one-year probationary member, Jacqueline DiMase was appointed technical assistant in the construction department retroactive to Jan. 1, George Meglio was appointed assistant to the superintendent of public works retroactive to Jan. 1, and Joseph Barbiera was promoted to the title of public works repairer effective August 1.
The Council also voted in favor of shared services with Bergen County for vehicle maintenance and short term rental of a street sweeper. Also approved was a shared service agreement with Teterboro for a sewer jet machine.
Two ordinances were passed on their second hearing, with no public questions or comments on either. The first ordinance accepts the transfer of title of a property on Marshall Lane from Fleet Wood-Ridge, LLC; plans are to use this property as a playground. The second ordinance is “to fix the salary, wages and compensation of the officers and employees” of the borough.