WATCHUNG, NJ – The Borough of Watchung held its annual Reorganization Meeting on Jan. 1 and, at this time, re-elected councilmembers were sworn in and appointments to board, committee and commissioners were approved.

Following the invocation, which was delivered by Reverend Barbara Peters, the oath of office was administered to Councilmembers Debra Joren and Dave Mobus. Joren, who is currently serving her fifth term, was also voted Council President with the motion made by Councilman Bill Nehls. She was also appointed Class III Planning Board Member, will serve as Chair of both the Laws & Ordinances and Police committees, and will sit on the Public Works Committee. Mobus, who was appointed to the Council last fall to fill an unexpired seat, is serving his first full-term. He will sit on the Administration & Finance and Public Works Committees as well as the Recreation Commission. 

Jonathan Erber was re-elected by his peers to a one-year term as Fire Chief as was Rescue Squad Captain Alison Diecke. Additionally, Charles Pivnichny was re-elected to a one-year term as both Assistant Fire Chief and Rescue Squad First Lieutenant.

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Mayor Stephen Pote and the Watchung Borough Council appointed John Richardson to a three-year term as Municipal Judge (effective 1/1/16 through 12/31/18) and Raymond Murray was re-appointed as Collector of Taxes for a part-time, four-year term. Additionally, Albert Cruz was appointed Borough Attorney and Richard Guss was appointed Municipal Prosecutor; both Cruz and Guss are with the firm of DiFrancesco, Bateman, Coley, Yospin, Kunzman, Davis & Lehrer, P.C.

The following one-year terms were also approved: Auditor: Suplee, Clooney & Co.; Bond Counsel: Rogut & McCathy, LLC; Engineer: Maser Consulting PA; Labor Attorney: Ruderman & Glickman, P.C.; and Public Defender: James V. Loewen.

The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Watchung also confirmed the following board, committee and commission appointments:

Board of Adjustment: Robert Dallas, Sondra Fechtner and Paul Panzarella (4-year terms expiring 12/31/19) and Edward Lauerman (2-year term expiring 12/31/17)

Board of Heath: Frances Ellis and Harriet Stambaugh (3-year term expiring 12/31/18); Francesca Escalera - member and Julia Gunther –alternate #1 (unexpired term ending 12/31/16)

Emergency Management Team (OEM): Skip Bell, Andrew Hart, Adam Wexler, Paul Panzarella (all 1-year terms expiring 12/31/16)

Environmental Commission: Donald Pote (3-year term expiring 12/31/18)

Green Brook Flood Control Commission: Stephen Black and Stephen Pote (1-year terms expiring 12/31/16)

Green Team: Cameron black, Margaret Ellis, William Hance, Daniel Lee, Shelini Parikh, Elena Rubino, Heidi Rubino (1-year terms expiring 12/31/16)

Historical Committee: Dorothy Addario, Elizabeth Aldrich, Barbara Diem, Lynn Franklin, Tracee Schaefer, Lynn Stahl, Richard Stomber, Elizabeth Titus (1-year terms expiring 12/31/16)

Library Advisory Committee: Maureen Greenbaum (1-year term expiring 12/31/16) and Colleen Mehegan (3-year term expiring 12/31/18)

Municipal & County Wastewater Management Committee: Tom Herits and William Nehls (1-year terms expiring 12/31/16)

Open Space Advisory Committee: Tracee Schaefer (2-year term expiring 12/31/17)

Planning Board: Peter Desnoyers (4-year term expiring 12/31/19)

Recreation Commission: Christopher Murphy, Michael Onuska, John Pennett and Craig Zaikov (5-year terms expiring 12/31/20) and MaryAnn Weber (unexpired term ending 12/31/17)

Traffic and Beautification: RoseAnne Barr, Phyllis Juette, Jeannette Kayel, Marlene Long, George Sopko and MaryAnn Weber (1-year terms expiring 12/31/16)

Wildlife Management Advisory Committee: Heidi Rubino (1-year term expiring 12/31/16)

Youth Services Commission: Maria Alberto, Albert Ellis, Brian Emerick, Mary Nunn and Nolan Williams (1-year terms expiring 12/31/16)

The Borough of Watchung holds council meetings on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers in the Watchung Municipal Building, 15 Mountain Boulevard. For additional information, visit