LITTLE FALLS, N.J.- A 40 year Republican mayor streak was broken in Little Falls after James Belford Damiano was sworn in this week.
The swearing in ceremony of James Belford Damiano as mayor of Little Falls took place at Passaic Valley High School on Monday. Damiano was sworn into position by his mother, The Hon. Toni B. Damiano, as he was surrounded by his family.
Hon. Kevin Barry, chairman of Little Falls Democratic Committee, hosted the ceremony, stating, “Today is a day of a new chapter in Little Falls.” For the first time in 40 years, the township has a Democratic mayor and a majority-Democrat council.
“By electing my team and I by quadruple votes, it has made it abundantly clear that I am standing here before you as a mandate from the people, for today we begin the work of building one Little Falls," he said. "A prosperous, fair, respected and caring Little Falls.”
Democratic Councilwoman Maria Martini Cordonnier and Councilman Anthony P. Sgobba were also sworn in to serve on the council.
Damiano said he and the council will work towards addressing the flooding issues around the Passaic and Peckman rivers that affect families not only during flood season but year-round and to continue the rezoning of Main Street all the way to Singac to revitalize the downtown areas.
Another issue that will be addressed is increasing ratables.
“Increase ratables to offset expenses so that the residents of this town do not have to be burdened with increasing taxes," Damiano said.
The voters have also spoken on one other issue, Damiano stated, “The people of Little Falls want to see an end to the division that has paralyzed our municipal government over the last few years and I hear you, you want results and together with the council we will deliver.”
Martini Cordonnier was sworn in as her husband stood by her side. Cordonnier said the mayor and the council will work towards strengthening work relationships with neighboring municipalities including Totowa and Woodland Park.
Cordonnier said the mayor and council are committed to residents to bring grant money to the town, take advantage of Passaic County's commitment to protecting open space to improve the quality of life from Little Falls residents, and to increase government transparency.
Sgobba was sworn in and was elected council president at the meeting that followed the swearing in ceremony.
“The goal of this administration is to look passed personalities, egos and genders,” he said, promising to work with the mayor, council, and volunteers to make Little Falls a community for families and prosperous businesses.
Damiano is the first Democratic mayor of Little Falls since 1974, according to chairman Barry.
“As your new mayor, I will work with the council you have elected in moving Little Falls not left, not right, but forward,” he said.