LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Local resident Marc Benitez was sworn in to fill an unexpired council seat at the April 3 council meeting. The seat was vacated by Joseph Maceri, who stepped down in February due to personal reasons.

Benitez was sworn in by Mayor James Damiano during the council meeting. He was one of three Republican candidates considered to fulfill the position by council members. He is currently the only Republican who sits on the council. His seat, which expires at the end of the year, is up for reelection this November.

Originally from Bronx, N.Y., Benitez has been a resident of the township since 2011. He lived in Manhattan prior to coming to Little Falls. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. and has worked in retail since 1998. He previously worked for Coach for 13 years and now works for Kenneth Cole, for the past several years.

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"I've acquired 20 years of professional experience, 10 of which were in internal business development," Benitez explained. "In the past decade, I've had a chance to travel the world in order to get retailers into specific territorial expansion plans."

Benitez added that he plans to seek reelection this November to maintain his seat and that he hopes to improve the township with his experience.

"I'd like to bring my diverse international business development experience to the diverse town of Little Falls, with a long-term strategy, not a short-term strategy," he added.

Challenging Benitez for his seat this November will be newcomer Tanya Seber, who will be running on a Democratic ticket with Chris Vancheri, whose seat is also up for reelection at the end of the year.