PATERSON, NJ- It was a sendoff worthy of a queen, a role, with her trademark smile and benevolent manner, outgoing Mayor Jane Williams-Warren would have excelled at in a different time and place.
On Saturday hundreds of well-wishers gathered in front of Eastside park to celebrate the woman who took the reins of the City of Paterson during a difficult time and, according to Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh, “created confidence.”
Escorted to the park by a police contingent under the ruse of an emergency that needed her presence, Warren was welcomed by a huge American flagged draped across two Paterson fire trucks and a swarm of supporters and friends. Helped out of the vehicle by her successor in the mayor’s office, Warren was made her way slowly to her seat, stopping often to receive kisses and take pictures.
One by one elected officials, department heads, and others took to the stage to offer Warren words of thanks, with “integrity” becoming the common theme throughout.
“When somebody does a good job we have to lift them up,” A. Curtis Farrow told TAPinto Paterson. Farrow chaired the committee of 27 individuals who helped organize the event. “This was the only event I’ve ever been involved in where every person involved came to every meeting,” Farrow said, offering a glimpse into the widespread respect that Warren has engendered during her time in office.
Speaking to the next phase of city leadership which begins on Sunday with the inauguration of Andre Sayegh, Farrow pointed to the importance of the new mayor being on hand to greet his predecessor and gingerly escort her through the crowd. “There is love between them,” Farrow said poetically. “It’s been a beautiful transition.
“I love this city,” Warren would exclaim when it was her turn to take the microphone, following that up with “I love all of you!” Recounting the days leading up to her being elected by the city council, and initial days on the job, Warren admitted the task seemed “daunting.”
She never hesitated from taking it on though, because, “Paterson needed me.”
Offering what might have been her last marching order in the position as the city’s top executive, Warren asked all in attendance to “continue working for Paterson.”
“We got this,” she concluded confidently, predicting better days ahead for the town she said she has called home all her life and “will never leave.”