PATERSON, NJ – Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh today announced the leadership of his transition team, which will examine the current state of municipal government, make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of city services, and help make the necessary preparations for the launch of the new administration on July 1.

“As I said throughout my campaign, we intend to unite this city into One Paterson,” said Mayor-Elect Sayegh. “We will do it, in part, by bringing together talented men and women and working to build a better city government capable of responding to the needs of all Patersonians.”

Vaughn McKoy has agreed to serve as the Transition Team’s chair. McKoy was born and raised in the City of Paterson and has served as Assistant U.S. Attorney and Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

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The Mayor-Elect has also appointed seven co-chairs of the Transition Team who represent Paterson’s diverse population, neighborhoods and civic organizations. The Transition Team Co-Chairs are:


  •       Eli Burgos, former City Business Administrator
  •       Ed Cotton, former Chief of Staff to Bill Pascrell, Jr. when he served as mayor
  •       Rev. Kenneth Clayton, Pastor, St. Luke’s Baptist Church
  •       Bob Guarasci, CEO, New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC)
  •       Elsa Mantilla, President, Dominican Parade and Festival
  •       Rania Mustafa, Executive Director, Palestinian American Community Center
  •       Ramon Pagan, Co-Pastor, Congregation Rock of Salvation
  •       Jane Williams-Warren, Mayor of Paterson


The Chair and Co-Chairs will oversee 11 different Transition Committees appointed by the Mayor-Elect to review specific areas that are critical to the proper functioning of city government. They are:

Arts, Culture & Tourism:


Sharon Smith, Retired Principal and Educator, Paterson Public Schools

Richard Polton, Managing Director, Integra Realty Resources

Kathy Esquiche, ESL & World Languages Department Chair, International High School, Paterson


Administration, Budget & Finance:


Matt Watkins, Business Administrator, Bloomfield

Jerome St. John, Retired Superior Court Judge


Community & Economic Development:


Michael Powell, Executive Director of Continuing Education & Workforce Development, Passaic County Community College

Barbara Dunn, Executive Director, Paterson Habitat for Humanity

Carlos Medina, Chair, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey


Environment, Infrastructure & Public Works:


Kenneth Simpson, Supervisor of Roads, County of Passaic

Chris Coke, Director, East Orange Department of Public Works


Health & Human Services:


Dr. Jabeen Ahmed, Business Owner, Sheefa Pharmacy & Medical Center

Kevin J. Slavin, President & CEO, St. Joseph’s Health

Sonia Rosado, Executive Director, Hispanic Multi-Purpose Service Center




Khalifa Shabazz, Esq., Shabazz & Associates, LLC

Baye Wilson, Esq., Rainone Coughlin Minchello, LLC


Recreation, Education & Youth:


Kemper McDowell, Executive Director of Family & Community Engagement, Paterson Public Schools

Rosie Grant, Executive Director, Paterson Education Fund

Javier Fernandez, President, Hijos Y Amigos De Columbia


Public Safety & Prevention:


Richard Reyes, Retired Captain, City of Paterson Police Department

Anthony Ambrose, Public Safety Director, City of Newark

Glenn Brown, Director of Security, Passaic County Community College


Public Authorities:


Kenyatta Stewart Esq., Corporation Counsel, City of Newark

Ferdous Hussain, Senior Analytics and Business Reporting, Novartis


Public Integrity:


Joseph A. Hayden, Jr., Esq., Pashman, Stein, Walder, Hayden

Rev. Douglas Maven, Pastor, First A.M.E. Zion Church


Labor & Workforce Development:


Dr. Steven Rose, President, Passaic County Community College

John Ballantyne, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters


Additional appointments will be made to each of these committees.

Mayor-Elect Sayegh will soon be meeting with the entire Transition Team to examine ways that the incoming administration can operate a smarter, more efficient government with an ability to better deliver services to the people of Paterson.