RANDOLPH, NJ - Families, residents, morris county representatives and volunteer firefighters packed into the Randolph Courtroom on Monday in support of the newly elected township officials.
Family members of Joanne Veech, Christine Carey and Lance Tkacs held the Bible and read the oath as each were sworn in.
Councilman Al Napoliello then nominated Carey to be the Mayor of Randolph for 2017, and Councilman Mark Forstenhausler was nominated for Deputy Mayor. Families showed support again by swearing in the new mayor and deputy mayor.
With the 2017 mayor selected, Township Manager Stephen Mountain stepped forward to thank former Mayor Roman Hirniak for his dedication and leadership over the past year.
Mountain mentioned Hirniak’s full schedule “loaded from Monday to Sunday,” and his responsiveness to the citizens and desire to make sure their needs were addressed by the municipal staff or council members.
"His passion for engaging with young people is another area he put particular emphasis and pride in,” Mountain said. "Roman made it his priority to ensure that those young people not only got the type of response that they should…, but really came to understand the civics of getting involved in a community."
Mayor Carey also thanked Hirniak for his dedication to the council over the past year and referred to his speaking skills.
“The transition from him to me is unfortunate, because he is such a good public speaker,” Carey said, “and I keep telling people I’m really quite intimidated to be coming behind him. He’s been doing such a great job for the past year.”
During council comments, each council member described their goals for the year, including infrastructure work throughout Randolph, development of the 90-Acre Project and trail extensions.
Mayor Carey stated four areas of “critical focus” for the council would be the budget, recreation, the Mount Freedom development plan and communications.
“Budget season is upon us,” Carey said. “As always, our goal is to balance the short- and long-term needs of the community while minimizing tax impact.”
Plans for a cell tower will help improve municipal communications.
“A new cell tower will be constructed on the municipal property to improve communications in this critical area of schools, police and township government,” Carey explained. “Moving us further into the 21st century, we will also be expanding our social media efforts with Facebook and Twitter.”
Following these comments, Mountain recognized the former fire chief, Steven Cohrs, and his efforts to “challenge the status quo,” stating the task was not easy in a volunteer organization. As a businessman, Cohrs was an agent of change, bringing metrics and analysis into fire service.
Anthony Moschella’s wife swore him in as the new Fire Chief. Moschella has served on the fire department for over 24 years, as the deputy fire chief for two years, the company chaplain for over 10 years and works on the bomb squad for the Jersey City Police Department. His son, Anthony, is also a firefighter in Randolph and serves in the U.S. Army, and his younger son serves as a Junior Firefighter.
Before swearing him in as Deputy Fire Chief, Michael Vanadia’s wife, Diana, thanked him for his service as a firefighter over the years.
“I just want to say thank you for always keeping the firefighters safe,” Diana Vanadia said. “You’re always educating yourself to ensure that when they go into a fire, they come out the same way they went in."