ROXBURY, NJ – At its final meeting of the year, the Roxbury Mayor and Council on Tuesday congratulated an Eagle Scout, praised three exemplary youth sports teams and gave an exceptionally ardent farewell to departing Councilman Dan Kline, the sole Democrat on the panel, who lost his seat in last month’s election.
“For the past four years, Dan Kline – who literally came out of nowhere – has represented Roxbury’s fourth ward,” said Mayor Bob DeFillippo. “He threw himself into that role, including donning full fireman’s gear to join our Company 1’s volunteers on a training exercise … He was a regular attendee at Scouting activities … And he may have been Roxbury’s biggest high school sports fan. You could tell he enjoyed it and people liked him.”
The mayor noted that Kline, during his tenure on the council, graduated from law school and passed the bar exam, “a remarkable accomplishment.”
State Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-25th Dist.), who is also Roxbury’s township counsel, said he’s represented Roxbury for more than 20 years and saw many people come and go on the council. He praised Kline for the way he handled himself and advised him to now focus on his law career.
“You came onto the council and your role wasn’t easy because, number one, this was your first time as an elected official and, number two, you were in the minority,” Bucco told Kline. “We’ve had a couple of lunches together. I’ve gotten to know you. You served in your position, even in the minority, with such grace and dignity and honor.”
Kline won office in 2015 as a 27-year-old political novice, beating veteran GOP Councilman Martin Schmidt. At Tuesday’s meeting, he said he hoped his time on the council made a difference for the township.
“I’d like to thank the Roxbury community and my colleagues for the best four years of my life so far,” he said. “Having the honorable distinction of a position of public service has challenged me to become a version of myself better than I ever knew I was capable of being.”
Kline was defeated Nov. 5 by Republican Thomas Carey who will be sworn-in to the 4-year seat in January.
Bat Houses and Championships
The council presented certificates of achievement to Eagle Scout Nicholas Fowler of Scout Troup 188, the Roxbury High School Gymnastics Team, the Roxbury Elite Ruckus U11 Girls Soccer Team and the Roxbury Junior Gaels 8th Grade Football Team.
“We’re surrounded by our amazing youth of Roxbury who have done some astonishing things,” said DeFillippo, looking at a council chamber packed with young people and their proud parents.
Fowler earned his Eagle Scout badge by building houses for an endangered species of bat and hanging them throughout the state. “So far, it seems like they’re actually working,” he said. “A couple of bats have actually been inside some of the houses that I made."
Taking the reins to introduce and recognize the sports teams, Deputy Mayor Fred Hall first welcomed the gymnastics team which enjoyed an undefeated 10-0 season, became New Jersey League B champions and Group 1 Sectional Champions. Hall pointed out that the team was launched only two years ago.
Next to be honored was the football team, which also went undefeated and was named the Morris County Youth Football League champions. “This is a very, very good Junior Gaels team” Hall said. “They’ve been together, a lot of them, since 3rd Grade … These guys are no joke.”
In congratulating the girls soccer team, Hall stressed that the team’s winning of the New Jersey Youth Soccer President’s Cup Tournament was “a really big deal.” He also noted that, unlike many other “travel club” teams they played, which draw players from long distances - the Roxbury Ruckus team is composed only of girls from the Roxbury area.
According to Coach Ken Rudnicky, the team is ranked 45th across the United States and Canada.
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