UNION, NJ – Union’s newest mayor was sworn into office on New Year’s Day in a packed Town Hall meeting room during the Township’s Reorganization meeting.

Michele Delisfort began her remarks by acknowledging her family and colleagues.  “It is a given that none of us ascends to elected office without the sacrifices and support of others,” she said.  “So, I’d like to dedicate this moment to those whose sacrifices and support made it possible for me to appear before you today as the first Black female and first Haitian-American mayor of the great Township of Union.”

Delisfort acknowledged her husband George and sons Ahmael and Chase.  “My amazing family has supported my journey in service from the very beginning,” she said, “from my years serving on the Union Planning Board, my first term as Committee person, and now as your Mayor.”

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“I am proud of Michele because this has been her lifelong passion,” said Delisfort’s husband, George.  “She’s a hometown girl giving back to her community.”

Delisfort said her parents, Guy and Suzette Delisfort, immigrated from Haiti and established their medical practice in Newark, before “choosing the Township of Union as the ideal community in which to raise their children.” 

Delisfort recognized her brother, Guy, and his family.  “Words cannot express the depth of my appreciation for all of your love, support and encouragement,” she said.  She also acknowledged her in-laws, Pete and Doris Williams. 

To her colleagues, fellow Committee members, township staff, County Freeholders, State representatives, Delisfort said, “your sage council will always be appreciated.”

“As many of you know, I began this journey as a volunteer on the Union Township Planning Board,” said Delisfort.  “I remember vividly the discussion with my family about the desire to give back to my beloved hometown.  As a professional planner, I considered a position on the Planning Board to be an ideal vehicle for me to lend my skills to the establishment of the Township’s vision for, and management of, its growth.  Working with my colleagues on the Board, we reviewed numerous development applications and always based our decisions upon one simple goal; improve neighborhoods and communities for all residents of the Township of Union.”

“As a Committee Member, I was then given the opportunity to advance that simple goal even further. I combined my skills as a Professional Planner and as a business owner to work with an incredible team of Committee Members to shape policy and establish a vision for the Township of Union. 

Township Committeeman Joseph Florio, nominated and elected at the Reorganization Meeting to continue in his role as Deputy Mayor, said, “Michele will be a great mayor.  She’s a very progressive person.  She cares about people.  I am glad to support her in my role as Deputy Mayor.”

“It is a privilege to serve with Michele as our next mayor,” said Township Committeeman Manuel Figueiredo, sworn in at the meeting for his third term on the Township Committee.  “Michele brings an outstanding skillset to the position and is a wonderful asset to the township and its residents.”

“As a woman, I believe women should encourage and help each other rise up,” said former mayor and Township Committeewoman Suzette Cavadas.  “During my two years as mayor, Michele was nothing but supportive and encouraging.  I will be there with her to help her succeed at every level.”

TAPinto Union will continue its coverage of Union’s Reorganization Meeting and Delisfort’s comments about the Township’s 2018 accomplishments and 2019 goals in Part II of the series, to be published on Thursday.