CALDWELL, NJ — Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin delivered the oath of office to recently elected Caldwell Borough Council members Jonathan Lace and Henderson Cole and Councilman Richard Hauser was unanimously voted to serve as 2018 council president during the council’s reorganization meeting on Sunday morning.

Jonathan Lace encouraged more residents to attend meetings and to take advantage of his virtual office hours, which he will hold on Wednesday nights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. beginning this week.

“As I learn from my veteran colleagues, I will do everything in my power to offer civil, informed and generous debate about policy that is in the best interest of our community,” said Lace. “I want all residents to know that regardless of party affiliation, years lived in our borough or any other status or demographic, you will always find me with a willing ear. I am here to listen to you first and then to represent you.”

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Henderson Cole, a borough resident for more than 25 years, said this was the perfect time in his life to volunteer his time, experience and energy to helping make the Borough of Caldwell the ideal place to live. Cole thanked his fellow council members for their support during this transition and members of the Lace-Cole campaign staff for their months of hard work.

“I would especially like to thank the voters of Caldwell for this opportunity to serve the borough,” said Cole. “I think that the most important asset that Caldwell has are its creative and involved people in our community. I encourage all residents to come forward and participate to the extent that they can. Together we will set Caldwell on a path to a great future.”

Mayor Ann Dassing welcomed both new councilmen to the dais and wished them well as they begin their terms.

Dassing spoke of the many successes in 2017, such as the continuation of the borough’s water-infrastructure project; the completion of a town-wide hydraulic study; plans to replace sections of the parking deck and to inspect the rest of it; productive meetings held between the Caldwell and West Caldwell Public Safety Committees to potentially merge the two departments; a ribbon cutting for the only sewer plant in New Jersey with battery backup solar power; the celebration of the public library’s 100th anniversary; and more.

She was also enthusiastic about plans for 2018, including continued discussion on opening an animal shelter within the borough; reviewing and possibly adopting an affordable housing plan that will be beneficial to all; and meeting quarterly with Caldwell University to discuss ways to make the borough a more desirable college town.

“I look forward to the challenges that the new year will bring, to problem solve to the best of our abilities, and I hope that everyone has a new year filled with meaningful work and some time for play, family and friends,” said Dassing.

Dassing acknowledged the local dignitaries that attended the reorganization meeting on Sunday morning, including Durkin, Essex County Freeholder Len Luciano, Roseland Borough Councilman Christopher Bardi and Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones as well as the Caldwell Department of Public Works director, the Caldwell police chief, the borough administrator, borough attorney and the deputy clerk.

“I have had the pleasure and honor of serving as your freeholder, representing the 11 North and West Essex communities, since 2011,” said Luciano. “I look forward, as I was just reelected for three more years, to being here as often as you need me. To everyone who is here today, thank you for coming out. This is a real special privilege that we have in our country to be here to celebrate and to swear in newly elected council folks and folks on all level of government.”

The council committee appointments, council liaison positions, board and commission appointments, professional appointments and annual mayoral appointments adopted on Sunday are listed in the photos above.