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Franklin Lakes Mayor Presents Sunny Outlook for The Borough in 2013

“We will meet the challenges ahead with the goal of doing what’s best for Franklin Lakes,” Mayor Frank Bivona said at the borough reorganization meeting.

Franklin Lakes Mayor Frank Bivona was rosy on his outlook for the year ahead at the borough's annual reorganization meeting Tuesday.

Incumbent council members Charles Kahwaty and Thomas Lamix were sworn in for new full terms after running unopposed in 2012. 

Lamix filled in for former councilman Bill Smith when he became borough attorney.

Nathalie Lota was also appointed to her second term as council president.

Bivona noted the time elected officials invest in the community, including 120 meetings in the past year.

“That doesn’t even include sub-committee meetings,” he said. “These people put a lot of time into the community with a lot of caring.”

Bivona thanked the borough’s emergency personnel for their efforts during Hurricane Sandy, pointing to the cooperation among the police, CERT, OEM, DPW and ambulance corps personnel.

“Given the last two years of storms, their importance in the community has grown immeasurably,” said Bivona, who also administered the oath of office to fire and ambulance volunteers.

Further appointments made by the borough include: former Mayor G. Thomas Donch as insurance commissioner, Maureen Lambrix as member of the library board and Jules Lauber as a member of the planning board.

Pete Sacco, former chairperson of the Recreation Committee, bristled over not being reappointed to that position. Sacco called attention to  his work over three terms, specifically progress regarding Colonial Road and the Pulis Avenue Field complex. His position is still open.

“I think I bring a lot to the table,” said Sacco, who will continue to serve as a borough football coach. “All of the thousands of kids I have coached in the community would be better served with me as a committee member and I think the public would agree.”

Sacco said although the other Recreation Committee members, Frank Catania and Christine Christopoul, were reappointed, he suspects the group will be disbanded without an appointed leader.

"His term expired and I have decided to bring in more balance from other recreation programs such as soccer and softball," said Bivona in response to Sacco's remarks. "Our ordinance requires rotation as well. Pete is a great football coach and I thank him for his time on the committee."

Meanwhile, according to the mayor, Franklin Lakes's elected officials have similar goals for 2013: maintaining low property taxes, create a new safety initiative between the police and schools and group activities, meet state obligations for affordable housing through special needs housing, make more capital improvements without bonding and finding ways to track the council’s customer service.

“We will meet the challenges ahead with the goal of doing what’s best for Franklin Lakes,” said Bivona. "The new year is filled with challenges. My door is always open and cell phone on.”

Have a question or news tip for Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Patch? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Peter Sacco January 02, 2013 at 11:11 PM
The mayor is mistaken, the Franklin Lakes Borough Code, Chapter 107: Recreation and Parks Department, http://ecode360.com/7170556, has no restriction on the amount times a committee member may serve, only the number of time he/she may be a chairman or vice chairman consecutively. Besides, volunteers such as the very capable Jules Lauber has been a member of the planning board for 40+ years by my understanding. It is clear to me that Frank's decision was a personal one and not made with the best interest of Franklin Lakes in mind.

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