The City of Hackensack held its City Council Reorganization Meeting and Installation Ceremony yesterday at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center as John Labrosse, Kathy Canestrino, Leonardo Battaglia, Stephanie Von Rudenborg and Gerard Carroll were sworn-in to four year City Council terms. Assemblyman Gordon Johnson administered the oath of office to Labrosse, Canestrino, and Carroll while City Clerk Deborah Karlsson administered the oath of office to Battaglia and Von Rudenborg.
Mayor John Labrosse was unanimously elected by his fellow Council members to his third term as Mayor. He will now serve his fourth term overall as a City Council member, and in his remarks he thanked the residents of Hackensack for their support and trust in his administration. "On behalf of the City Council and I, we sincerely thank the voters of Hackensack for their trust and commitment to keep Hackensack moving forward. For the past eight years, our administration has committed to lowering taxes and improving the quality of life for Hackensack residents. The support we receive is a testament to our shared vision of our city's future, which has never been brighter. We thank you for your support, and we look forward to finishing the job over the next four years."
Kathy Canestrino was again elected to her third term as the City's Deputy Mayor. Canestrino, who has been coordinating the city's Redevelopment Program, said, "When we were first elected in 2013, we took an aggressive stance towards Redevelopment and the Revitalization of Main Street and our Downtown area to attract investment. The result has been one billion dollars in new real estate investment in Hackensack, and that means millions of dollars in new annual tax revenue that is helping us reduce property taxes on longtime residents and invest in city services."
Councilman Leonardo Battaglia, who has spearheaded the city's recent infrastructure projects, was sworn-in to his third term. "The fiscal plan we've implemented over the last eight years has allowed our Council to make major investments in the city's infrastructure while lowering the municipal tax levy. We've repaved our 100 roads in the past five years, begun our sewer separation project to mitigate hazardous conditions, and converted Main Street to Two Way traffic. These investments have put us ahead of other municipalities in the area and will save city taxpayers a fortune in the long run."
Councilwoman Stephanie Von Rudenborg, who was sworn in to her second term, added that the Council would continue to focus on quality of life and recreation improvements for Hackensack residents. "New parks are being built and older ones renovated. The M&M Recreation Building was expanded and totally renovated and the Council included a new indoor Sports Dome in the plan to renovate Johnson Park. In our next Term, we'll continue to focus on making quality of life improvements to provide more opportunities for our children and residents of all ages to get outside, be active, and enjoy what Hackensack has to offer."
Newly elected Councilman Gerard Carroll said, "I am thrilled to join this administration. The progress in Hackensack in the past few years under this administration is truly remarkable, and I am honored to be given a chance to serve the citizens of Hackensack and lend my perspective to help guide our city's future". Carroll, a former Hackensack Auxiliary Police Officer and Bergen County Community College Board member, said his main focus would be working with the community towards greater opportunities for Hackensack's youth.
Several prominent elected officials were also in attendance to offer their congratulations and support including Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Clerk John Hogan, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, and a representative from Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s office.