River Edge Borough Council Commences 2024 with Elections, Appointments, and Honors

The River Edge Borough Council meeting on January 5th, 2024, commenced with the re-election of council members Michelle Kaufman and Dario Chinigo, and the election of David Glass as a new councilman. The council also addressed personnel changes, including a police promotion, and passed an ordinance related to the salaries of borough officers and employees for the year.

At the outset of the meeting, Mayor Thomas R. Papaleo and council members including Klodiana Malellari, who was elected council president, were sworn into office by Assemblyman Tully and Assemblywoman Swain, both of whom commended the officials on their successful campaigns. The presence of state representatives underscored the importance of collaboration between different levels of government.

One of the central moments of the meeting involved honoring individuals for their service to the community. Tom Sarlo, the former borough attorney, was recognized for his years of service as he transitions to his new role as a judge. Mayor Papaleo read a proclamation in Sarlo’s honor. Another key figure, outgoing fire chief Greg K. , was commended for his leadership and his contribution to the safety of borough residents. Chief K. accepted the recognition, emphasizing the commitment and training integral to the all-volunteer fire department.

A significant personnel change was the promotion of Sergeant Joseph Z. to police lieutenant, which the council authorized through a roll call vote. The promotion was celebrated as a testament to the dedication and capability within the police department. The swearing-in ceremony for the new lieutenant ensued.

The mayor’s appointments to various committees were also a focal point, with the Environmental Protection Committee, Historic Preservation Commission, and other key groups being staffed. A member of the council raised concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest related to familial ties among some appointees, sparking a discussion on abstentions in certain appointments. This was resolved with some council members abstaining from specific votes to avoid any conflicts, and the appointees were subsequently sworn in.

Further personnel changes included the introduction of the new borough attorney and various retirements and salary adjustments. The council reviewed and approved these changes, alongside the appointment and reappointment of individuals to positions like the River Edge Board of Education representative and Fire Prevention Bureau, among others.

The ordinance to fix the salaries, wages, and compensation for borough officers and employees for the year 2024 was introduced and passed without questions or comments from council members. This ordinance is significant as it determines the financial remuneration for those who serve the borough and is indicative of the council’s stewardship of municipal resources.

During the public comment period, council members exchanged congratulations and words of appreciation. A councilwoman extended gratitude to the former council president for her service, welcomed the new council president, and recognized the mayor, a new councilwoman, and the newly promoted lieutenant. She also thanked her family and campaign supporters.

The meeting concluded with no public comments or questions. The council members expressed their eagerness to collaborate in the upcoming year and thanked the new attorney for joining the municipal team.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Thomas R. Papaleo
City Council Officials:
Michelle Kaufman, Barry Benson, Dario Chinigo, Klodiana Malellari, Lissa Montisano-Koen, Indira Kinsella

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