Four more years in Guttenberg
Mayor and council sworn in; look forward to completing key projects
by Art Schwartz
Reporter staff writer
Jan 12, 2014 | 2883 views | 0 0 comments | 105 105 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Council
BACK ON THE BENCH – Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff was reelected to office in last year’s election.
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A crippling snowstorm wasn’t enough to keep a roomful of well-wishers from attending the swearing-in of Guttenberg’s top officials last Thursday.

Gerald Drasheff and his fellow Democratic council members Monica Fundora and Efrain Velez were all reelected to office this past November. They took the oath of office for their new terms at the Town Council meeting on Jan. 2, as a snowstorm was bearing down.

“It’s been an honor to serve as your mayor for the last five years,” said Drasheff to the supportive crowd, after being sworn in by Hon. Maureen Mantineo, with his wife and granddaughter at his side. “I look forward to working with you for another four years.”

Looking ahead

“I think next year especially is going to be a great year for us. We’re going to see a lot of projects that have been in the works a long time come to completion,” said Drasheff.

“The waterfront park that’s been in the works for a long time is shaping up and starting to look like a park,” he continued. “It will open for us in the spring. Now that’s the type of project that took a lot of work from the people up here but also required a lot of cooperation from our state representatives, our county representatives.”
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“I enjoy what I’m doing. I love working with the community.” –Monica Fundora
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Initially planned as a small Guttenberg park, the project subsequently grew in scope. “We had the opportunity to acquire some additional land in cooperation with North Bergen and it’s going to be a much nicer park,” Drasheff said. “As far as I know it’s the only joint park being run by two different towns, certainly in the northern part of the county, and it’s on prime waterfront land so we’re looking forward to that finally being done.”

Also planned for completion in 2014 is Guttenberg’s new recreational center. “It is going to give us an indoor facility for our young people as well as for our seniors and residents of all ages,” said Drasheff. “It’s something sorely needed in this town. At the same time it will be a major step to addressing the crowding that exists in the [Anna L.] Klein school.”

“We’ll continue to work on things we’ve been working on for many years,” Drasheff said. “We saw a lot of streets paved this year, sidewalks done. We’ll continue to do that and we’re going to work for some new development in town that will be done in a very responsible way and enable us to improve our tax base so that all these improvements can be done without imposing on any of us any onus in taxes.”

Celebration time

Upon being sworn in, Council Members Efrain Velez and Monica Fundora thanked their family and friends for support.

Fundora, who hails from Colombia and has lived in Guttenberg for 19 years, was enthusiastic about her second term in office. “I enjoy what I’m doing. I love working with the community. I’m in charge of the department of recreation and that’s a big deal for me because I love working with the kids. And the seniors too. I love Guttenberg.”

The council meeting was followed by a small congratulatory celebration with cake and coffee.

Art Schwartz may be reached at arts@hudsonreporter.com.

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