The election lured approximately 24 percent of the town's 5,400 registered voters. This was below the statewide average of 43 percent voting.
Incumbent running mates Gerald Drasheff (1,221 votes), Adela Martinez (1,261 votes) and Efrain Velez (1,242 votes) also ran unopposed and gained four-year terms.
"I think having four years gives us more time to concentrate on what is good for the town," Delle Donna said. "It is a distraction having to worry about elections every two years. It takes the pressure off of worrying about running for re-election every two years and gives us the opportunity to focus on the business of running the town. We now have more time to implement things and see them through. I never really operated on the premise that we had to get things done just to win an election every two years, but this gives us more time to show things are working."
Delle Donna didn't waste time in beginning plans for the new term of office.
"I think the first thing we have to concentrate on will be a new community center," Delle Donna said. The old community center was condemned for a series of health problems like asbestos and contamination two years ago, and was torn down. The town has been operating without one ever since, using rooms in Anna L. Klein School instead.
"It just makes the school busier that it has to be," Delle Donna said. "We've been very fortunate to use the school's cafetorium for meetings, for recreation programs and dinners, but we miss having the community center dearly. It's much better for everyone to have the community center and I think it would serve a dual purpose, both for recreation and for the school."
Delle Donna would like to see the construction of the new community center on 69th Street, on a site that currently has a parking lot and next to a six-unit apartment building that the Board of Education already owns and operates.
"If we put the community center there, it's on a site where the town already owns the land," said Delle Donna, who resides directly next door to the existing lot. "The school could use the facility during the day [because the school is also directly adjacent to the lot] for art classes, labs and other activities. If it's placed there, it would also be directly in the center of town."
Delle Donna would like to see a three-story structure on the site, with parking on the first floor, a gymnasium complete with a basketball court on the second floor, and meeting rooms on the top floor.
"That's just my idea," Delle Donna said. "We have to see what happens. I'm in the process of talking to the state and federal legislators, looking for funding. But we've always had the need for the community center. One way or another, there is cooperation between the Recreation Department and the school, but the community center is needed."
Parks, school crowding Another initial priority will be the continuation of the planned public park on River Road adjacent to the Bulls Ferry luxury housing development operated by K. Hovnanian.
Delle Donna said that he had recently received approval from the County of Hudson to purchase the land for $1.2 million. Thanks to special Green Acres funding set up by the county, Guttenberg will get to purchase the land from K. Hovnanian, but will need additional funding to build the approximately one-acre passive recreation park along the waterfront.
"The purchase of the land should be completed any day now, by the end of the month and we're working on formalizing the deal with K. Hovnanian to have the park done by the end of next year," Delle Donna said. "It's not an unrealistic projection. We really think we can get it done."
Delle Donna said that he will also work diligently over the next four years to keep property taxes stable, but that is always a major obstacle in Guttenberg.
Another problem that will remain on Delle Donna's desk over the next term is the projected school extension to combat the overcrowding at Klein School. The last two proposals were voted down in special referendum elections.
"We have to see what happens with the current state education construction fund," Delle Donna said. Currently, all proposed school projects that have been using the state education construction funds have been temporarily placed on hold, leaving the program in limbo. Certainly, the Abbott district schools will get the first crack at getting their programs implemented, so Guttenberg may be in the dark.
"Without that fund reopening, it may be a dead issue," Delle Donna said.
Another dead issue was the proposal to form a parking authority in the town, which would have increased revenues via parking permits and enabled the town to increase illegal parking fines.
"I think I'd have to call that a dead issue as well," Delle Donna said. "It wouldn't make much fiscal sense to create another department, and I don't see it raising a lot of money. Unless something drastically changes my mind, I don't think it's something we will do."
Appointed school board? One plan that Delle Donna would like to see implemented over the next four years would be the elimination of elected members of the school board and go to an appointed system like the ones in place in Union City and West New York.
"It's just another election we really don't need," Delle Donna said. "I may put it to a referendum to have appointed school board members instead of elected. If the residents give me that authority to appoint the best people to the board, then I would take full responsibility. It would centralize things."
An appointed school board would have eliminated problems like the one that arose this year, when board members refused to support a special referendum in order to allow extracurricular activities to continue for the students. The town has stepped forward to defray the cost on some, like basketball and cheerleading.
Della Donna said he's ready for the new term.
"I think it is very much of a challenge, but it's also a lot more satisfying to realize that the people have put their trust in me for double the amount of time," he said. "I'm going to guarantee that we give the residents of Guttenberg the best services we can."