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NEWS REPORT: USR Mayor & Council Reorganization Meeting of January 5, 2023

First Open Mayor & Council Meeting Held at Borough Hall in Two Years 

The 2023 calendar year started with the Upper Saddle River Mayor & Council holding its first open meeting in almost two years since the Covid pandemic was declared, having caused meetings to be held exclusively online on Zoom. This meeting was also held online with a microphone and camera set up in borough hall feeding the meeting on Zoom. Future meetings will be open to residents to attend in person or on Zoom. To log into Zoom, follow this link: 

Mayor Arman Fardanesh Takes Oath of Office; Council Members are Sworn In

Mr. Jack Ciattarelli, former member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 2011 to 2018, and Republican candidate for Governor of New Jersey in 2021, administered the oath of office to Mayor Arman Fardanesh for the 2023 calendar year.  In his welcome address, Mayor Fardanesh said that he encourages an open line of communication with residents. “My door is always open,” he said, and further asked that everyone feel free to contact him by phone or in person. He later said that he, together with Borough Administrator Ted Preusch, is working to “completely overhaul and update” the borough’s website. The mayor also said that he will look into revamping the borough newsletter, and said that police and fire reports will be disseminated. 

Mr.Ciattarelli followed with the swearing in of three Upper Saddle River Council Members: Jonathan Ditkoff, Sarah Drennan, and new member, Richard Lyons, Esq. Mr. Ditkoff was later voted council president for this year. Borough Hall was filled with family members witnessing these appointments and those that followed for officers of the police, and fire departments. 

New Police Officers are Appointed

Two new police officers were appointed and sworn in by Mayor Fardanesh: Officer David A. Mende and Officer Alexander Lanzana. Residents were informed that ambulance corps officials would be sworn in at a later date.

Borough Commission and Committee Members are Appointed 

Youth Guidance Council
Mayor Fardanesh
Officer Pullizano
James McCusker
David Kaplan
Marge Fiori
Joanne Florio

Tom DeBrock
Roger Masi

Shade Tree Commission
Benjamin Sherlock – Jr. Member
Roger Masi

Recreation Commission
Essau Ali
Jonathan Ditkoff

Field Committee
Vincent Durante – Chairman
Jon Ditkoff
Steve DiMartino
Ed Gartner
Kevin Boswell
Robert Fleshman
Nick Pirsos
Greg Smiechowski
Scott Vandersnow
Daria Fox
Frank DePierro
Robert DiGisi

Board of Health
Merri Stein Gurian
Diana Nash
Joanne Florio

Emergency Management Council
Ted Preusch
Police Chief Rotella
Fire Chief Levine
Cynthia Dilatush (USR Cares)
USR Ambulance Capt. Scott Buhl
Deputy OEM Coord. Fleshman

Environmental Committee
Ellen Ling
Ira Gross
Jay Perez
Timothy Stoller
Julia Broadbent
Sam Polonsky
Joanne Florio

Municipal Court Judge
Harry Norton, Jr.

Affordable Housing
Dennis Shubert
Joy Convertini, Secy.

Historic Preservation
James Donnellan
Sheryl Yeomans Jordan Alt.1
Sarah Drennan

Borough Historian
Kay Yeomans

Green Team
Joanne Florio
Ted Preusch
Adam Greenbaum
Jay Perez
Tim Stoller
Jason Mathios
Claudia Granger
Ellen Ling

Safety Committee
Mayor Fardanesh
Police Chief Rotella
Ted Preusch
Fire Chief Levine
Scott Buhl

Aircraft Noise Committee

Council Members:
Steve DiMartino
Sarah Drennan
Joanne Florio

Planning Board
Mayor Fardanesh
Ted Preusch
Rich Lyons
Peter Bonjuklian
Chris Wiederholtz

Appointments to Borough Council Committees:
Council Members:
Board of Health – Joanne Florio
Dept. of Public Works – Jonathan Ditkoff
Environmental Committee –  Joanne Florio
Recreation – Jonathan Ditkoff
Youth Guidance Council – Joanne Florio
Shade Tree – Roger Masi
Finance – Steve DiMartino and Roger Masi
Historic Preservation – Sarah Drennan
Field Committee – Jonathan Ditkoff and Steve DiMartino

Public Comments

Eric Friis congratulated the mayor and council and stated that he was happy to see that the public meeting was being carried to residents via Zoom. He asked that the borough newsletter be revamped and perhaps be more like those provided by the Township of Mahwah and others in the area. He also asked that departmental reports such as police and fire be made public so that residents could be kept informed. The mayor said that he will look into revamping the borough newsletter, and the dissemination of police and fire reports. 

Sheryl Epstein-Romano reported that almost all trees on a neighbor’s property had been removed, and she asked how the borough’s shade tree commission could permit this. She also questioned whether there was a conflict of interest having the director of the borough’s Shade Tree Commission be allowed to be a tree removal contractor in the borough. Roger Masi, council representative on the Shade Tree Commission, said that he would look into this.