New City Council Sworn in During Organization Meeting
After a tumultuous month leading up to the January 3rd selection of Clifton’s new Mayor, an organization meeting including a traditional ceremony was held at Clifton High school on January 9th to officially swear-in the new City Council.
With family, friends, city staff and community members in attendance, the ceremony began with welcome announcements from City Clerk, Nancy Ferrigno, who thanked attending state, county and local dignitaries including State Senator Richard Codey, Assemblyman Tom Giblin, Paterson Mayer Andre Sayeh, Passaic Mayor Hector Lora, Clifton Board of Education Commissioners Judy Bassford, Anthony Santiago and Richie Meija; former Clifton Mayor Gerry Zecker, Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie, and former Republican Chairman John Traier, among others.
The Presentation of Colors was done by the Police and Fire Honor Guards, an invocation by Pastor Eric Farrar of Hope Reformed Church, a salute to the flag by Clifton Police Chief Thomas Rinaldi and Fire Chief Frank Prezioso.
The Clifton High School Madcaps sang a moving rendition of the National Anthem.
Oaths of Office were administered to all 7 Council members. Bill Gibson by his wife Robin Gibson, his son Tyler and family; Ray Grabowski by his siters Christine Witmyer and Valerie Grabowski; Joe Kolodziej by his wife Amie, niece Nicole and his two sons; Tony Latona by his mother Rita Latona and former Clifton Mayor Gerry Zecker; Lauren Murphy by Chairman John Currie, and her children and grandchildren; Rosemary Pino by Passaic Mayor Hector Lora, her husband Eric and their children, and Mary Sadrakula by Phil Pampinella.
After this, a separate Oath of Office to the Mayor was given to new Mayor Ray Grabowski by retiring Mayor James Anzaldi.
A presentation of gifts and thank you to outgoing Mayor Anzaldi and Councilman Peter Eagler were presented by Councilwoman Lauren Murphy.
All Council members gave speeches thanking voters, their families and supporters.
Mayor Ray Grabowski gave a touching speech about his long history in Clifton and journey to elected office with brother, Councilman Matt Grabowski who ran for office together in 2010. At the time, Matt was elected and served one term, was re-elected in 2014 and passed away shortly after in 2015. At the next special election, Ray ran for the open seat and won election in 2015.
He told the story of their close relationship in and out of public office and dedicated his service to his brother Matt who remains “always by his side” as he gestured symbolically to space at the podium.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for January 17th, meeting agendas and schedule can be found on the city website here.