Rumson rang in 2016 with tradition and a little change at the New Year’s Day reorganization ceremony.
Officials were sworn in to additional terms on the Borough Council dais. New emergency response line officers took their oaths for the coming year. Police officers were promoted. And officials said goodbye to a longtime borough employee.
Mayor John Ekdahl was sworn in to his fourth term. Councilmen John J. Conklin III and Mark Rubin were sworn in to additional terms on the dais.
Joseph Hemphill was named council president.
After the swearing in of officials, two police officers were promoted.
Detective Senior Patrolman Christopher Isherwood became a sergeant. Wife holding the bible by his side along with Chief Scott Paterson, Mayor Ekdahl administered the oath to Isherwood and presented him with his sergeant’s badge.
Then Senior Patrolman Anthony Ciambrone was also promoted to the rank of sergeant. With the mayor administering the oath, Chief Paterson also present and Ciambrone’s wife holding the bible, he was sworn in and presented with his new sergeant’s badge.
Then onto the business of saying goodbye …
Longtime assistant to the mayor, Loretta Chebookjian was thanked by the mayor, given a gift and flowers. Chebookjian joked that she was with the borough exactly “11 and three quarters years. I will miss passing you on the road every morning on my way to work (while you were on your way to work),” she told the mayor.
Then there was the business of installing new line officers in the Rumson Fire Department and First Aid Squad.
Outgoing EMS Captain Mary Nichols was thanked for her service and new Captain Darren McConnell was sworn in.
Then Fire Chief Kevin McCarthy was thanked for his service and the oath of office was administered to the new chief, Ronald Immesberger and Assistant Fire Chief Micheal Trivett. Each was given his new badge as well.
In keeping with true Rumson tradition, the mayor then announced that there would be a small intermission before he gave his annual speech, which, he joked, “will probably again be longer than it probably should be.”
The speech began with, “The Borough Council members have met the year’s challenges with diplomacy and with the dignity that would be expected from such an experienced council. I applaud each of you for the contributions you have made on behalf of the residents of Rumson.
“I extend my heartfelt thanks to every Borough employee, committee member and professional for their support and assistance throughout the past year …”
It’s status quo for the New Year. Towns reorganize. Newly-elected and/or re-elected officials are sworn in, professionals are appointed and re-appointed, emergency responder line officers are installed and volunteers are named to committees. It’s called reorganization.
It’s also usually status quo for towns to hold their annual reorganization ceremonies on New Year’s Day.
This year, there’s a slight change in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.
While Rumson will still hold its annual reorganization at Bingham Hall, on Bingham Avenue, at 11:30 a.m., Fair Haven’s reorganization will be held, instead, on Monday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. in Borough Hall.
In Rumson, Mayor John Ekdahl will officially be sworn into his fourth four-year term as mayor. In addition, the emergency response line officers will be named and sworn in. And, Ekdahl will give his classic “looking back on 2015” speech.
In Fair Haven, incumbent councilmen Robert Marchese and Eric Jaeger will be sworn in to additional three-year terms. Fire Department and First Aid line officers will be sworn in. Residents and officials will also be named to various committees.
Reorganization 2015 in Fair Haven brought a new council member to the dais — a lone Democrat — and new fire and first aid line officers.
In addition to Mayor Ben Lucarelli being sworn in to his first full four-year term, incumbent Susan Sorensen took the oath for her second council term. The newcomer to the governing body, Aimee Humphreys was sworn in to her first three-year and then took a seat at the dais for her first council meeting..
Fair Haven Fire Department and First Aid Squad members were sworn in as follows:
• and DPW Director Mark Wellner’s recognition by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Public Works Association (NJ APWA) with a 2014 Superintendent/Director Award for his 28-year career with the borough.
The benediction was offered by Rev. Manning of Holy Cross Church.
Both Rumson and Fair Haven’s reorganizations are, as usual, slated for the same day, same time — New Year’s Day at noon.
Though they are, naturally, in different places — Rumson’s at Bingham Hall and Fair Haven’s at Borough Hall. And, the agendas are different.
In Fair Haven, Democrat Aimee Humphreys will be sworn in to her first term on Borough Council. Mayor Ben Lucarelli will be sworn in to his first full four-year term in office after filling the unexpired term of former Mayor Michael Halfacre. Susan Sorensen will be sworn in to her second term on the dais.