Who will fill vacant council seat?

Photos courtesy Al GranellNorth Arlington Dems (from l.): Councilman Al Granell, Councilman Tom Zammatore and Freeholder Steve Tanelli.

Photos courtesy Al Granell
North Arlington Dems (from l.): Councilman Al Granell, Councilman Tom Zammatore and Freeholder Steve Tanelli.

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


As the song goes, who’ll be the next in line?

That’s the question on everyone’s mind in North Arlington as Steve Tanelli prepared to exchange his seat on the Borough Council for one on the Bergen County Board of Freeholders.

As The Observer went to press, the borough governing body was scheduled to hold its annual reorganization on New Year’s Day at which time Tanelli, a Democrat, said he planned to submit a letter of resignation from the council. Under newly passed state legislation that forbids dual job holding among public officials, Tanelli is compelled to surrender one of his two positions.

According to Borough Administrator Terence Wall, state law calls for the Municipal Democratic Committee to come up with three potential candidates to be submitted to the Borough Council who would pick one to fill the vacant seat for the balance of Tanelli’s unexpired term which runs through 2014.

Dems Committee Chairman Nick Antonicello said last week that the committee can do nothing until it receives formal notice of the vacancy in North Arlington.

At that point, Antonicello said, he will “convene a meeting of the Committee and have them suggest three nominations to fill Tanelli’s unexpired term.”

In 2014 whoever the Borough Council selects to place in Tanelli’s seat has the option to run for a full three-year term on the council, Antonicello said.

Until this year, the North Arlington GOP enjoyed a 4-2 majority on the Borough Council but November’s municipal election saw the defeat of incumbent Republicans Jon Kearney and Chris Johnson by Dems Al Granell and Thomas A. Zammatore.

With sitting Democrat Mark Yampaglia, Granell, Zammatore and Tanelli’s successor, the Dems will have the 4-2 advantage, with Mayor Peter Massa also of that party. Republicans Richard Hughes and Joseph Bianchi are up for re-election this year.

Currently the North Arlington Democratic Club president, Granell served as borough councilman from 2007 to 2010. Since 1989 he has worked as senior systems programmer at United Parcel Service.

Granell, who attended Jersey City State College, and his wife Sharon have two children, Adam and Alexis, who are North Arlington High School graduates.

Zammatore, an honors graduate of Villanova University who received his law degree from Seton Hall University, is a senior trial attorney with Weston, Stierli & McFadden & Capotorto, of Parsippany. He has practiced law since 1983.

Both assumed office at the council reorganization meeting.

The Observer Staff