GOP sweep in N.A.

Photo courtesy Allison Sheedy GOP Borough Council victors, from l., are Brian Fitzhenry, Allison Sheedy and Marijo Karcic Jr.
Photo courtesy Allison Sheedy
GOP Borough Council victors, from l., are Brian Fitzhenry, Allison Sheedy and
Marijo Karcic Jr.


Republicans will have a 7-0 majority on the North Arlington governing body by New Year’s, now that the GOP has ousted the remaining Democrats from their seats.

Unofficial results from the Nov. 3 municipal election had the winners for 3-year terms on the Borough Council as Brian Fitzhenry, with 1,172 votes, and newcomer Allison C. Sheedy, with 1,075.

In a close race, they defeated Dems incumbents Albert Granell, who polled 944 votes, and Thomas A. Zammatore, who was credited with 1,012.

In the contest for the oneyear unexpired term – the spot formerly occupied by Fitzhenry when he was appointed to the then-vacant seat – Republican newcomer Marijo Karcic Jr. edged Democratic candidate Kelly A. Velez by a margin of 1,068 to 953.

GOP Mayor Joseph Bianchi said he was “very humbled that the people of North Arlington have chosen my three new council people and we will do our best to keep North Arlington running forward with redevelopment.”

Bianchi said his administration would also be working to “bring back that old-time feel back to our borough that we haven’t had in many years with parades and public celebrations like the Santa Saturday after Thanksgiving.”

On the redevelopment front, Bianchi said the borough has already made some headway with the anticipated redevelopment of the old Bethlehem Steel facility on Porete Ave. into a FedEx Freight center.

And, he said, on the drawing board are plans for new Ridge Road developments, including a new Kearny Federal Bank building and a possible new occupant for the Comcast building site. He also noted the recent openings of 1 Republik and Pourhouse 17 on Ridge Road, plus the new management at Euro Lounge on River Road, and “two new CVSs” as signs of progress.

Zammatore, who will complete his lone term on the council this year, said he was “grateful to the North Arlington Democrats for giving me an opportunity three years ago to serve on the council. The Republicans ran a very good race and they have three quality individuals. I wish them all the best.”

Adding that he has no regrets about the election’s outcome, Zammatore, an attorney with a private practice, said that he “made a lot of good friends” during his council tenure “and I would not trade that experience for the world.”

He said he would continue his participation as a member of the borough’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) which the council recently voted by ordinance to formalize its operation and give it its own budget line.

Fitzhenry, vice president for marketing at a truck rental business in Kearny, is an assistant chief with the borough Volunteer Fire Department and will be sworn in as chief on Jan. 1. He is a former president of the Board of Education and of the North Arlington Education Foundation and former chairman of the Board of Adjustment.

Sheedy, whose father-in-law is a retired borough police officer, is a co-cheerleading coach with the girls Vikings squad and is active with the Booster Club. Mother of three girls, she served as an aide to former Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano and was a PTA president. Sheedy is a former president of the North Arlington Emblem Club.

Karcic, a businessman, who was scheduled to be sworn in this week, coaches for the borough recreation soccer program and is on the executive board of the borough girls softball association.

In other area contests, North Arlington Democrat Steven A. Tanelli retained his seat on the Bergen County Board of Freeholders, leading all candidates with 67,309 votes, as per unofficial results released by the county last week.

In the Harrison municipal election, incumbent Democrats Carol Mandaglio, Francisco Nascimento and Michael Dolaghan – all unopposed – retained their Town Council seats while fellow incumbent Victor Villalta easily defeated GOP challenger Eric Brackman by a margin (unofficial) of 289 to 88.

Unofficial results reported in regional Board of Education races are as follows:

• Incumbents Ron Grillo  (985 votes) and Sheri Jarvis (879) were re-elected to the Lyndhurst Board of Education, along with former trustee Josephine Malanick (779), outdistancing challengers Louis Bilis (718), Chris Andrianopoulos (705) and Scot Weaver (413), who had dropped out of the race after ballots were printed.

• Newcomer Nelson Barrera,  who outpaced all five candidates with 1,057 votes, won a seat on the Belleville Board of Education, along with challenger Christine Lamparello, who got 992. BOE Vice President Jeanne Lombardi polled 949; Thomas D. Grolimond (844), who was endorsed by the municipal council and the teachers’ union, garnered 844, and Erika Jacho, 159.

• Incumbents Ryan Kline  and Deborah Russo won seats on the Nutley Board of Education with tallies of 1,259 and 1,134, respectively, along with newcomer Salvatore Balsamo, who got 1,255 votes. Challenger Blaire Rzempoluch polled 1,063. Brenda Sherman ran unopposed for the unexpired term of Kenneth Reilly, who resigned in April.

• James Doran Jr., Bryan  Granelli and Cecilia Lindenfelser were re-elected to their seats on the Kearny Board of Education. They ran unopposed.

Learn more about the writer ...

+ posts