Happy New Year, everyone! It’s time, once again, to look ahead to the New Year with some thoughts and musings about what might happen on the local scene. Remember — these are all predictions. Some of it is based on conjecture. Some of it is based on speculation. All of it is meant to be in good fun and taken with a grain of salt. So with that said, let’s get into it.
In 2023 …
• East Newark Mayor Dina Grilo continues her unwillingness to deal with the local media, something that has been ongoing since the very first day of her mayoralty. It leads to rumblings — and ultimately, the reality — someone in the borough will challenge her for the mayor’s seat in 2024, perhaps even someone already sitting on the council.
• Sticking in East Newark, the borough administrator lasts the entire year, something that was thought to be impossible, given the inordinate number of admins there have been since Grilo succeeded Joseph Smith as mayor in 2020.
• In Harrison, it’ll be the first election cycle not to involve Anselmo Millan. The former Second Ward councilman decides the last three defeats he’s suffered, the most lopsided of which was in 2022 to Mayor James A. Fife, serves as the writing on the wall — it’s time to bow out of public life.
• Fife, meanwhile, announces plans to build housing for seniors, a major undertaking that was a specific goal of his for a new term. It will cement his legacy as one of Harrison’s most productive mayors of all time.
• Staying in Harrison, something comes of accusations tossed about in the 2022 mayoral campaign.
• David Paszkiewicz announces a run for the Kearny Board of Education on the heels of his defeat seeking a seat on the Town Council. He can do this now that he is no longer a teacher in the school system. He makes re-instituting school prayer a priority in his campaign.
• North Arlington Mayor Daniel H. Pronti, fresh off a big November election victory, unveils plans for senior & veteran housing in the borough, one of the most ambitious ideas he translates into a reality to date. He also announces plans for more new police officers.
• Belleville Mayor Michael A. Melham uses his mandate to announce more redevelopment plans for the township. It will be the start to what will translate into one of the most active and fruitful mayoral terms in Belleville ever.
• It’s year two of Kearny Mayor Alberto G. Santos’s most recent four-year term and sometime in the coming year, he will make an announcement no one saw coming. What that announcement is — let your imagination run wild.
• Kearny Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle announces this will be her final term in office. She will retire from the council and not seek re-election in 2025, falling just short of serving for 30 years.
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.