Amid plans for an unprecedented & ambitious 2024, North Arlington Mayor and Council harmoniously reorganize

From left, Councilmembers Mario Karcic, Lynette Cavadas, Allison Sheedy, Brian FitzHenry, Mayor Daniel H. Pronti, Councilmembers Donna Bocchino and Kirk Del Russo.

Mayor Daniel H. Pronti spoke of long-anticipated upgrades along the Borough’s riverfront and other exciting initiatives throughout town, during his annual State of the Borough address at the municipal reorganization meeting in early January.

Throughout 2024, the borough will be unveiling plans to upgrade open spaces throughout the borough.

Daniel Morris Park will feature a new hardscape design and a picturesque, outdoor water fountain. Other vacant land parcels along the riverfront will undergo environmental cleanup and ultimately serve as both parking and park land. Children’s Centennial Park on Schuyler Avenue will be rededicated and undergo several new improvements.

There will also be a continuation of the project to connect a walking path along the Passaic River that will eventually, and safely, take pedestrians and cyclists from the Belleville Turnpike to Riverside County Park.

Pronti offered a stunning statistic that the average municipal tax bill for a homeowner in North Arlington in 2024 is actually $101 less than it was in 2016, the year before the borough implemented its Rolling Reassessment, in which 25% of homes are inspected annually and all homes are then re-evaluated and taxed accurately.

“As our borough continues our upward swing, we continue to see a vibrant main street, which is the key to a successful community,” Pronti, noting the successful business community is a superb partner in the effort, said.

Pronti also discussed plans to acquire properties to solve long-term parking problems around Rip Collins Field and the South End Business District on Ridge Road.

The borough is seeing an end to long-standing eyesores, Pronti says. The Hughes Auto Sales property has been purchased and the new owner has agreed not to open another car lot, but to create a continuation of the residential area along Canterbury Avenue. The design will be consistent with the existing homes on that street, complete with parking.

There will be more upgrades along the Belleville Pike and next to the newly-upgraded Shawn’s Saloon. Two small, run-down buildings will be replaced with a new structures.

Pronti also recapped a successful 2023 with the creation of the borough’s first all-inclusive and sensory friendly playground at Fisher Field, a well-attended third-annual Celebrate North Arlington event and extra services provided by the Department of Public Works, including a litter patrol initiative.

“We have many exciting plans for this upcoming year with community trips, new signage, redevelopment projects and more parking,” he said.

At the meeting, incumbent councilmembers Donna Bocchino and Mario Karcic were sworn in for their newest terms by former state Assemblyman and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli.

Following their re-election in November, Bocchino and Karcic will both serve three-year terms.

Karcic was nominated to, once again, serve as Council President and Allison Sheedy was nominated by her fellow councilmembers to serve as Council Vice President.  Both were then sworn-in by the mayor.

Fire Chief Matthew Piscal, First Deputy Fire Chief Mark Zidik and Second Deputy Fire Chief Robert Fellrath were also sworn-in at the meeting.

Certificates of recognition were presented to the North Arlington 2022 Junior Little League team, who were named 14U All-Star District 5 Champions, and to the 2023 Little League team, 12U All-Star District 5 Champions.

Pronti and the council lastly announced the appointments of volunteers to respective municipal committees and also announced the borough’s 2024 professionals.

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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.