Belleville pays homage to 2 departing councilmen

Township officials and residents are expressing their gratitude to two elected leaders who choose not to seek reelection to their ward council seats.

Second Ward Councilman Steve Rovell and Fourth Ward Councilman John Notari received plaques of appreciation during the June 25 council meeting. Their terms officially end July 1 at noon, when the municipal government reorganizes and welcomes in new elected leaders.

“We bid farewell to Councilmen Notari and Rovell after 20 years of dedicated service to our community,” Mayor Micheal A. Melham said. “Our accomplishments over the past six years were built on the strong foundation laid by previous councils, including the-late Councilwoman Marie Strumolo Burke.

“I look forward to welcoming our new council members on July 1 and I am confident that we will continue to move forward with the same momentum.”

Tracy Juanita Williams will become the first new councilwoman in Belleville’s First Ward in two decades. The seat was held by Burke, until her death, March 8 aged 82.

In the Second Ward, Frank Velez III will be sworn in as councilman, while the Fourth Ward will welcome Diana Sorice Guardadbasco. Third Ward Councilman Vincent Cozzarelli was unopposed in the spring election and will take the oath of office for another term July 1.

“Steve and John have always been dedicated public servants who care deeply about our community and maximizing all possibilities,” Cozzarelli said. “I will certainly miss their insight, passion and focus on pushing Belleville forward. They have been incredible assets for this council and this community.”

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