Hameeduddin, Gussen Re-elected in Teaneck Reorganization
Two new council members were sworn in Sunday at Teaneck's reorganization meeting.
"We are a team, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you to make Teaneck a better place," Hameeduddin said, as he began his second term.
Gussen spoke about some of the projects the council has worked on to improve the town over the past few years, including the addition of revenue from a cell phone tower, the creation of a handicap-accessible playground in Votee Park and changes to human resource management for town employees.
"The team that I'm embarking on serving with now is one that I think will put us in a position to do even more, even better over the next two years," Gussen said.
New council members Henry Pruitt and Mark Schwartz also took their oaths of office at the meeting, which took place in front of the Municipal Complex.
Schwartz said he hopes to redevelop Teaneck's business district in order to reduce the pressure on residents for tax dollars. Pruitt said he also hopes to create new sources of revenue, improve conditions for municipal workers and improve communication among residents.
"This is our town, and it's a great town. If we put our heads together, we can make it a truly extraordinary town," Pruitt said.
Township Attorney Stanley Turitz and Township Prosecutor Deborah Veach were also reappointed to their positions.
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) congratulated the returning and newly elected officials, noting the diverse ethnic mix of Teaneck's governing body.
"The last time I was here, I was swearing in someone of Jewish descent," Menendez said. "Today, we swear someone who is of Muslim descent. It teaches us in America that we can all come together and achieve for a beloved community the common good."
Hameeduddin gained widespread media attention when he became Bergen County's first Muslim mayor in 2010.
There was also celebration for Councilwoman Lizette Parker, who recently gave birth to a baby girl.
"Council member Parker couldn't be here tonight because she's starting the most important job of her life," Hameeduddin said. "We are all very happy for her."
Residents attending the event said they were happy with the new officials. Teaneck Board of Education Trustee Howard Rose said he had confidence in the new council.
"With two new members, Mark Schwartz brings in new, young blood and Henry Pruitt brings in wise, tried and tested blood, so it's terrific," Rose said.