South River swears in new Borough Council members

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COURTESY OF TERESA HUTCHINSON
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COURTESY OF TERESA HUTCHINSON
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COURTESY OF TERESA HUTCHINSON
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COURTESY OF TERESA HUTCHINSON

SOUTH RIVER–Standing before residents to recite their respective oaths of office,  Raymond Eppinger and Peter Guindi were sworn in as the South River Borough Council’s newest members.

The newly appointed council members were sworn in during the borough’s annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 1, held in the South River Middle School’s cafetorium.

Retired Municipal Court Judge Thomas Dominiecki swore in Guindi, a member of the South River Volunteer Fire Department.

“I look forward to working with everyone on the council, regardless of party lines, and to complete projects to take care of any issues we see that is brought before us, fiscally responsible, and especially to keep the town moving in the right direction,” Guindi said. “The journey began when I first was elected to serve the residents of South River, but this is just the beginning the journey continues every day. We as your town council are here to work for you. … We need to work together at every level so that South River can always be a place where you want to live, work and play.”

Guindi thanked his family, friends and everyone who supported him during the time he was running for council last year.

“To the party, I can’t thank you enough for opening your doors to me. I know it’s not been easy, but I can tell you this we have got a long way ahead,” Guindi said. “I will be who I am to South River as a whole. I am not going to forget who I am, where I came from, but I am here for the town.”

Retired Superior Court Judge Glen Berman swore in Eppinger, who is a former mayor.

“Just a few words to thank this borough for giving me this opportunity to serve again on the borough council,” Eppinger said. “My family and I thought I had gotten the political bug out of my system, but just like so many things in life, time and circumstances do change.”

Eppinger said that while it is an honor and a privilege to have so many put their faith in him, he truly feel that it is a blessing.

“South River is the only place I have ever called home and I look forward to renewing new acquaintances, forging new relationships and working together with people from across the political spectrum over the next three years,” Eppinger said. “We have a lot to do and like with every governing body we face many challenges both fiscally and otherwise during the year. There is always a lot of talk at this time of year about working together and I hope this year we truly can.”

Councilwoman Julie Meira nominated Guindi as council president and Councilman James Gurchensky nominated Eppinger as council president.

On Guindi’s nomination, Councilman John Alai Jr., Councilwoman Sandra Adelino and Meira voted “yes.” Guindi, Eppinger and Gurchensky voted “no,” resulting in a 3-3 tie.

On Eppinger’s nomination, Guindi, Eppinger and Gurchensky voted “yes.” Alai, Meira and Adelino voted “no,” resulting in another 3-3 tie.

Mayor John Krenzel said in this situation the mayor does not break the tie between the two candidates, but instead can choose to appoint anyone as the new council president.

Thus, Krenzel appointed Eppinger to serve as president for 2019.

Krenzel, Gurchensky, Eppinger and Guindi are Republicans. Sandra Adelino, John Alai Jr. and Meira are Democrats.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.