Guttenberg mayor won’t seek re-election
Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff will not seek reelection in the 2017 June primary, according to a press release from the mayor. The election is in November.
Drasheff cited obligations to his family as his reason for stepping down. “After long and thoughtful consideration, I have concluded that my personal responsibilities to my family will require me to spend less time as the mayor of Guttenberg in the upcoming years,” he said. “Therefore, to be fair to the residents of Guttenberg, I have decided not to seek re-election for the upcoming term.”
Drasheff previously served as councilman for Guttenberg from 2002 to 2009, then was elected mayor. During his tenure, he managed to negotiate en expansion of the Anna L. Klein School, scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. The $18 million project is the largest public project in the town’s history. He also oversaw municipal budgets that, since 2011, have never seen municipal tax increases over 1.5 percent.
“I will, of course, stay involved and offer any assistance to the newly elected administration, if requested,” Drasheff added. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity I was given by the citizens of Guttenberg to serve as their mayor.”
North Bergen Board of Education approves new teacher contract
North Bergen’s Board of Education officially approved a new three-year contract with the North Bergen Federation of Teachers at its March 8 meeting. The new contract will provide incremental raises of 2.9 percent for the 2016-17 year (which will be paid retroactively), 3.0 percent for the 2017-18 school year, and 3.1 percent for the 2018-19 school year. In addition, the contract sets an hourly salary rate of $75 for teachers. It also eliminates the Masters+45 credit, a stipend that gives teachers additional money for school credits they’ve taken.
While the previous contract’s term ended on Aug 31, 2016, the teachers worked by its terms while negotiating their new one. On Feb. 24, they reached a tentative agreement with the Board. The Monday before the Board’s official vote, the Federation ratified the new contract.
“We’re very happy that the Federation bargaining team and the Board bargaining team got together,” said North Bergen Superintendent of Schools George Solter Jr. “They worked very hard to come up with a solution. Both sides worked it out.”
North Bergen police to hold four community meetings through March
The North Bergen Police Department, through its TAPS (Township Alternative Policing Strategy) program will be holding four community meetings this month. They will allow residents to voice any concerns they may have with department members.
The meeting times are:
March 16, at Our Lady of Fatima Church (lower-level community room), 81st Street and Kennedy Boulevard;
March 21 at the Main Library, 8411 Bergenline Avenue;
March 22 at the Kennedy Branch, 2123 Kennedy Boulevard;
March 28 at North Bergen Town Hall, 4233 Kennedy Boulevard.
Each meeting will run from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Visit http://www.northbergen.org/ for any changes on the meeting times.
Registration for swim team conditioning open
The township has just opened registration for swim team conditioning for boys and girls ages 5 to 17. Registration will run through March 31st from 2 to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, at the North Bergen Recreational Center, located at 6300 Meadowview Ave. The program is designed to improve competitive swimming skills, racing starts, flip turns, and stroke technique. Proof of residency, along with a birth certificate/passport and a $35 non-refundable fee in cash, check, or money order, is mandated at registration. Children must also pass a swim test to officially join the program. Each practice session will run Tuesday evenings from Apr. 4 to May 23.
North Bergen spring program registration
Registration for the North Bergen Library’s Spring Program will begin March 13 at 9 a.m. The programs themselves will begin on March 20, the first day of spring, at both the Kennedy and Main branches. Those interested can register in person at either library. The Kennedy Branch is located at 2123 Kennedy Blvd. The Main Library is located at 8411 Bergenline Ave. Proof of age and residency are required. Registration is also open to Guttenberg residents. Contact the North Bergen Public Library at 201-869-4715 for more information, or visit www.nbpl.org.