HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. -- It will be a historic occasion Sunday, Jan. 3 in Hasbrouck Heights, as veteran Mayor Rose Heck steps down and new Mayor John “Jack” DeLorenzo is sworn into the office.
Heck has been the longest-serving female mayor in Bergen County. She just completed eight years, on top of a stint from 1988 - 1995. She was also the 38th District assemblywoman from 1991 - 2003.
DeLorenzo, incumbent Councilman Russell Lipari and new Councilman Peter Traina will be sworn in at noon. Heck will preside over the sine die, completing business from last year, at 11:45 a.m. in the Borough Hall, 320 Boulevard.
Asked to comment on her administrations, Heck provided a comprehensive final address. Here are some of the highlights of her work since 2008:
- 2008: set a goal to stabilize the tax rate, which was achieved in 2015 with a zero municipal tax increase. She said this was achieved by taking careful steps during her mayoralty.
- 2008: realizing the police department was top-heavy with officers, Heck froze promotions through 2012 and passed ordinances setting uniform standards for promotions and establishing a new departmental Table of Organization.
- Worked with the business community to put on successful street fairs.
- Established the Borough Business Bulletin and made other improvements to better communicate with residents.
- Expanded the role of the Celebrations Committee.
Heck also pointed to many beautification projects throughout town, including the Boulevard and several parks.
Also mentioned were street and sidewalk upgrades, a plethora of new ratables — mainly along Rte. 17 — and a tedious but successful fight with the state over a proposal to break up Teterboro and hand off its income-producing properties among several other communities.
Heck reiterated her commitment to children, and vowed to continue to support them.
“I loved meeting with the children at every age level to teach them about community involvement and encourage them to participate by learning more about the town and its government," she said.
To hear Heck’s full address, attend the reorganization and you’ll hear “Rose Heck, proud resident of Hasbrouck Heights,” bid farewell to her office but not her town.