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Zoeller Leave Rumor, Emergency Dispatching, Official Election Results Top Week's News

Here's a look at the past week in Westwood, Hillsdale and Washington Township.

Westwood Regional Schools Superintendent Geoffrey Zoeller confirmed that he was "taking some vacation time," but told Patch via email that it was untrue he had been forced to take a leave by the Board of Education.

Rumors circulated this week that Zoeller had been forced to take a leave of absence pending a review by the Board of Education after he took home a district-owned generator and truck for Hurricane Sandy, and left them there while away on vacation in Florida

The Washington Township Council voted 4-1 Monday to pursue a shared service with Westwood for emergency dispatching, but Mayor Janet Sobkowicz said she would not consent to the deal.

"We're going to stay in-house," Sobkowicz said.

Official Results: Democrats Take Four Hillsdale Council Seats

Hillsdale Democrats took all four seats that were up for election this year, according to the official results released by Bergen County Wednesday.

On election night, on the council, but Republican incumbent Marie Hanlon was just 49 votes behind. She ended up even closer, just 31 votes behind Jason DeGise.

Hillsdale residents who do not allow inspectors into their homes may find the appraised values of their homes go up after a revaluation is finished in the borough, according to home inspector Andrew Duda.

Duda and his brother, Mark Duda, explained the revaluation Realty Appraisal Company is performing in Hillsdale to residents during a borough council meeting Tuesday.

"If someone refuses to participate, we have to make certain assumptions," Andrew Duda said, implying the home is probably very nice inside.

Of the aproximately 1,700 properties inspected in Hillsdale so far, only 14 home owners have turned inspectors away, Duda said.

Washington Twp. Council Votes Down CFO Candidate

The Washington Township Council voted against hiring a part-time acting Chief Financial Officer during their meeting Monday.

Former CFO Jacqueline Do retired as of November 1.

The position would have been part-time and paid $50 per hour, though the recommended candidate would have worked some irregular hours and weekends.

Council Vice President Joseph D'Urso said that the candidate's credentials had not been shared with the council prior to Monday's meeting and he would prefer to find a full-time CFO to replace Do.

Gov. Signs Schepisi's Drinking Water Protection Bill

Governor Chris Christie signed a law Monday which "prohibits health care facilities from discharging prescription medications into sewer or septic systems."

The legislation, A-733, was written in response to a 2008 Associated Press report which found "a vast array of pharmaceuticals" in the drinking water of at least 41 million Americans. There were seven drugs, including caffeine, carbamazepine, codeine, cotinine, dehydronifedipine, diphenhydramine and sulfathiazole found in northern New Jersey drinking water, according to the report.

Volunteers Fix Home of Children's Advocate

Volunteers from "Rebuilding Together Bergen County" helped improve the Hillsdale home of local children's safety advocate Rosemarie D'Alessandro Saturday.

D'Alessandro pushed for the passage of Joan's Law, which eliminates the possibility of parole for those who murder young children. The law is named after D'Alessandro's daughter, who was 7 when a neighbor killed her in 1973.

Lynn Buckingham of Rebuilding Together said that D'Alessandro's advocacy made her stand out as someone they wanted to help. The home doubles as the offices of the Joan Angela D'Alessandro Memorial Foundation.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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