Westwood Councilmen Peter Grefrath and Ray Arroyo took oaths of office for their new terms and John J. Sciara was unanimously elected as the council president during the borough's annual reorganization meeting Thursday.
Sciara has previously served as the council's president several times. Grefrath is a long-time member of the council who was re-elected in November. Arroyo is serving in his first term on the council but has prior government experience on the zoning board, on which he will continue to serve as the council's liason.
"I'm very happy and honored to work with such a wonderful group of people," Sciara said.
Officials were positive about 2012 and hopeful for some big changes expected to come in 2013, including the official opening of HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley at the former Pascack Valley Hospital and improvements to intersections along Broadway, which are expected to relieve traffic in the downtown area.
"The challenges that we will meet will be dealt with by building on our previous accomplishments," Mayor John Birkner said.
Officials also recognized the efforts of borough employees and volunteers during the meeting. Firefighter Steve Fatovic, EMT Barbara Constantine and Reserve Police Officer Sean Walsh were all specifically commended for their efforts during the past year.
Special recognition was also given to former Councilman William Phayre, who decided against running for re-election due to family and business commitments.
Arroyo said Phayre "brings thoughtfulness, humor and diligence" to his public service.
Phayre, who served on the council for six years and has been a member of the fire department for 37 years, said he was proud to have worked on bringing the hospital back, improving the Broadway intersections and using grant money to purchase flood-prone homes.
"We were a team the whole way," Phayre said.