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New Mayor Judah Zeigler Takes Helm In Leonia

Mayor Judah Zeigler, with his wife Michelle and son, is sworn in to his second term as Leonia's mayor by state Senator Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck. Zeigler was last mayor 15 years ago.
Mayor Judah Zeigler, with his wife Michelle and son, is sworn in to his second term as Leonia's mayor by state Senator Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck. Zeigler was last mayor 15 years ago. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Leonia Mayor John DeSimone says goodbye to public office after four years as mayor and one on the council.
Leonia Mayor John DeSimone says goodbye to public office after four years as mayor and one on the council. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Councilman Greg Makroulakis was accompanied by his son as he was sworn in to his second term on the Leonia council.
Councilman Greg Makroulakis was accompanied by his son as he was sworn in to his second term on the Leonia council. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Councilman Mark Minichiello, his wife holding the Bible, was sworn in by state Senator Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson of Englewood.
Councilman Mark Minichiello, his wife holding the Bible, was sworn in by state Senator Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson of Englewood. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
New Leonia Mayor Judah Zeigler, right, and outgoing Mayor John DeSimone have a good laugh at Monday's reorganization meeting.
New Leonia Mayor Judah Zeigler, right, and outgoing Mayor John DeSimone have a good laugh at Monday's reorganization meeting. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
State Senator Loretta Weinberg congratulates outgoing Leonia Mayor John DeSimone, telling him "Local government is the hardest."
State Senator Loretta Weinberg congratulates outgoing Leonia Mayor John DeSimone, telling him "Local government is the hardest." Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Mayor Judah Zeigler takes the helm in Leonia.
Mayor Judah Zeigler takes the helm in Leonia. Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

LEONIA, N.J. -- Judah Zeigler was sworn in Monday night as Leonia’s mayor, along with incumbent Council members Greg Makroulakis and Mark Minichiello.

This is Zeigler’s second term as mayor, although separated by 15 years. There had been contentiousness among the two factions of Democrats during elections, but everything was peaceful Monday night.

Zeigler proposed a new borough attorney, Brian Chewcaskie, and several other replacements, with unanimous agreement of the council members. Chewcaskie has been borough attorney during Zeigler’s last term as mayor.

Makroulakis was elected council president, for the second time.

Zeigler said he plans to immediately tackle this issue of a 6-story building approved by the Fort Lee Planning Board, at the corner of Fort Lee Road and Bergen Boulevard / Route 46.

He also said Leonia will protect its zoning so as not to look like “towns on our border,” but also shouldn’t accept that tax revenues can’t be improved.

He directed the borough’s Economic Development Commission to publicize their meetings and involve Leonians, and said he will work with Bergen County to fully develop recreational facilities in Overpeck Park.

He said to tackle the borough’s problems intelligently, “I will tap the pool of Leonia talent, and encourage more engagement by our citizens.

“Together, we can and will succeed."

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