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Overflow Crowd as Warren's New Mayor Sworn in At First 2014 Meeting

Gary DiNardo moves up to mayor for 2014, Mick Marion in line for 2015.

Victor Sordillo, left, Warren Township Mayor in 2014, with 2014's new Mayor Gary DiNardo. Linda Sadlouskos
Victor Sordillo, left, Warren Township Mayor in 2014, with 2014's new Mayor Gary DiNardo. Linda Sadlouskos
An overflow crowd of residents and officials — including state representatives from District 21, former governor Donald DiFrancesco, former mayors and others, saw this year's Warren Township mayor, Gary DiNardo, sworn in on Wednesday.

Carolann Garafola also was sworn in to a seventh term on the Township Committee. 

DiNardo, who previously had served when Superstorm Sandy hit the region, causing extensive damage and power outages in New Jersey, said that the many volunteers, including fire and rescue workers, and municipal employees who pitched in after the storm were responsible for repairing the damage, and "can stand proud."

DiNardo added that even after that disaster the township was awarded recognition by New Jersey Monthly in 2013 as the second best place to live in New Jersey, and the best in Central New Jersey, joking that number one, Mendham, only won because it is the home of State Gov. Chris Christie.

As last year ended, DiNardo said that one of the major projects likely to begin unfolding during 2014 is work on an expansion of the police department and a new municipal annex on the township property off Mountain Blvd.

At that time, DiNardo said he expects the cost of the project will be just under or about $4 million. But he and 2013's mayor, Victor Sordillo, said the bond payments for the municipal building is expected to be covered by taxable income from a former knitting mill on Dubois Road, off Mount Bethel Road, that is due to be turned into condominiums.

Both said that because the construction is a redevelopment project, the municipality would receive the majority of the tax income. DiNardo said that the income from the 35-unit project could be applied to offset annual payments on the bond payments for the new municipal complex.

When he was appointed as mayor in 2013, Sordillo and others noted that officials were on "pins and needles" after 2011 and 2012 storms that damaged trees and caused power outages — but similar storms never materialized in a quieter 2013.

Under Warren Township's form of government, members of the Township Committee vote to select a township mayor and deputy mayor each year.

Township Committeeman Mick Marion, elected two years ago to his first term on the committee two years ago, was selected to be deputy mayor in 2014, putting him in line for township mayor in 2015. 

Marion said being chosen was a "humbling and exciting time," and he noted his appointment opened the door for a new generation of leadership in Warren.

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