MOUNTAINSIDE — Mountainside moved forward with plans for a new park at the intersection of Mountain Avenue and New Providence Road as well as a spending plan to pave multiple roadways in the borough during 2023.
Plans for the new park were presented to the council in July by Todd Evans of Beautiful Mountainside. These plans include new matching light fixtures for the entire downtown area and a slate-top, backlit curved sign marking the beginning of the park. Initial plans also include the installation of new benches and brick pillars.
The borough celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Mountainside Rescue Squad, which was established in 1938. It was said that the squad’s first vehicle was a converted hearse and that its official ambulance was purchased in 1943. A proclamation congratulated the squad for its excellent training drills in the 1980s and members’ dedication during the Covid pandemic. The rescue squad has 55 members from Mountainside and surrounding communities.
The borough council applied for several grants to help fund road improvements on Friar Lane, Kings Court, Justin Place, Queens Lane, Bayberry Lane, Chapel Hill, Laurel Court, Bristol Road and Outlook Drive West.
In October, Mountainside Police Officer Brendan Carlos sustained injuries during a motor vehicle stop on Route 22, when the driver reentered his vehicle and fled the scene, running over Officer Carlos’ foot in the process. The driver, James McMillion, 38, of Irvington, was later arrested and charged with numerous offenses, including aggravated assault on a police officer and eluding police.
In November, Mountainside Mayor Paul Mirabelli was re-elected to his fourth consecutive four-year term, defeating Independent challenger Thomas Murphy, a former borough police officer who was once accused of sexual harassment in the workplace, by a margin of over 1,000 votes.
Republican incumbents Deanna Andre and Steven Matejek, both of whom ran unopposed, also were reelected to new, three-year terms on the borough council.
Vivian Pupo and Dana Guidicipietro, last year’s president and vice-president of the Mountainside Board of Education, respectively, were each elected to new terms on the board, garnering 973 and 1,006 respective votes over challenger Hector Meneses, Jr.’s 539.
At the final borough council meeting of the year, it was announced that Councilwoman Rachel Pater has stepped down from her position for personal reasons. A new councilperson will be appointed to fill the seat in the new year.