EMERSON, N.J. -- A first-timer and second-timer officially took seats on the Emerson council when Brian Downing and John Lazar were sworn in Tuesday to two three-year terms.
Both Democrats, they won seats in November that were vacated by Councilmen Stephen Paino and Scott Rivers, who didn't seek re-election.
Downing, the leading vote-getter, has made downtown redevelopment a priority, while Lazar -- who'd previously been on the council and at one point served as its president -- pledged to resume a Kinderkamack Road reconstruction plan that he devised with Mayor Louis Lamatina several years ago.
Both Downing and Lazar have lived in Emerson for more than four decades.
Downing is a retired sergeant from the Bergen County Sheriff's Office. He was joined at the swearing in by his wife, Denise, who held their daughter, 3-year-old Madeline Rose, and their 6-year-old daughter, Lily Ann, who held the Bible.
Lazar and his wife, Barbara, have a son and two grandchildren.
He is a volunteer firefighter and retired fire official/administrator from the Bergenfield Fire Prevention Bureau and former Ramsey contractor.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.