Gov. Christie to Swear in Baratta as Mayor
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will attend the borough council re-organization meeting Tuesday night, Jan 3.
"We’re thrilled and honored about it," said Baratta, who will become Fair Lawn's fifth female mayor. "It was a wonderful surprise when his office called me and said the governor would like to swear you in as mayor."
It's the only municipal swearing in that Christie will be doing in New Jersey, Baratta said. The governor is also expected to say a few words at the meeting.
Baratta, who is chief of staff for Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan, said the arrangement with Christie began to take shape after a phone conversation she had with Matt Mowers, the governor's regional director of intergovernmental affairs.
"He called me to say, 'I heard you’re going to be the mayor in Fair Lawn,'" Baratta said. "So I said 'Yeah. We’d love for the governor to come down – not thinking that he really would."
Baratta received an early Christmas present when she learned just prior to the holiday that the governor would indeed be coming to swear her in.
"They said, 'Jeanne, we talked to the governor and he wants to swear you in," she said. "I thought that was pretty cool."
Councilman-elect John Cosgrove, who will become Fair Lawn's next deputy mayor, advised residents who wish to attend Tuesday's meeting to arrive early.
Only the first 160 attendees will be admitted, as fire codes prohibit more than that many people from being seated in council chambers. Spill over will be sent to the Fair Lawn Athletic Club -- across the street from the municipal building -- where the council meeting will be televised on Fair Lawn TV, Cosgrove said.