KEVIN R. WEXLER/staff photographer

James Tedesco, being congratulated on election night, led an upset sweep of Bergen County elected offices by Democrats with Freeholders David Ganz and Joan Voss holding onto their seats.


Democrat James Tedesco scored an upset, come-from-behind victory when he defeated Republican incumbent Kathleen Donovan on Nov. 4 after a hard-fought campaign. His win, plus the reelection of Democratic Freeholders David Ganz and Joan Voss, means Democrats will control both the county executive office and the Freeholder Board for the first time in four years starting Thursday.


The Passaic Valley Water Commission, which until 2014 had discussed and approved most aspects of a controversial plan to drain three Garret Mountain reservoirs without public input, took on what appeared to be a spirit of collaboration by years end. After a series of contentious public meetings where opponents blasted the plan to drain the reservoirs and replace them with giant concrete tanks, the commission in November resolved to work with Newarks water authority to merge two reservoirs into one system, thus saving the scenic Great Notch reservoir from being drained and replaced by two 20-million-gallon tanks. A federal rule designed to ensure safe drinking water is driving the plan, which has gotten state approval, but opposition still is running strong against the plans first phases, which would drain the Stanley Levine and New Street reservoirs.


Madison Holleran, 19, was remembered for her million-dollar smile and heart of gold by hundreds after she leapt to her death from a Philadelphia parking garage in January. The former Northern Highlands Regional High School soccer and track star had grown depressed throughout her first semester away from home while attending the University of Pennsylvania.


The borough and the PBA finalized a three-year police contract in June, which covers 2014-16. The contract calls for a 2 percent raise for two years and a 1 percent raise for one year. The agreement came after months of hard negotiations. Neither the borough nor the police got what they wanted, said officials. The police had sought 2 percent raises per year while the town was leaning toward zero percent.

Read more from the original source:
Triumphs amid the tragedies

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