Lyons again chosen as council president at reorganization

Photo by Chris Sykes
From left, at large Councilwoman October Hudley, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department Director Donald Malloy and at large Councilwoman Renee Burgess stand together on Sunday,
July 1, during the governing body’s reorganization meeting in Christian Pentecostal Church on Clinton Avenue.

IRVINGTON, NJ — North Ward Councilman David Lyons was chosen by his Irvington Municipal Council colleagues to serve a second consecutive term as council president during the reorganization meeting held at Christian Pentecostal Church on Clinton Avenue on Sunday, July 1.

The council majority also voted to have at large Councilwoman Renee Burgess serve a second straight term as council vice president, after she was sworn in for another term in office for the next four years. Also sworn in at the meeting were at large councilwomen October Hudley and Charnette Frederic. Fredric was absent from the meeting and did not vote.

Burgess, Hudley and Frederic all won re-election in the municipal election on Tuesday, May 8, as part of Mayor Tony Vauss’ Team Irvington Strong slate. Vauss ran for re-election unopposed and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver noted during her speech at his inauguration on Sunday, July 1, that he ran unopposed because of the great job he had done during his first term in office.

“He’s an avenger and Mayor Vauss, there is no doubt … you’ve had a great four years in your first term because, the day you stepped into office, you coined a phrase: One Team One Dream,” said Oliver on Sunday, July 1. “And kudos to the Municipal Council, because you stood up with Mayor Vauss and you made a commitment to join Team Irvington Strong and that is why we have had all of the progress in the township of Irvington.”

Vauss said Lyons has been a big part of that teamwork and his administration’s successes. He added that he is looking forward to four more years of the same success. Lyons, who will be up for re-election again in 2020, said he understands the mayor’s sentiments and shares them.

When it comes to being chosen by his council colleagues to lead them again for at least another year, Lyons said he considers that a big vote of confidence, just as Oliver viewed Vauss running for re-election unopposed as a sign of the strong support in town for his administration.

“I’m appreciative that they have enough faith in my leadership to support me again,” said Lyons on Tuesday, July 10.

Burgess and Frederic could not be reached for comment about their re-elections or the actions at the reorganization meeting by press time this week; however, Hudley did have a lot to say about being re-elected to a second term.

“I really thank everyone, the residents for letting me know and letting everyone know who they want to serve another four years,” said Hudley on Wednesday, July 4, at East Orange’s annual fireworks display and concert in Paul Robeson Stadium. “I’m so glad I’m able to serve another four years, so I can continue to move Irvington forward. And I must say that I am excited because, when I think about four years ago, in 2014, and now I accomplished so much and now my goal and mission is to empower and inspire people.

“Within four years, I actually won two elections as councilwoman at large, I also enrolled in a doctorate program and completed the doctorate program within three years, becoming the first African-American to complete the first cohort at New Jersey City University, majoring in education technology, I also retired after 34 years from the Irvington Public School System from Grove Street School. I’m just so happy. Within four years, I accomplished so much and I have a mission that I want to actually inspire others that, just like I did it, you can do it, too.”