Bernie Fey, Jr, was sworn in as the new president of Phillipsburg’s Town Council shortly after noon on New Year’s Day.
Being unanimously elected by his council colleagues at the meeting was an early birthday present for Fey, who will turn 44 on Thursday.
He is succeeding Randy Piazza, who has served two years as council president.
Piazza said he decided not to serve a third year as president because of personal obligations.
Fey was vice president under Piazza in 2012.
Fey thanked Piazza for doing "a phenomenal job." He said it will be hard to fill Piazza's shoes, "but I’m looking forward to that challenge."
The new president was sworn in by Phillipsburg Mayor Harry Wyant.
A Republican starting the last year of his first four-year term, Fey said he will be running for re-election to council this year.
Fey, who is president of Phillipsburg Consulting, is a 1987 graduate of Phillipsburg High School and a 1991 graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey.
Todd M. Tersigni, a 51-year-old Democrat, unanimously was elected the new vice president of Town Council during Tuesday’s meeting.
"I will be honored to serve as your vice president and will do the best job I possibly can," Tersigni told his colleagues.
Tersigni was the first council member to congratulate Fey on becoming president.
Like Fey, Tersigni and Piazza must run for re-election to council this year.
Town council member John Lynn was absent from council’s first meeting of the year.
Fey and Piazza praised the mayor for his hard work in acquiring the former Ingersoll Rand tract. Wyant responded by saying: "It took a lot of people and a lot of work to get that done and get it done right. So thank everyone. They did a tremendous job."
On Dec. 19, council approved purchasing the 208-acre property for one dollar.
The new president said one of council’s first major goals of 2013 will be to update a redevelopment plan for the Ingersoll Rand tract.
Council approved putting Wyant on its redevelopment authority, at Wyant’s request.
Also during the meeting, with no discussion or dissenting votes, council confirmed the mayor’s appointees, had first reading of an ordinance establishing 2013 salaries for unclassified employees, and passed several resolutions -- including adopting temporary budgets for 2013 and setting meeting dates for the year.
Fey said council will adopt Phillipsburg’s 2013 budget this month.
Council’s next meeting will be Jan. 15.