One of the greatest honors of my lifetime

Violetta Berisha

Good evening everyone,

I am overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. I am so excited to be seated as the first Albanian American Mayor in Fairview as well as the State of NJ. Moreover, the First women to serve in this office in the Borough of Fairview in its nearly 130-year existence.

I am extremely honored for tonight’s entry behind Fairview Police Honor guard and alongside Governor Phil Murphy and Mayor Vincent Bellucci. Governor, It is an extraordinary honor to have you here today to administer the oath of office to me as Mayor. It just doesn’t seem real. Thank you, Governor, for everything you have done for our Borough, our schools and the Great state of NJ. Most importantly for your valued friendship to me and my entire family. I am very grateful for that.

I want to thank my son Valentino and my daughter Sophia, who were born and raised in Fairview and attended the Fairview schools, for being the best children that anyone can ever ask for. You are my world and make me proud every day. My grandchildren Victoria and Giovanni and my son in-law Joe. I love you all very much.

Thank you to my family Tony and Suzie, Rita and Paul, Antoinette and Besnik for being by my side always and showing me love and support. Love you all.

To my uncles Zef, you have given me unconditional support always, Louie, Kol and Frank, my Aunt Lula and my cousins and all the other relatives that are here tonight. Thank you for being here. I love you all.

Thank you to the Albanian community that have come here tonight from near and far to show me support beyond anything that I would have ever thought. I am so grateful.

Thank you to the county and state legislators for sharing in tonight’s ceremony.

Mayor Vinny Bellucci your 31-year tenure in elected office in Fairview serving one term on the council and 7 terms as Mayor. You are by far the longest serving Mayor in the history of Fairview. Your vision throughout the years has embraced great government. Including but not limited to the restoration of parks and fields. A road resurfacing program in the Borough that has doubled in size throughout your tenure. Over the past 5 years you have stabilized municipal property taxes and have amassed the largest surplus ever as well you have advanced public safety initiative and presided over smart development to the borough. Congratulations to your beautiful wife Joanne, your children Vinny, Michael and Lisa, your Daughter in-laws, son In-law and grandchildren, all of whom must be so proud of your accomplishments. Fairview will miss you as most of us do not remember a time in which you weren’t our Mayor. As far as I’m concerned don’t go far because I intend to reach out to you for your guidance and wisdom as we navigate through this administration. On behalf of myself and the Borough I wish you a happy, healthy and productive retirement. All the Best.

Paul Juliano, my brother in law, I don’t even know what to say. You had faith in me, you supported me and my children always, you stood by us, you started my career in politics. You always had a vision for me that maybe I didn’t always see. Paul thank you. I will always make you proud.

Congratulations to Councilman Steve Burke, Al Lukin and Councilwoman Florencia Asto on your election. Councilman Jhon Gomez and Russel Martin, our municipal chairperson, I look forward to working together to advance the objectives that mater most to the residence of Fairview.

A special thank you to all those who helped me campaign for this office. The Fairview Democratic committee and the volunteers that worked alongside Steve Russo.

Thank you to our Police Chief and Police Department, Fire Chief and Fire Department, Department heads and DPW for keeping our town safe. Our Administrator Diane Testa for your guidance and support and to John Schettino our Borough Attorney for your guidance. Special thank to Monique for making sure everything runs smoothly. To all my friends and coworkers at the Fairview Board of Education thank you for your support always.

I pledge to work hard everyday to maintain safe and clean streets, stable taxes and high property values as well to answer all resident calls and to work with residence as we improve the quality of life and enact policies that will positively embrace our Fairview community.

Tonight, is one of the greatest honors of my lifetime and I would like to share it with my mom who has stood by me though good and bad every second of my life and my dad who is watching from up above with a big smile. They came to the United States when I was 3 months old and would tell the story of how they landed at Kennedy airport with 1 suitcase, 2 children and very little money. They weren’t sure what lied ahead. They quickly found union work with 32B-J. My dad at the united nations building as a window washer and my mom doing maintenance in buildings in Manhattan. As an aside they where building supers in Midwood Brooklyn. In 1986 they achieved the American Dream when they purchased a house on Linda Lane in Fairview. As a single mother of 2 children I could not imagine how my life would have turned out if not for the strength, love, support and values that my parents gave to me. I love you more than you could ever know.

I’d like to acknowledge Ambassador Blerim Reka for being here tonight.

Again, thank you to you all for being here and I will do everything in my power to make you proud, work with integrity, and dedication to ensure that we continue the progress made over the years.

God bless you all and God Bless America!

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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