Edward Durkin became the latest Durkin to serve in public office Tuesday when he was sworn in to the Caldwell Council during the borough's annual reorganization meeting.
Durkin, a Democrat, took the oath of office on New Year's Day in the Caldwell Community Center along with Republican Richard Hauser, who was re-elected to a second term and was unanimously chosen by the council to serve a second consecutive year as Council President.
The meeting was attended by dozens of family members and supporters of the councilmen, as well as those who came to see Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department officers take their oaths of office and Nicholas P. Adamo of Belleville be sworn in as a probationary officer on the Caldwell Police Department.
Durkin's cousin, Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, administered the oath with his grandfather Thomas E. Durkin, a former N.J. Assemblyman, at his side.
"Today exemplifies the greatness of America," Chris Durkin said before administering the oath. "All across this great land on this day at this time, there are swearing ins and there are reorganizations of government—peaceful reorganizations of government."
The county clerk called it an “honor” to adminster the oath to his cousin.
“Edward understands his responsibility and he will serve the 7,822 people that live, work and play in this great community with dignity and honesty.”
In turn, Edward Durkin thanked his cousin in his remarks, calling him an "instrumental" part of his campaign.
Durkin, 31, is a Caldwell native who is finishing up a master's in business administration at Caldwell College this spring.
"I don’t take this role lightly at all. I know it’s going to be a full-time job, but I am in it for the right reasons," he said.
Nancy Hauser administered the oath of office to her husband, Richard.
Hauser, 50, has lived in the Caldwells most of his life. He is the founder of Caldwell-based RAHauser & Associates, a firm which provides CFO and Controller Services.
Hauser expressed in his remarks his "deep disappointment" that his running mate, Peter Murray, was not re-elected in November. He called Murray "a driver and a doer" and said he was proud of their accomplishments over the past three years.
The councilman took the opportunity to address the tension that has been present over the past year between the Democrats and the Republicans on the council.
"I am cautiously hopeful that some of the petty politics that have reared its ugly head once again over the past few months can be buried so that the work of this council can be focused on the needs of our residents," he said. "We have seen how a group of individuals can accomplish many things and how healthy discussion, while not always easy, is useful. The other stuff is garbage and gets in the way, and those are the reasons why many good people do not get involved in local politics."
Hauser also encouraged residents of Caldwell to become involved. He named coaching a team, serving on the library board and helping out at the local food pantry as some of the many areas in which to serve.