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Bellmawr's Council Annual Reorganization Meeting; Fillipek and Pointkowski Take Oath of Office

By Chris Concannon

Gloucester City News

  Bellmawr’s annual Reorganization Meeting January 6 could have been easily mistaken for an episode of “Entourage,” as the Borough courtroom was filled to standing-room capacity.

  Borough Solicitor Robert Messick legally swore in both Mayor Frank R. Filipek Sr. and Councilwoman Regina Piontkowski before the meeting.

  Then, Cub Scout Pack 185 posted the United States’ colors and Ashley Matousek followed with the singing of the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful” to open the meeting.

  Matousek was 1st Runner-Up in the 2010-11 Miss Bellmawr Pageant.

  The meeting continued with the ceremonial swearing-in of both Filipek and Piontkowski by Father Carmel Polidano of St. Rita/Mary, Mother of the Church Parish.

  Piontkowski’s Oath of Office featured a massive showing of public support, as her entire family entourage was in attendance, all of which wearing red T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “I Love Regina.”

  David M. Duncan was officially sworn-in as a Councilman, shedding his “interim” tag which followed the passing of the late Councilman Peter A. Di Giambattista Sr..

  State Senate President Steven M. Sweeney (D-3) administered the Oath of Office for Duncan, and swore in John Bollinger as Council President.

  Sweeney said it was a great honor to swear in an old friend in Councilman Duncan, and added that Bellmawr is a dynamite, blue-collar community.

  State Senator Donald Norcross (D-5) said that it is a difficult time to operate in government.

  Other area dignitaries included Camden County Freeholders Rodney Greco and Ian Leonard, County Surrogate Patricia Egan Jones (a former freeholder), along with County Sheriff Charles Billingham.

  After listening to their remarks, Filipek thanked Rev. Carmel for “bringing religion back to Bellmawr.”

  The mayor thanked and acknowledged all Borough employees and department heads, many of whom were in attendance, along with the Hon. Bertha “Sis” Kalvaitis, Mayor of Runnemede.

  As to the Bellmawr Board of Education, Filipek said that Mayor and Council have a good relationship with the School Board.

  School Superintendent Annette Castiglione said she is very thrilled about the relationship with Mayor and Council.

  Board members present were Vice President Mike Williams and Jody Mangus.

  Councilman Duncan then thanked his wife, Barbara, and his family.

  Councilwoman Piontkow-ski, overwhelmed by the sea of red shirts in the room, thanked her family as well, saying she could not quite understand why her family was all wearing their coats in a fully heated courtroom prior to their unveiling the shirts.

  All business listed on the evening’s agenda was unanimously approved.

  The next Bellmawr Council meeting is Thursday, January 27, at 7:30 p.m.

  For information, contact Borough Hall at 933-1313.