Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hackensack's 'Forever Mayor' Was a Beloved Figure in City

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hackensack's 'Forever Mayor' Was a Beloved Figure in City

Article excerpt

It didn't come easy for Paul Foschini.

Getting to be mayor of Hackensack was a complicated affair, but he persevered and eventually, just as some people living though the Great Depression thought FDR might be president forever, Hackensack might have believed that Foschini would be mayor or councilman forever.

He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the city council in 1933.

He ran for the seat in 1934 but lost. Then, in 1937, he ran for mayor and polled 3,701 votes. Problem was that his opponent, Ralph DeClairmont, also drew 3,701 votes. This threw the election to the council and it seated DeClairmont.

Later, to further complicate matters, DeClairmont announced he was resigning from the council because, he said, he would be out of the country.

This time, the council made Foschini mayor. He was elected mayor in 1941 and 1945, served on the council in 1949 and again ran successfully in 1953.

But Foschini grew ill early in 1954 - heart disease, the Bergen Evening Record later would report - and never attended another meeting of the city council. Foschini never actually resigned, but asked Councilman Edgar Deuell to assume the role of acting mayor.

When he died, on Sept. 22, Deuell said he had thought the mayor's health had been improving to the point that he expected Foschini back at work soon.

The white-haired Paul Foschini died while near the tail end of a seven-week vacation with his wife, Therese, on Cape Cod. He was 54 years old.

Tributes to the forever-mayor poured in.

A council resolution described Foschini as "a modest, friendly man whose high ideals did inspire confidence, endearing himself to the thousands privileged to call him 'friend.'"

"The city has lost a man who devoted his life, and possibly shortened it, in the interests of the city," said Philip J. Audino, a friend whom Foschini had appointed to the board of education.

"We will always remember him for his efforts to champion good government, true brotherhood and understanding among the peoples of this city," said J. …

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