WAYNE, N.J. — The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders gained a new director, deputy director and member at Wednesday night's swearing-in ceremony at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne.
Cassandra Lazzara took her oath of office to join the board along with incumbents Hector Lora and John Bartlett following November's election.
The board members then selected new leadership in Theodore O. Best Jr. as director and Bartlett as deputy director.
Best joined the board in 2011 and said he has big shoes to fill after seceding Lora as director.
"It took a lot of hard work, lot of dedication, countless hours," Best said of becoming director.
Lazzara takes the seat of Ronda Cotroneo, who did not seek re-election.
Lazzara thanked Cotroneo for her help in the transition and called her a true friend. Cotroneo also placed the freeholder pin on her successor's blouse at the ceremony.
"This is much bigger than me, it's about all of us," Lazzara said. "For me tonight's a time of jubilation and celebration. In reality, it is a beginning of delivering the best possible county government in the state of New Jersey."
Lora first joined the board in 2012 and said it helped fulfill his dreams.
"I knew that what I wanted was to make a difference," he said, "to love what I do and enjoy doing it. I want to thank the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders ... everyone up here for making that dream come true."
New deputy director Bartlett first took office in 2012. He asked his colleagues and the audience to heed the words of former President Theodore Roosevelt.
"We can follow his advice, to 'Do what you can, with what you got, where you are,'" Bartlett said. "That's what my colleagues do as freeholders."
The host school Passaic Tech was well-represented as the vocal ensamble performed the national anthem and "No Place I'd Rather Be." The state champion football team also received certificates at the ceremony.
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