Reproduced from The Suburbanite

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

by Michael J. Wildes, Mayor, City of Englewood

2-10 N. Van Brunt Street

Englewood , NJ 07631



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Northern Valley Suburbanite South Edition

March 31, 2004

New Residents Talk About City

By Andrew Katchen


In January Deanna Jefferson moved into Englewood to start anew.


The Bronx native, who manages a non-profit organization, had friends living in the area and after several visits she fell in love with Englewood .

“I like the proximity to New York . And j us t from past experiences being here and driving through the neighborhood, I re all y liked Englewood .


After subsequent trips to the city, she made a bid on a Fourth Ward ho us e. She now c all s that ho us e “home”.


In 2003 nearly 200 new residents moved into Englewood , adding to the roughly 26,000 people who reside in the city and the 860,000 living in Bergen County . To honor and welcome them, Mayor Michael Wildes hosted an afternoon for residents, new and old, at City H all .


With the purpose of acquainting people like Jefferson with more established residents, local b us inesses and services along with city council members, Wildes sent fliers out to more than 200 homes, encouraging the residents to attend.


During the new residents' afternoon, which took place March 21, Councilman Scott Reddin addressed the crowd gathered in the City H all lobby informing them about Englewood 's city government, while Fire Chief Robert Moran disc us sed fire safety.


A Local high school singing group, In Harmony, dazzled the crowd of more than 200.


Ben & Jerry's dished out free scoops of Cherry Garcia to anxio us children and their parents.


Wildes also gave Eric Sulfridge a U.S. soldier who recently returned from a tour in Iraq , a key to the city.


He referred to Sulfridge as a “real American hero.”


“I believe our city should welcome its new residents like an extended family would,” said Wildes. “I am very pleased that our Englewood family, from all corners of our city, has shown that they agree.”


Natalie Beaumont, coordinator of Literacy Volunteers at Englewood Library, spoke of available tutoring for adults.


“I think it's a great idea beca us e it does get new residents oriented into the town and what they do,” said Beaumont . “It's about people-building, and I think it's necessary for members of the city council make themselves known to people”.


Beaumont estimated that the Englewood Public Library provides English tutoring to more than 335 adults. Of those individuals, Beaumont noted most are Hispanic and are predominantly from Colombia . Roughly 5,700 of Englewood 's residents, or 21.7 percent of the city's population, are Hispanic.


“I was glad that there were a lot of Hispanic [residents] there,” she said. “The people who needed the information were definitely there.”


Before leaving, residents received gift bags including coupons from local merchants such as Matisse Chocolatier, Adele & Agnes Lingerie and Cookies By Design.

Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes, Claudia Colbert, Treasurer