WEST ORANGE, NJ — Mayor Susan McCartney was sworn in as West Orange’s first female Mayor in the town’s 160-year-old history at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange on January 2, 2023. The oath of office was administered by former West Orange Mayor and current New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon. The bible was held for Mayor McCartney by West Orange’s first First Man and husband Joseph McCartney surrounded by family during the swearing in ceremony. The new Mayor pledged her ongoing commitment to moving West Orange forward in her brief remarks. Words of praise came from all sectors of the West Orange community as Mayor McCartney began her tenure in office.
Also swore in at the ceremony were the new Council President Tammy Williams, Councilwoman Asmeret Ghebremicael and Councilwoman Susan Scarpa. The oaths of office were administered by Congressman Donald Payne Jr., Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and West Orange Mayor Susan McCartney respectively. A crowd numbering several hundred including elected officials, friends, family and West Orange residents packed the room and all witnessed the joyful celebration.
The backdrop for the historical inauguration ceremony was a 48-star American flag that was draped upon Thomas Edison’s coffin in 1931. It has not been seen in public for 91 years. The commander of the veterans’ group American Legion Post #22 in West Orange at the time of Edison’s death was Bernard Degnan. He also was a commander of Glennon-Sayers Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #376, but it is unclear if he headed both posts simultaneously. His son recently donated the flag to me.
There was no more befitting of a ceremony to mark this occasion as I introduced this historic artifact at the ceremony. The grandchildren of Mayor McCartney lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance while saluting the historic flag at the historic inauguration of their grandmother, West Orange Mayor Susan McCartney.
By Joseph Fagan, West Orange Public Information Officer