This week, Michael Johnson was sworn in to serve as the first African American Mayor in the Borough of Haledon’s 115-year history. The first small ceremony was held among close family members at the Haledon Municipal Building and was officiated by Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35). Days later, he was sworn in by Passaic County Superior Court Judge Latoya Jenkins Stewart at Manchester Regional High School in Haledon, where he was also joined by state and local public officials, members of the clergy, friends and family.
As a former law enforcement official for the past 15 years and as a three term Councilman from 2010 to 2020, Mayor Johnson is looking forward to serving the diverse community of the Borough of Haledon. He understands first-hand the make-up and needs of the community through his experience on the Council, where he has served on numerous committees, including Public Safety, Public Works and Administration.
Excited for the opportunity to serve in this new role and grateful to his supporters, he expressed how humbled and honored he felt to have their vote of confidence in his ability to lead the administration. He was born and raised in the City of Paterson and at a very young age, learned the value of hard work and dedication, as well as the financial responsibility of contributing to his families’ household. He worked for retail businesses, the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier, Auxiliary Police and as a Constable, where he discovered his love for public service leading to his career in law enforcement. During his speech, Mayor Johnson gave a shout-out to former Haledon Councilman Emeritus, Reynaldo “Rey” Martinez for encouraging him to run for council back in 2010. Encouraged by Martinez and subsequently by Johnson’s own family, he didn’t hesitate in accepting an unexpired term to serve and to later receive voter support to remain on the council for 9 years.
“For me, getting involved and helping others not only means that I point people in the right direction, but that I follow-up with them to make sure they receive the proper guidance, support and assistance” said Mayor Johnson, adding that he “looks forward to the next four years and to trailblazing Haledon to the next level. Now is the time to start change for us all and to work strategically together as Mayor and Council to ensure that we do the very best for the residents of our beloved Haledon.” Together, he vows to revamp parks and open spaces, create innovative programs for children and seniors, to be fiscally responsible, to support the business corridor and to engage the members of the community into the decision-making process.
Also in attendance at the public ceremony were Passaic County Chairman John Currie, Senator Nellie Pou (D35), Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D35), Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D35), Passaic County officials Sheriff Richard Berdnik, Surrogate Judge Zoila Cassanova, Clerk Danielle Ireland-Imhoff, former Administrator Anthony DeNova, County Commissioners Pat Lepore, Terry Duffy, Sandi Lazzara, Clerk to Commissioners Board Lou Imhoff, Undersheriff’s Humberto Cuadrado and Nart Hapatsha, Prospect Park Officials Mayor Mohammed Khairrullah, Councilpersons Robert Artis, Esther Perez and Aman Matari, former Trenton Councilman Manuel Segura, among Manchester Regional High School Board of Education Commissioners, Haledon Police and Fire officials, Haledon Council members Aleksandra Tasic, Carlos Aymat, Nereyda Curiel, Mohammad Ramadan, Junior Morris, former Councilman Rey Martinez via Zoom, and the new Business Administrator Mounir Almaita.