The Governing Body is pleased to announce the appointment of Douglas Rotella as councilman to replace Dr. Thomas Hafner, who stepped down to devote time to his growing dental practice on March 26, 2019. Dr. Hafner was honored at the March 4, 2019 meeting for his nine years of service.  Doug and his wife, Kathy, have lived in USR for 15 years.  They have two children, Kylie, a senior at Northern Highlands and Luke, a sophomore.  Doug founded REMN, Inc./Homebridge Financial Services in 1989. 

Doug was selected after the USR Republican Municipal Committee received nine letters of interest and interviewed eight extremely well-qualified applicants.  As required by State Statute, the committee recommended three finalists to the council for their final selection.  Thank you to all the applicants for offering their time and talents and to the committee members, chaired by former Mayor Ken Gabbert.

Doug’s expressed goal is to work to enhance and strengthen the community and its image.  He has stated that he and his wife long desired to move to USR, and love the town.  His knowledge and experience in real estate and as an owner of a large mortgage banking firm will serve the community well with the ultimate goal of optimizing our property values. 

Doug was appointed at a Special Meeting held on Monday, March 25, 2019 as the appointment must be made within 30 days as required by State Statute.  He will be formally sworn in at the Regular Meeting on Thursday, April 4, 2019.



The Municipal Budget: The municipal budget will be introduced at the Regular Mayor and Council Meeting on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. It will be considered for adoption on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.  The Governing Body’s goal is to provide our residents with exemplary services while remaining within the state mandated 2% cap. Our municipal taxes remain low for Bergen County while we remain one of the very few towns to provide backdoor garbage and recycling service.  Over the last five-year period, the average annual municipal budget increase has been 1.45 percent. 

Each tax payment made to the Borough includes payment to the USR schools K – 8, Northern Highlands, the County of Bergen and the USR Library. The Borough has control over only 15% of your taxes.   70% goes to the schools, K-8 and Northern Highlands, 13% to the County and 2% to the Library. 

Upper Saddle River is rated by Moody’s as Triple A – the highest rating possible. Tax collection is a major driving force behind this rating. The Borough had another record year of collections in 2019 with an expanded tax base. As a result of the Triple A rating, the interest rate has been very favorable in the financing of capital improvements. This is significant in light of the fact that the State of New Jersey has been downgraded 10 times during the same period.   Financial stability will remain a major focus as we move forward.


DPW Brush Pickup:  Branch pickup will begin April 1st and will continue weekly.  This annual curbside pickup runs through the end of October.  In order to allow for these frequent pickups, the branches must be tied and placed in neat manageable piles curbside with branches no longer than 5’ length and 4” diameter.  Stumps, logs and large trees cannot be picked up by the DPW.   Disposal of larger items is the responsibility of the homeowner.   Any questions can be emailed to


USR Tennis Permits Available for 2019:   Tennis permits for the use of the USR tennis courts, located on West Saddle River Road in front of Reynolds School, will be available beginning Monday, April 1, 2019 at Borough Hall or at the Tennis Courts from Tennis Pro Sharron Mattiace. A family membership is $40.00 and an individual membership is priced at $25.00. All residents must have a permit and display permit on the sign-up board located at the entrance of the courts. For more information please call the USR Recreation Department at 201-327-3634 or Visit the Borough website at for information about all Recreation programs.

USR Recreation Spring Tennis Clinics Announced:  Registration for the Upper Saddle River Recreation spring tennis clinics is now being accepted.  There will be a second 5 – week session to be held at the Wickersham Tennis Courts. The first session began the week of March 18th with no lessons the week of school break. The second session will be held on Mondays or Wednesdays starting the week of April 29th. During the second session an adult group will take place at 7 p.m. Cost for the entire 5-week session is $95. Visit our website to download an application at For more information call the USR Recreation Commission at 201-327-3634 or email

White Goods Pickup:  Thursday, April 4th.  Call 201-327-2196 x221 to schedule appointment for the appliance at LEAST three days prior to the pickup date.

Household Hazardous Waste:  There will be a Household Hazardous Waste Collection on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ.  The collection hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.  Free of charge for Bergen County residents, ID required. Visit for additional information.

USREF Annual Town Night Out:  The Upper Saddle River Educational Foundation is holding its 16th Annual Town Night Out Gala on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Seasons Catering in Washington Township featuring live music by the incredible Time Machine Band.  The evening will include cocktail hour, open bar, three course sit-down dinner, silent and live auction. Three of USR’s “Power Couples” will be honored as recipients of the USREF Award for Excellence for their outstanding community service.  Congratulations to “Power Couples” Lorraine & Ron Dario, Christine & Dante Ferrarie and Maria Florio & Mark Ruffolo! Tickets may be purchased on the USREF event website: Sponsorships and advertising opportunities are also available. Please contact Karen Mueller at or (917) 297-4553 for more information. 


USR/Allendale Junior Football and Cheerleading: The Northern Highlands Junior Football Association is pleased to announce the opening of registration for the 2019 Football and Cheerleading season. Registration will open online on April 22.  Tackle Football registration will close on June 3.  Flag and Cheer will close on Sept 1.  Please go to to register.  Tackle Football is offered for players entering grades 2-8 in the fall.  Flag football is offered for those entering grades 1-3.  Kindergarten Flag Clinic is also offered for those entering Kindergarten.  Cheerleading is offered for 3rd thru 8th grade.   NH Junior Football and Cheer is offered for children residing in Allendale and Upper Saddle River.  Please go to for more information and registration.

Adult Walk-In Health Clinic:  Thursday, April 25, 2019 from noon-1 p.m. at Borough Hall.  Services include a Health History Evaluation, Blood Pressure Measurement, Height and Weight, Individualized Counseling and Education, Referral and Follow-up and a Confidential Consultation with a Public Health Nurse. This is free of charge to adult USR residents on the 4th Thursday of each month through the Borough’s contract with the County of Bergen Health Department. For more information, please call 201-327-2196.


A Message from the Upper Saddle River Police Department:  The spring 2019 DEA National Operation Take-Back drug collection event has been scheduled for Saturday April 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Residents that have unwanted, expired, and unused medications can drop off their medications at the Upper Saddle River Police Department during the aforementioned date and time.  

Collection protocol:  This program is completely anonymous.  Residents may dispose of medications in their original container or by removing medications from the original container and disposing directly into the drug disposal box.  If disposing in the original container please remove the prescription label.  Liquid medication can be deposited but must be sealed tightly in the original container.  Syringes and other sharp instruments will not be accepted.  

By participating in Operation Take-Back initiatives, all of us do our part in helping to reduce the potential misuse and abuse of prescription medications among all age groups within the Borough.  Furthermore, these prescription take-back initiatives also bring awareness about prescription drug abuse and remind us of the devastating consequences that medications can have when diverted from their intended use. By properly disposing of medications, instead of flushing them down a toilet or throwing them in the trash we help to protect the environment.  

Please visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control for more information regarding this subject at

The Upper Saddle River Environmental Committee Sponsors Drive Electric Car Day April 27th! Mark Your Calendars. Drive Electric Earth Day is a national program that creates awareness around driving electric vehicles, as well as other green initiatives.   The Upper Saddle River Environmental Committee is putting on this exciting event April 27th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date April 28th).  Nationally, the event is sponsored by Sierra Club, Plug In America and Electric Auto Association.


The day will kick off with an electric vehicle parade leaving from Cavallini Middle School following the USR 5K Run route.   Local dealers will be onsite to provide product demonstrations and put you behind the wheel of various EVs throughout Upper Saddle River.   Attendees will have the opportunity to drive cars such as the Tesla Model 3, Jaguar I-Pace and more.  Current electric car owners will also have their own EV tailgate area where they can teach everyone about the benefits of owning electric. 


Tesla will also be on site to display their home solar panels and we also expect other environmental groups to be in attendance also.  The day is free for attendees, dealers, and those wishing to display their electric vehicles. Here’s a link with more details:  We hope to see you there.


Upper Saddle River Historical Society is participating in the annual NW Bergen Coalition History Day: Join us for our Annual History Day event on Saturday, May 4. The Hopper-Goetschius House Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum will focus on the early Native American inhabitants of the Saddle River Valley, the Lenape. Corn will be ground using a stone mortar and pestle, just as they taught the early settlers to do. Corn bread will be baking and perhaps a pot of suppaen, the early corn meal mush that became a staple of the early settlers’ diet. In the schoolhouse, listen to Native American stories and view artifacts that were found in Upper Saddle River. The house and farm buildings will be open for tour. If you choose, you can purchase a History Day ticket (adults $10, free for children 16 and under) that will gain you admission to 12 museums in Northwest Bergen County. If you only go to four or five, it’s a bargain.

Attention Artists!  2nd Annual Art Show in the Barn at the Hopper-Goetschius House Museum on Sunday, May 19, 1-4 p.m.  We invite local area artists to come and share their talents in a display of art in the barn at the museum. The show is open to local artists, high school and adult, who would like to exhibit, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, pottery, silver work & wood carving. Last year’s show was a wonderful day — with newly designed display boards, this year’s will be even better. There is no entry fee. The show will be curated – please email Art Show chair, Marica Lesznik at and she will mail an entry form to you and request a photo.


Joanne L. Minichetti – Mayor