Mayor’s Message


Have you ever considered what truly gives a town its character? Certainly one can point to the size of the town (population and land area), geographical location, topography and other natural features, extent and type of development and a host of other features. However, the most important factor in distinguishing a town (community) is the town’s people and their involvement in their town.

Even a town the size of Demarest (2.1 square miles and just under 5,000 residents) need a substantial number of volunteers for the various official boards, commissions and committees – Environmental Commission, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment (Zoning Board), Shade Tree Commission, Library Board, Board of Health and Recreation Commission.

Then there are the volunteers who serve on the Ambulance Corps, Fire Department, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Athletic Association, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Nature Center Association, Garden Club, Senior Citizens Club and in our schools and houses of worship.

There are also our local elected officials, Mayor, Council and Board of Education members.

There are nearly 50 volunteers appointed to serve on the first group mentioned above. Of these 50 volunteers, 10-17 people are appointed each year based on statutes and ordinances.

There are no set numbers for those serving in the second group of volunteers, but from what I have knowledge of, there are well over 100 people currently volunteering in various capacities.

The bottom line – it takes involvement by many people with various interests and skills to make a community what it is.

Although most appointments in the first group above are mainly made the first week of January, openings sometimes occur during the year due to resignations for various reasons. As for the second group above, additional volunteers are always needed and being sought.

Demographics also play a role in activities that are offered in a community. A Girl Scout troop no longer exists in Demarest as less girls were interested in joining. The number of Boy Scouts in Demarest has also significantly declined, as well as new adult volunteers to serve as troop leaders. Can we reverse this trend? Perhaps, but not without dedicated volunteers to organize and lead and encourage our youth to join such worthwhile organizations.

Demarest baseball players in grades 1 through 8 are this year joining with players from Closter and Haworth, mainly due to diminishing number of players, in all three towns. Coaches and assistant coaches are also needed for our youth sports teams. Where would our children be without these adult coaches?

We are all pulled in many directions these days – work, school, our children’s activities, volunteering in organizations outside of Demarest. It is sometimes not easy to commit the required time to volunteer in another venue, but what would Demarest be without dedicated volunteers?

If you currently volunteer in Demarest, THANK YOU!

If you do not currently volunteer in your community and have the time and interest, I hope you will strongly consider volunteering in one of the myriad capacities available.

Please contact any of the above organizations if you have an interest in serving or contact me through for applicable contact information.


Should you have any questions about volunteer opportunities or any other questions related to our community, I will be hosting another “Meet the Mayor” session at Borough Hall at 1:00 pm Saturday March 1. This is an informal ‘meeting’ affording you the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns or offer suggestions. I look forward to meeting with you.



            Ray Cywinski