April 1, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 5
Former borough attorney seeks council seat
by Frank J. McMahon
Franklin Lakes’ former borough attorney, William Smith of Hook, Smith & Meyer, will seek the Republican nomination for a council seat in the June primary election. If he is successful in that election, he will be on the ballot in the November general election. Smith and Frank Bivona, a resident of the borough since 1995, were unanimously endorsed by the Franklin Lakes Republican Club. They are expected to challenge incumbent Republican Council Members Brian Trava and Leslie Greer, whose terms expire at the end of this year. Neither Trava nor Greer has indicated if they will seek reelection at this time, but the deadline for submitting nominating petitions for the primary is April 6. Smith and his wife Maureen have resided in Franklin Lakes for 34 years, and they have four children, all of whom attended the borough’s school system. A Fairﬁeld University and Fordham Law School graduate, Smith was elected to
the council in 1976 and 1979. He served as borough’s municipal attorney from 1980 through November 2009. Smith is presently a member of the Franklin Lakes Lions Club, a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a former member of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish Council, and present member of the Indian Trail Club Advisory Committee. He has been active in the borough’s recreation programs for many years, including basketball coach at the middle school and assistant tennis coach for eight years at Ramapo High School. Bivona has two children and has been active in the borough’s recreation program and the recreation program at the Academy of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He received a BS degree from Adelphi University and was employed previously as the chief executive ofﬁcer and a member of the board of directors of FGIC Corporation. Before joining FGIC, Bivona was vice chairman and chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer of the Ambac Financial Group, Inc. and Ambac
Assurance Corporation. In addition to serving as chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer, his other posts at Ambac included head of The Financial Services Group, senior member of the Portfolio Risk Management Committee, and president of The Construction Loan Insurance Company (Connie Lee), an Ambac subsidiary. Before joining Ambac, Bivona was with Citibank in various positions, including chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer of Citibank’s Global Insurance Division. He also worked in the Northern European Division based in London and played a key role in establishing new ofﬁces in Scandinavia. He is a member of the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater New York. Before Smith was replaced in November 2008, Smith and DeNicola
had disagreed over whether the borough had satisﬁed its affordable housing requirements in 2002, when the borough received a court-ordered six year judgment of repose, which protected the borough from any builder’s remedy lawsuits through September 2008. Smith claimed the borough did satisfy those requirements, but DeNicola disagreed. The two also disagreed on whether the borough should seek an extension of that judgment of repose to the end of the year. The borough did apply for that extension, but it was denied by a Superior Court judge. DeNicola and Smith had also disagreed about the replacement of Stuart Koenig, the borough’s special counsel on Council on Affordable Housing issues.
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