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Demarest mayor: ‘Anniversary present’ bench removed from park will be replaced

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

ONLY ON CVP: A man who was given a swing bench where he proposed to his wife 10 years ago is replacing it with a new one, said Demarest Mayor Raymond J. Cywinski, who has drawn criticism for ordering the removal on his own.

Residents expressed outrage during last night’s Demarest mayor and council meeting, with one threatening to seek a criminal investigation into the removal of the bench from the shore of Tenakill Brook.

“Should I have had a formal agreement? Probably yes,” Cywinski told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight. “Here we are debating random drug testing and budget worries and this becomes an issue.”

Former Demarest councilman and municipal judge Brian Bernstein last night expressed the most vehement opposition to the move. He didn’t return phone calls today from CLIFFVIEW PILOT , however.

Cywinski said he saw no problem with having DPW workers remove the bench, which he said was then picked up by the Old Tappan man who requested it as a 10 th wedding anniversary gift for his wife.

“It was deteriorating, it was bent, the chains were rusting, the wood was splintered,” he said. “When he said he would replace it with a new one, I said, ‘Sounds good to me.’

“In fact, we’ve already started reviewing different types [of replacements]. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks the new bench will be installed.”

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