Kazmier Wysocki, who served as the mayor of Hackensack in the 1960s and 1970s, survived a recall election but then lost his seat three months after his acquittal on fraud charges , passed away on January 27. He was 99.
Wysocki had served as chairman of the Hackensack Housing Authority and as a school board member before winning a city council seat in 1961.
One of his running mates in the ’61 race was Frank Zisa, who went on to serve four terms on the council and one as mayor. His sons served as mayor and as a Bergen County assemblyman.
Wysocki finished second in a field of twenty candidates. The top vote-getter, Peter Frapaul, became mayor and Wysocki was the deputy mayor.
In October 1962, the 60-year-old Frapaul died of a heart attack and Wysocki became mayor.
Political opponents sought to recall Wysocki in 1963 following a tax increase. Zisa ran the successful campaign to fight the recall.
A slate led by deputy mayor Walter Nowakowski that included the city’s first African American candidate, swept all five seats in the May 1965 election. Wysocki lost his seat by just 30 votes.
After his loss, Wysocki announced that he would never run for office again
Four years later, Wysocki mounted a political comeback in the city’s May non-partisan election as his slate swept five seats on the council.
Wysocki, the top vote-getter, again became mayor. Zisa, who won a council seat on his third try, became deputy mayor.
In 1973, Wysocki was re-elected but the top vote-getter was Michael D’Arminio, who by tradition became mayor.
Wysocki broke ranks with Zisa that year, becoming deputy mayor even though Zisa received the second-highest number of votes. Wysocki finished third, 78 votes behind Zisa.
In 1977, D’Arminio was convicted on fraud charges after double billing the city for about $600 in travel expenses that had been paid by a construction company.
Wysocki and another councilman, Howard Gregory, had also been charged but were acquitted by the jury.
D’Arminio resigned and Wysocki became the new mayor.
That year, Zisa ran his own slate that swept the local elections. Wysocki and Gregory lost their bids for re-election.
Funeral services will be held on Friday at the Thomas Gentile Funeral Home in Hackensack.