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Former Englewood Cliffs Mayor Joseph C. Parisi, Jr. (Photo: Otterstadt Agency).

Joe Parisi, former Englewood Cliffs mayor, dies at 62

Father and son combined for 40 years as mayor of Bergen County town

By David Wildstein, October 07 2022 9:51 am

Joseph C. Parisi, Jr., a Democrat who served as mayor of Englewood Cliffs from 2008 to 2015, died on October 6.  He was 62.

He had served as chairman and CEO at the Otterstedt Insurance Agency, as a director of ConnectOne Bank, and as a trustee of Holy Name Hospital.

Parisi came from a political family.  His father, Joseph Parisi, Sr., served as mayor from 1976 to 2005.

He as elected to the Borough Council in 2000, the top vote-getter in a race where Democrats won both seats.  Parisi ran roughly 300 votes ahead of Republican James Bancroft.

When Parisi sought re-election to a second term in 2003, he ran on a ticket headed by his father.  Mayor Parisi defeated Democrat Brian Sank Firschein by a nearly 3-1 margin; Councilman Parisi defeated Firshcein’s mother, Diane Sank, also by a 3-1 margin.  That race is believed to be the only time in New Jersey when a father and son faced a mother and son.

Following his father’s death in 2005 at age 79, Parisi was appointed as mayor.  He defeated Republican Angelo Mungioli in a 2006 special election to fill a one-year unexpired term.

Parisi was re-elected in 2007 and 2011.

After Parisi decided not to seek re-election in 2015, Mario Kranjac became the first Republican in 40 years to win election as mayor.  He defeated Democrat Joseph Favaro by less than 200 votes.    After the election, Kranjac sought to remove Mayor Joseph Parisi, Sr.’s name from the borough hall.

“Joe was one of the most kindest, most generous, most helpful human beings I have ever had the pleasure to call friend,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Park (D-Englewood Cliffs), a former councilwoman.  “He was always there for you.  He will be greatly missed.”

Parisi is survived by his wife, Gina, and his two sons.  A viewing is set for Sunday from 2-7 PM at A.K. Macagna Funeral Home in Cliffside Park.  Funeral services are scheduled for 11 AM on Monday at St. Cecilia R.C. Church in Englewood.

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