Community News

February 25, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) In typical Harrison Council fashion, the Harrison Council moved and appointed nominee James Fife as the interim Mayor of Harrison to serve until the end of the year. If you came fifteen minutes late, you would have missed the resolution and the swearing in. The mood was festive but at the same time surreal as you expected at any moment that the late Raymond McDonough would walk in and everyone would turn to greet him as he walked up to the Mayor's desk at the front of the council chambers. Of course, that isn't physically possible but it may be spiritually possible. Many in the chambers would have preferred that.

Interim Mayor James Fife moments after swearing in at Mayor's Desk in Harrison Town Hall.

KOTW, with its reliable sources, had broke the story this morning that the appointment of James Fife was in the works. The other two nominees for the Mayor's position were Maria Vila and Harold Stahl. The fix was in for Fife however with the Harrison Superintendent of Schools and Harrison Councilman James Fife having gotten the agreement from his fellow council members to nominate and appoint Fife. There are rumors that not all the councilmembers were in agreement with the nominees put forth by the County Committee but that is a fight for another day.

February 25, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) The Harrison Council will be meeting tonight to select an interim Mayor to serve out the remaining term of the late Mayor Raymond J. McDonough. The Harrison County Committee met last night to nominate three potential candidates that will be considered and voted on by the Harrison Council. The interim Mayor will serve out the Mayor's term which ends on December 31, 2014. The interim Mayor may or may not run for a full term.

Late Mayor Raymond McDonough and Harrison Town Council members. Photograph courtesy of Town of Harrison website

Based upon information obtained by KOTW, the Council is expected to nominate and select President of the Harrison Board of Education and Commissioner of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency James A. Fife as interim Mayor to serve out the remainder of the year. It is not clear whether Fife will seek an additional term. Fife is a close friend of Harrison School Superintendent and Harrison Councilman James P. Doran. Fife will have to give up the Harrison Board of Education Presidency to assume the role as interim Mayor. Fife will remain on the Harrison Redevelopment Agency.

Other candidates may announce their intentions of running after the appointment. The Primary Election is June 3, 2014 and the General Election is on November 4, 2014.

February 16, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) Officers from the Harrison Police Department and the Hudson County Sheriff's office assisted, both inside and outside the Mulligan's Funeral Home in Harrison, those wishing to extend to Mayor Raymond J. McDonough's family their condolences on his passing.

Mourners Carry Flower Wreath to Honor Mayor Raymond McDonough. Photograph courtesy of

There was also a display of photographs and Mayor McDonough's memoriabilia including a "Shovels in the Ground" display of several of the ground breaking ceremonies attended by Mayor McDonough. On display both in the funeral home and the nearby Town Hall were photographs from a picture of Mayor McDonough and his twin brother on a pony when they were babies to more recent pictures of Mayor McDonough in front of the Harrison Path Station annoucing the Port Authority of NY and NJ plan to revitalize the station into a modern transit hub.

At one point the line stretched down the block leading to the funeral home and snaked through rooms in the Mulligan's Funeral Home that were opened for the first time in recent memory to accomodate the large number of mourners. Photographs displays throughout the funeral home allowed mourners to reflect upon the life of Mayor McDonough while waiting on line.

One of many photograph displays at Mayor McDonough's wake. Photograph courtesy of

Various elected officials attended the wake to express their condolences to Mayor McDonough's wife, Constance McDonough and the greater McDonough family. It is expected that Holy Cross Church will be filled to capacity tomorrow for the funeral mass which is scheduled for 10 a.m.

February 17, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) Traffic along Harrison Avenue was diverted onto Hamilton Street to allow the Harrison Police and Fire Honor Guards and Elected Officials to assemble in front of Harrison Town Hall for Mayor Raymond J. McDonough's funeral. Mayor McDonough awaited an almost full to capacity Holy Cross Church church composed of a United States Congressman, New Jersey Assembly Members, Mayors from all of Hudson County, and Council members from Harrison, East Newark, and Kearny; as well as Police Officer, Firefighters, Emergency Services units, and Harrisonians wishing to bid the Mayor a farewell and support the Mayor's wife, Constance McDonough, and her family.

Honor Mayor Raymond McDonough and Governor Chris Christie in background at the Harrison Path Station Modernization Ground Breaking Ceremony. Photograph courtesy of The Observer

It was obvious that Mayor McDonough's wife, Constance McDonough, was receiving support from her family, friends and clergy but that the events of the past week had taken a toll on her. She was supported by her two brothers throughout the funeral mass and the ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetary in North Arlington.

February 14, 2014 (Harrison, NJ) Funeral Arrangements for Mayor Raymond J. McDonough have been announced and are as follows:


Mulligan's Funeral Home . Photograph courtesy of

Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Avenue, Harrison, NJ 07029

Sunday, February 16, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass:

Holy Cross Church, 16 Church Square, Harrison, NJ 07029

Monday, February 17, 2014, 10:00 a.m.

If lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Holy Cross Restoration Fund, 16 Church Square, Harrison, NJ 07029 or the Harrison Education Foundation, 501 Hamilton Street, Harrison, NJ 07029 in Memory of Mayor Raymond J. McDonough.