Mayor Tom Calabrese’s motto is “Working Around The Clock” for residents.
The lifelong resident is a fully accessible mayor with an “Open Door” policy for constituents while simultaneously juggling his hectic professional responsibilities as a business executive.
Since becoming Mayor in 2015, Tom has shepherded a $19 million revitalization program that has fully modernized Cliffside Park. The town’s vibrant allure caught the eye of the New York Times, which recently chronicled its desirability for residents.
By successfully obtaining grants from both state and federal agencies, Tom is carrying on the tradition of his late father, legendary Cliffside Park Mayor Gerald Calabrese, who similarly used grants to fund various projects in town, including the senior citizens center.
Tom also has diligently led the borough to its highest financial standing in years while also beautifying the community’s open space areas without placing a burden on taxpayers.
All parks have been upgraded and sidewalks, sewers, and roadways replaced. Anderson and Palisade Avenues have undergone attractive upgrades, and new recreation equipment was purchased for children.
Under Tom’s leadership, the borough has received millions of dollars in grants while maintaining an AA+ S&P credit rating, which has enabled the town to obtain low interest loans for various ongoing improvement projects. Tom has carried on the tradition of his late father, legendary Cliffside Park Mayor Gerald Calabrese, who similarly used grants to fund various projects in town, including the senior citizens center.
The seeds of Tom’s unselfish dedication to residents as a public servant were planted as a teenager when he demonstrated the diligence needed to become a leader on the basketball court for Cliffside Park High School.
He worked tirelessly on his craft year-round and was ultimately rewarded as an All-County, All-State, and All-American player. But more important to Tom was that his team won both league and state sectional titles. He is also among only 12 Bergen County players to score more than 2,000 career points. Tom later excelled at St. John’s University as captain of a 1979 team that reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA basketball tournament.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Administration at St. John’s, Tom seized the opportunity to work for the liquor distribution company Fedway Associates. He knew the sales position would be not only be challenging, but also keep him physically active by literally racing from business to business and providing liquor supplies whenever needed.
Though his long workdays initially deterred Tom from seeking public office, he accepted a request to replace the late Councilman Frank Biasco in 2001. For five terms as a councilman, Tom oversaw the borough’s recreation and parks departments, shepherding them into becoming among the best in Bergen County.
Tom resides with his wife, Donna, and their children, Nina and Thomas, on Oncrest Terrace in Cliffside Park. He is a parishioner of Epiphany Church, and a member of both the Cliffside Park Elks Club and Humane Society.