Council Members 1st Ward
Council Member Marytrine De Castro
Councilwoman De Castro currently serves as a volunteer member of the Hudson County Family Part Juvenile Conference Committee and is an active member in several local service organizations including the Queen of Peace Home School Association and the Harrison Lions International. She has supported and volunteered in the Passaic River Clean-up, March of Dimes WalkAmerica, Breast Cancer Walk for the Cure and the Lupus Walk.
Councilwoman 1st Ward Marytrine De Castro has lived in the Town of Kearny 43 years and has been a resident of the First Ward for the past 21 years. Marytrine is the proud parent of two sons, Jordan and Chad and daughter of Albano and Maria Fernanda De Castro. She has two sisters, Lyla and Silvina.
Council Member George A. Zapata
Councilman George A. Zapata is a proud product of the Kearny School District. After graduating from KHS, George attended Rutgers University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a focus in Economics, Latin American Studies and Latino/ Hispanic Caribbean Studies. He currently works as a paralegal at a personal injury firm and aspires to pursue a higher education in the legal field.
An avid believer of community involvement and public service, George ran and was elected to the Kearny Board of Education back in 2016 at the age of 19. Throughout his time on the Board of Ed, he served as Vice President and chaired various committees including personnel, facilities, policy, and curriculum. He also served on the finance committee, negotiations committee and represented Kearny at the Hudson County SBA and NJSBA Delegate Assembly. Towards the end of his tenure he fulfilled the requirements to earn the Master Board Member Certification.
On the Council, George serves as the chair of the ordinance committee and sits on the finance, legislative, senior citizens, lighting and insurance committees. George also serves as a commissioner on the Kearny Municipal Utilities Authority, is a committee member on the Kearny Democratic Party and serves on the Hudson County Young Democrats. In addition, he is a commissioner on the KUEZ board and is a liaison to the Board of Education.
Council Members 2nd Ward
Council Member Richard Konopka
Councilman Konopka moved to Kearny in 1996. He married his Brazilian born wife Nelia in 1998 and moved to the 2nd Ward. They purchased their home in 2001 in the 2nd Ward where they live with their two sons Jacob and Joshua. He also has another son, Richard “Junior” from a prior marriage.
He graduated from Essex Catholic High School in 1980.He graduated from RETS Electronic School in 1982 with a certificate in Applied Electronic Technology. He also attended Hudson County Schools of Technology and Union County Vocational-Technical School.
Councilman Konopka has been employed at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission since 1981. He holds the position of Maintenance Superintendent II of Instrumentation and Electrical. He served on the Zoning Board of Adjustments for the Town of Kearny for 13 years and held the position of chairman the last 2 years he served.
He volunteers his time coaching varies sports for the Kearny Recreation Department. He enjoys spending time with his family.
He serves on the following Town Committees: Recreation, Police, DPW, Water, Transportation.
Councilman Konopka not only represents the residents of the 2nd Ward but also represents all the residents in the Town of Kearny.
Council Member Dennis Solano
Born in Newark, Councilmember Solano was raised in Harrison, graduating from Harrison High School in 2001. He and his family moved to Kearny in June of 2004. He is the proud son of Army Veteran Ruben A. Solano, mother Maria Castillo, and proud father of Abel.
Councilmember Solano has worked in the area of fiber optics and wireless networks. At Optimum, he worked his way up from entry level to design engineer, where he helped with the design of blueprints of the Optimum footprint FTTH (Fiber to the Home) project. He currently works with PSE&G in their natural gas division, replacing gas mains, lines and meters in public rights of way or for private property owners. His work for the utility includes hands on construction as well as emergency calls to repair breaks in the line or leaks, caused by weather related events or other causes.
Councilmember Solano was appointed as a commissioner to the Kearny Municipal Utility Authority in 2017. He continues to serve on the Board. He is an elected member of the Democratic County Committee of the Regular Democratic Organization of Kearny for his Second Ward district and has worked previously on area democratic campaigns.
Besides being proud of his Peruvian heritage, Councilmember Solano is an avid professional football fan, starting from the time he first played the game in the “pee wee” leagues. Councilmember Solano is also an avid dart player, participating in many of the local leagues in the West Hudson area.
Council Members 3rd Ward
Council Member Carol Jean Doyle
Third Ward Council Member Carol Jean Doyle has lived in Kearny for over 55 years and has served on the Council for 27 years. The Councilwoman presently serves as Council President, Chairperson of the Finance Committee and as a member of the Department of Public Works committee. The Councilwoman is also the Council Liaison for Senior Citizens, the United Veterans Organizations, and the Kearny Museum.
Councilwoman Doyle is a member of the Kearny Municipal Utilities Authority, a 35-year member of the Kearny Safety Council and a 34-year member of the Kearny Municipal Alliance. Councilwoman Doyle previously served as a Recreation Commissioner for 5 years and during her service brought back the Halloween Parade.
Councilwoman Doyle is one of the founding members of the Kearny Domestic Violence Task Force and Neighborhood Watch Program. Presently she is First Vice President and a Board member of Pathways to Independence. She is a founding member of West Hudson Arts and Theater and The Kearny Museum. She is also a member of Friends of Erin, Friends of the Kearny Public Library, served on the Sesquicentennial Committee and worked on the 150th Town of Kearny Celebration, Project Graduation, and a member of The Portuguese Cultural Association of Kearny New Jersey, Kearny-Belleville Elks 1050, EADD, Education Awareness on Drug Dependency. Councilwoman Doyle was instrumental in the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion, J.E. Frobisher Post 99.
Carol Jean has served as president of The Woman’s Club of Arlington, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #99, Kearny Optimist Club and Hudson County American Cancer Society.
Councilwoman Doyle has served as chair for the Annual Passaic River Clean-Up, Senior Citizen Picnic, Memorial Day Parade, and the Town Holiday Giving Tree for over 30 years.
Councilwoman Doyle has been recognized with New Jersey Clean Communities Award, Passaic River Coalition Award, Jersey Journal Woman of Achievement, VFW 3rd District Award for Outstanding Citizen; Hudson County Woman of the Year, Salvation Army Outstanding Citizen Award, Citation for Service and Civic Endeavors from Hudson County, Christopher Columbus Outstanding Community Service, New Jersey Federation of Woman’s Club-State Honor Roll, Giblin Association – Devoted Public and Private Service Award, Honorary Irish Woman by West Hudson United Irish, Woman of the Year by Girl Scout Troop #2771 and the Kearny Elks, Citizen of the Year award and Essex-West Hudson Labor Council, AFLCIO for 57 years of dedication to the Town of Kearny.
Carol Jean was married to the late Norman A. Doyle, Jr.; they have two children Meghan and Norman Ill. She is the proud grandparent of Ryan and Kelsey.
Council Member Eileen Eckel
Third Ward Councilwoman Eileen Eckel was elected in 2004 and took her seat in January 2005.
Councilwoman Eckel earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Montclair State University and holds a Master’s of Science Degree after completing the Master’s Program in Educational Technology at Ramapo College. Councilwoman Eckel has also completed 30 credits over her Master’s Degree in Education. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2013-14.
Eileen and her husband Tom are the proud parents of Brian and Tara, Tara and her husband Chaz recently expanded the Eckel family by the addition of Wes Thomas, a beautiful new grandson. Both Brian and Tara attended Kearny Public Schools where Councilwoman Eckel played an active role in the PTA. She held various positions on the PTA Board and was the President of Schuyler School PTA for 3 years. Councilwoman Eckel was elected to the Kearny Board of Education in 2001 and served for 4 years on various committees including contract negotiations.
Councilwoman Eckel has served as chair of the Fire Committee and has been the Fire Commissioner for 15 years. During her tenure she has been closely involved with the revitalization of the KFD and is proud to see the Department reach its current staffing level. In addition, she has worked closely with the fire chiefs (there have been 3) in order to provide support and communication through the Mayor and council members for the purchase of vital equipment and essential training and professional development opportunities for the Fire Service and members.
She is the Council Liaison to the Kearny Public Library where she provides communication between the Board of Trustees and the Town of Kearny. The KPL provides an indispensable service to the community and the work of the Library Directors and Board of Trustees provides continuous improvements and upgrades to the buildings and programs. The Library Garden, the new conference and meeting rooms, the new teen room, the Mayor’s Garden are all projects that she has been proud to play a part in implementing. The most recent project is an addition to the Branch Library.
Councilwoman Eckel is a member of the Recreation Committee. There have been multiple projects in the last several years which include: The Gunnel Oval Project, Harvey Field, New lights for the Fusol Facility, renovations to the Hockey Rink, scheduling and implementing family activities including Movie Nights and Concerts in the Park.
Hudson County Woman of the Year 2016
Council Members 4th Ward
Council Member Gerald Ficeto
Mr. Ficeto is a founding member of and volunteers his time regularly at West Hudson Arts & Theater Co., a non-profit arts organization in Kearny. When his children were of age, he volunteered coaching basketball and softball with the Kearny Recreation programs and was the volunteer director of the Pioneer Boys of America Drum and Bugle Corp.
Among his many professional associations, he is a Life-Member of the New Jersey Congress of Parents and Teachers; the New Jersey Education Association and ASCAP. Mr. Ficeto has been married forty years and is the father of two daughters.
Council Member Stathis A Theodoropoulos
Stathis A Theodoropoulos is a dedicated and passionate lifelong resident of Kearny’s 4th Ward, and a proud alumnus of the Kearny School System, with a Bachelor of Science in Environment Business Economics from Rutgers University. As a small business owner himself, running a successful lighting distribution company, he has an innate understanding of what it takes to make a business thrive.
Stathis has a rich background in advocacy, having worked extensively on Greek-American policy issues, which has given him a keen appreciation for the importance of policy, coalition building, and relationship building. He has also served on various boards, including the Cyprus US Chamber of Commerce, where he has worked tirelessly to promote international initiatives to promote trade between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus, along with initiatives that support local small businesses and young professionals.
In his first year serving on the Council, Stathis serves on many key committees. He chairs both the Environmental Committee and the Lighting Committee. He also serves on the Fire Committee and the Legislative Committee, where he brings his expertise and passion for policy-making to the table. As a commissioner on the Kearny Enterprise Zone Development Corporation, Stathis is dedicated to fostering economic growth and development in his community, and he is a valuable liaison to the Industrial Commission.