23-Year-Old Takes Oath As Teaneck Councilman

By Don Stancavish, Staff Writer

(From: The Record, November 19, 1997, Wednesday, Page L-7)

Elie Katz, 23, a lifelong Teaneck resident, was sworn in Tuesday as the youngest member of the Township Council in recent memory. But don't expect him to be simply a voice for his generation.

"I'm going to be a voice for everyone," Katz said on Tuesday. "Agewise, I'm 23. But my peers are from all ages, from 17 to 74. One of my closest friends is a 74-year-old man.

"To me, it has never been a determining factor in my life. To some people, it's an excuse. Not for me."

Katz, a restaurateur who owns Chopstix Chinese Take-Out and the Royal Bakery, both of Teaneck, edged Geraldine Singer two weeks ago to capture a seat left vacant by the resignation of Gary Fiedler.

The term ends in June 1998, at which time Katz will have to run again to retain the seat.

Mayor Paul Ostrow welcomed Katz to the council by recounting his record of volunteerism in Teaneck.

"He has participated in more municipal and township activities from age 16 to age 23 that most people have accomplished in a lifetime," said Ostrow. "I think that that energy will translate into an intelligent and sensitive public servant."

Ostrow added that Katz is the youngest member of the council since at least the 1950s, and possibly the youngest council member in township history.

Katz, who has a degree in business management from Touro College in New York City, is a member of the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the Teaneck Community Relations Advisory Board, and the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, he is a trustee of the Teaneck Police Department's Crime Stoppers unit.

Katz said one of his first priorities is to boost volunteerism in town.

"One of the biggest complaints is that people don't get involved in the community," he said. "I want to get people more active."