Mayor of Guttenberg greets Mayor of Guttenberg

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East Coast and Midwest Guttenberg officials  Visitors from Guttenberg, N.J., enjoyed a guided tour of Lock and Dam 10 on Friday, July 26. From left are tour guide Eric Thiese of the Lock and Dam staff; Cosmo Cirillo, New Jersey town administrator; Monica Fundora, New Jersey councilwoman; Wayne D. Zitt, New Jersey mayor; John Habermann, New Jersey councilman, Bill Frommelt, Iowa mayor, and Austin Greve, Iowa councilman. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

Many cities in the United States and around the world share the same name. Sometimes there is a connection – sometimes there is not. In the case of Guttenberg, N.J., and Guttenberg, Iowa, there is a long-standing connection of camaraderie and respect. 

In 1963, local fire chief Ernest Pufahl and his wife traveled to Guttenberg, N.J., to help the community's fire department celebrate its 100-year anniversary. In turn, the Guttenberg, N.J.,  fire chief and his wife traveled to Guttenberg, Iowa, in 1982 to help our community's fire department celebrate its 100-year anniversary. 

"Augie" Petsche, area resident, shared, "I remember when the fire chief from Guttenberg, N.J., and his wife came to town.  My parents and I went to the Dubuque airport to pick them up."

In March, community member Karilyn McArthur made the pilgrimage to Guttenberg, N.J., while visiting a friend in the area. She visited with city officials and brought along mementos from our community to share with the city's municipality. 

On Thursday, July 25, our community was honored to welcome Guttenberg, N.J., Mayor Wayne D. Zitt Jr.; councilwoman Monica Fundora; councilman John Habermann and town administrator Cosmo Cirillo.

Mayor Zitt is a lifelong resident of Hudson County. He served four years on the Guttenberg Democratic Committee, and was the chief of staff to 32nd Legislative District Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez. In addition, he served as the senior advisor to Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. Mayor Zitt is also the council chair for Guttenberg’s public safety. 

Councilwoman Monica Fundora, a graduate of Dover Business College, has been a resident of Guttenberg for over 20 years. She has served seven years on the town council and is the council chair for the community's Recreation Department and Recreation & Senior Services Departments. She is also a trustee on the Hudson County Schools of Technology Board of Education. 

Councilman John D. Habermann is a lifelong resident of Hudson County. He has served for eight years as trustee and vice-president on the Guttenberg Board of Education. As a councilman he chairs the Guttenberg human resources department and courts.  Local Mayor Bill Frommelt, councilman Austin Greve, Chamber Director Mandy Ludovissy, several Rotarians and members of the community were on hand to greet our sister city's constituents and enjoy a meal and lively conversation at the Clayton Lighthouse on Thursday evening. 

On Friday, the assemblage ate breakfast at Rausch's Cafe, toured Kann's Imports, Lock and Dam 10, the Lockmaster's Heritage House Museum and attended Friday night's River of Music. The group planned to visit PromiseLand Winery and tour the Mississippi River onboard Captain Robert Vavra's Maiden Voyage. 

Our guests collectively expressed their enjoyment of our community. Councilwoman Fundora told The Press, "We are so impressed with your community. It is so peaceful and beautiful and everyone is so friendly." 

While visiting Lock and Dam 10 the visitors discussed the differences between the two communities. Councilman Habermann shared, "Most of the fishing on the Hudson River is done in the backwaters. The river itself is used primarily for large vessel navigation." 

Guttenberg, N.J., is the most densely populated municipality in the entire country. Most of the people living in the community commute to jobs outside the city. Town administrator Cosmo Cirillo explained, "We are very proud of our community. We have many established families that take great pride in their neighborhoods, churches, schools and family-run businesses." He went on to say, "It has been a challenge for our community to embrace the inevitable growing pains caused by our ever-increasing population." 

Guttenberg, N.J., is excited to be the first community in the state to pilot a shared recreation program. Mayor Zitt proudly noted, "Our shared recreation program has been a great success. The school has opened its doors to the community during the summer months for summer camp and recreation activities. We also have a bike share with surrounding communities." He explained, "People can rent a bike and ride it from one community to another on a designated bike path that follows the banks of the Hudson River, ending at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge."

"We also have a very active senior recreation program available to address the senior residents of our community," said Councilwoman Fudora. 

Our East Coast visitors shared countless times how much they enjoyed our community. They expressed a desire to return again, and invited our community members to take a trip out east and experience the uniqueness of Guttenberg, N. J., and all it has to offer. 

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