Eleanor Kieliszek Makes History
First Woman Mayor
(Source: Teaneck News 7/12/74)
Eleanor Kieliszek has become the first woman mayor of Township.
At the reorganization meeting of the Township council Tuesday night May 28, the seven members of the governing body selected Kieliszek to be mayor on the first ballot. The vote, by secret ballot, was four for Mrs. Kieliszek and three for Councilman Max A. Haase, Jr.
Under Teaneck's nonpartisan Council-Manager government, seven Council members are elected in May once every four years. The Council members then choose one of their own number to serve as mayor for four-year terms.
Instead of electing a Council member to serve as deputy mayor for the four-year term of the Council, as is customary, the new governing body broke with tradition by passing a resolution rotating the position among the four highest vote getters in the election, following Mayor Kieliszek.
Under this system, Councilman Hasse will be deputy mayor for the first year, to be followed by Councilman John P. Dougherty, Dorothy Silverstein and Francis E. Hall, in that order.
When Mrs. Kieliszek first sought public office in May of 1970, she was only the third woman to campaign for a Council seat. Her predecessors were Audrey Kytle and Marion Cerf. She finished sixth in a field of 16 that year, to win one of the seven Council seats.
After becoming the first woman to be elected to the Council, in her initial outing. Mrs. Kieliszek finished first in a field of 20 in the balloting this year.
A Teaneck resident for 23 years, the new mayor is wife of Raymond Kieliszek, a planning engineer with the New York Telephone Company. They have four children ranging in age from 13 to 25.
In January, Mayor Kieliszek received an Associate in Arts degree from Edward Williams College. She is currently enrolled in the School of Business in Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she hopes to earn a bachelor's degree in public administration. FDU is currently seeking State Department of Education approval to offer the course.
During her first term on the council, Mrs. Kieliszek represented the governing body on the Planning Board and was co-chairman (with outgoing Deputy Mayor Isaac McNatt) of Teaneck's American Revolution Bicentennial Committee.
Most of her early years in Teaneck were occupied with child rearing, but she joined the League of Women Voters about 20 years ago and became interested in government. She attended meetings for a number of years as the League's representative.
Mrs. Kieliszek has served the community as a member of the Community Relations Advisory Board, and the UN Day Committee. She is a former president of the Teaneck League of Women Voters and has been active in parent-teacher groups as her children moved through the school system.
Currently, she is a member of the new feminist organization, FACT, and is on the Board of Directors of the YWCA in Hackensack.