Councilor-at-Large Robert J. Russo
Robert J. Russo served as Mayor of Montclair for four years from 2000 to 2004. First elected to the Township Council in 1992, he represented the First Ward and was re-elected with an 80% vote in 1996.
He was featured in a New York Times story in 1994 about his effective constituent service response record. Bob served as Council liaison to the Senior Citizens, Youth, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Cable TV Advisory Committees. As Mayor, he chaired the Board of School Estimate and was a member of the Planning Board and Library Board. As Councilor-at-Large, Bob is now serving as liaison to the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee, the People with Disabilities Advisory Committee, the Civil Rights Commission and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. He has also served in the past as Deputy Mayor.
A leader in national consumer organizations, Bob has served as President of the International Association of Lemon Law Administrators and is currently President of the Consumers League of New Jersey. Bob has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Montclair State University, and in the past at Rutgers University in Newark for over 35 years. He has taught American, state and local government as well as public administration, and has lectured on New Jersey State Government at Kean University.
Practicing what he teaches, Bob helped negotiate the original Montclair-Glen Ridge fire services contract, a model for regional shared service agreements. He has been interviewed on NJTV about his work to connect towns and cut costs through regionalization.
Bob earned his M.A. in American Government at Rutgers University, but began his professional career as a teacher at Roseville Avenue School in Newark. He moved on to college level teaching and various roles in government and business during a 40-year career, culminating in his final service as Director of Mediation/Lemon Laws for the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Bob has been a past member of various Lions Clubs International, as well as the CWA and AFTNJ unions, where he has served as a leader, most recently of the Montclair State University Adjunct faculty.
Bob’s community activities include active memberships in the Essex Running Club, the Sierra Club, Blue Wave NJ, the League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area, Montclair Art Museum, the Montclair Branch of the NAACP, Montclair History Center and the Giblin Association. He has also been a strong supporter of the Brookdale Conservancy, Friends of Anderson Park, Friends of the Bellevue Branch Library, Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence and Save Our Schools Montclair.
Bob and his wife Christine have been Montclair residents for more than 33 years.