Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Former Springfield mayor died over the weekend by Erin Eileen O'Neill

Source: http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2009/08/former_springfield_mayor_died.html

August 10, 2009

SPRINGFIELD -- A former mayor and two-term Springfield committeeman running for reelection in November died over the weekend.

Kenneth Faigenbaum, 57, spent nearly three decades serving Springfield on the township's board of education and municipal committee. Family, friends and colleagues called him a dedicated public servant with a quick wit and optimistic spirit.

"The one thing about him, no matter how sick he was, if you said to him 'How are you today?' He'd say, 'I'm fine. How are you?" said Faigenbaum's son, Jay.

The family didn't release the exact cause of death, but said Faigenbaum had medical problems for nearly a decade. He had bypass surgery in 2000 and suffered complications from diabetes. He died on Saturday and was buried after a graveside service Sunday.

Rabbi Mark Mallach of Springfield's Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael said Faigenbaum, a member of the temple, committed his life to his family and to the town where he raised his three children.

Faigenbaum grew up in Newark and Union. He moved to Springfield in the late 1970s after Jay's birth. Faigenbaum and his wife, Alison, also have two daughters, Amie and Marla.
Jay Faigenbaum said his father originally ran for school board because "he wanted to make sure that we got the best education."

Faigenbaum served on the school board for 19 years, before joining the township committee. His second-term on the committee expires in December. He was running on the Democratic ticket with zoning board member David Barnett in November's election.

Five members sit on Springfield's municipal committee, with members electing a mayor and deputy mayor from among themselves. Faigenbaum served as mayor during his tenure on the committee.

Current Mayor Bart Fraenkel first met Faigenbaum nearly 40 years ago. The two lived across the hall from each other at American University during their freshman year at the Washington, D.C. college.

In Springfield, Fraenkel lived less than a half-mile away from the Faigenbaums' residence.
"I considered him a good friend and one that will be sorely missed," said Fraenkel, who noted Faigenbaum, a certified public accountant, enjoyed restoring old Lincoln Continentals and working on his house when he wasn't at town hall.

Faigenbaum's death leaves a seat on the township committee, as well as a spot on November's ballot, vacant.

The township's Democratic committee, by law, has 15 days to nominate three candidates to fill the remainder of Faigenbaum's term, according to township attorney Bruce Bergen. The township's governing body then has 15 days to chose from that list. As for November's election, the party has not yet discussed who may join Barnett on the ballot, according to Clara Harelik, a former mayor and chair of the Springfield Democratic Municipal Committee.

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