Joseph Scarpa has been a resident of Rochelle Park since 1971.
A graduate of Midland
School and Hackensack High School, Scarpa went on to study Political
Science at Seton Hall University.
There, he was active in campus affairs, serving as the
President of the Student Government Association.
Scarpa also spent a semester interning on Capitol Hill in
Washington, DC. Before
graduating summa cum laude in 1988, he received the University
Distinguished Service Medal and was inducted into the Pi Sigma Alpha
National Honor Society.
Scarpa came home from
college and ran successfully for Township Committee in 1990 at the
age of 24. He was re-elected 8 times, 6 times without opposition.
Scarpa was selected by his colleagues 11 times to serve as
Mayor. He served as
Mayor during Rochelle Park’s 125th Anniversary in 1996, and
throughout the devastation of Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
No person has served more consecutive years on the Township
Committee in the history of Rochelle Park.
In addition, Scarpa has been inducted into both the NJ League
of Municipalities Elected Officials’ Hall of Fame and the Mayors’
Hall of Fame.
Additionally, Scarpa worked 10 years as the Chief Legislative Aide
for then-State Senator Louis F. Kosco. He was the Borough
Administrator in Bogota from 1997-2000, and is currently serving
there in that capacity once again. From 2000-2013 he was the
Borough Administrator in Emerson, and became the longest-serving
Administrator in the Pascack Valley during that span.
He was recognized in 2003 by the New Jersey Municipal
Managers Association for his “Outstanding Service to Local
Government.” He also
worked as an Adjunct Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University,
where he earned a Master of Administrative Science degree in 1999.
He taught classes on government ethics and governmental
In 2013, Scarpa ran
for State Assembly in District 38 and lost to the incumbent by 35
votes out of more than 56,000 ballots cast -- the closest race in
Always concerned with
helping youth, Scarpa served as the Vice President of the Rochelle
Park Municipal Alliance Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse, as liaison
to the Rochelle Park Recreation Committee, and as a CYO volunteer.
For 22 years, he has volunteered his time to teach high
school juniors about citizenship and government at the American
Legion’s Jersey Boys State Civics Program.
Scarpa is active in various other organizations including the Bergen
County 200 Club, an organization that helps the families of fallen
emergency service personnel, the Bergen County Republican Mayors’
Association, and the Rochelle Park Republican Club.
He also served as volunteer Commissioner on the Bergen County
Housing Authority for 5 years, Vice Chair on the Bergen County
Housing Development Corporation, President of the Bergen County
Republican Mayors’ Association, and was named “Person of the Year”
by Assemblywoman Rose Heck in 2000.