LODI, N.J. — Lodi's Albert DiChiara spent most of his life meeting local families while working at Santangelo Funeral Home but will now see even more as the newest member of the Borough Council.
DiChiara was selected to take the seat of Bruce Masopust, who became borough manager Jan. 1.
The 44-year-old lived his whole life in Lodi and at the family business at Santangelo. DiChiara said he joined the council because he wants to deal purely with the issues rather than politics.
"I just want to see hopefully [the town] going in the right direction," he told Daily Voice. "My issues are about Lodi, making it better, trying to cut cost. It's very difficult in any small town."
DiChiara said he did not run for office in the last election because his wife was pregnant at the time but now thought he'd give it a try.
Six people applied for the open council position, Masopust said. DiChiara will have to seek re-election in November for the remainder of the term, per state law, the manager said.
In the meantime, DiChiara will continue to be a staple of Lodi.
His family owned Santangelo on North Main Street since the 1950s.
"Most people say, 'Are you crazy for doing that,' but you have that family pride," he said of his work. "It's a family affair. It always has been."
His brother, Vincent, is also the principal of Columbus Elementary School in Lodi.
Albert DiChiara spent time on the school bard in 2000, plus the Lodi housing Authority for six years.
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