KENILWORTH, NJ — Kenilworth borough clerk and administrator Laura Reinertsen resigned from her position at the Kenilworth Borough Council’s meeting on Wednesday, March 16, effective Thursday, March 31. Reinertsen worked for Kenilworth for eight years and was named Employee of the Year in 2018; she did not say at the meeting the reason for her resignation.
“When I started here in 2014, I would never have realized how connected I would be to such a warm community of people. I realize I have been very fortunate. This place, this work, and its people have meant so much to me. I am proud to have been a member of the team here,” Reinertsen said at the meeting. “Kenilworth gave me a lot of opportunities to learn and grow as a professional, and I am thankful to the mayors and councils that showed the utmost trust in my skills and dedication.”
When she spoke, Reinertsen addressed the residents and the community of Kenilworth, thanking them for the relationships she and they developed since she began working in the borough.
“Over the years, I have worked with many people, but the people of Kenilworth are truly something special. I am humbled by the kindness of your hearts. We have shared professional and personal successes, celebrated holidays, special occasions and mourned together,” Reinertsen said. “Some people judge their lives on what they do, others on who they are. I want my life judged on the company I keep, and how blessed I am from just knowing you all.”
Reinertsen has served as both the clerk and borough administrator; after a question from a resident during the public comment portion of the meeting, Mayor Linda Karlovitch said Kenilworth would likely hire two people, one for each of the jobs, to replace Reinertsen.
“In the middle of our daily business — serving the community, meeting the needs of residents, maintaining the infrastructure, initiating projects and developing new ones — it’s all too easy to lose sight of the most important element of all in any organization: the person, the people. Us. You and me, as individuals with hearts, minds and feelings,” Reinertsen said. “This moment for me is the hardest, saying goodbye. It’s made me realize how much I am giving up by moving on. Thank you for your belief in me, your support and your friendship. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to have worked alongside colleagues who understand how to bring the best out in each other. I have so many things to be proud of over my time here, but, right now, what I’m most proud of is having had the privilege of representing Kenilworth.”
Reinertsen received a standing ovation at the meeting for her service, and several people in the audience wished her well during public comment. Nina Vera was one of them.
“I’m sorry to see you go,” Vera said. “I’ve seen you around town at various functions, and not just for work-related duties.”
Rich Picerno, who is the chairperson of the Kenilworth Planning Board, also thanked Reinertsen at the meeting.
“Over the many years that we’ve worked together and you’ve been part of this town, you are a staple here,” Picerno said. “You are one of the best people that this town has ever hired. You’ve become very dear to my heart and a close friend, and it’s a great loss. I wish you well where you’re going.”
Karlovitch, who has been a member of the Borough Council since 2017, thanked Reinertsen for all she has done.
“I just want to say thank you for everything that you’ve taught me and everything you’ve done for the borough and for our community,” she said at the meeting. “For myself and every elected official that has walked through this door, you have made this easy and been a source of knowledge. I will miss you terribly, and I wish you the absolute best.”