|Preceded by Founder|
Party Republican Party
Succeeded by Edward Aversa
|Preceded by Patricia Drimones|
Name Robert Agresta
Succeeded by In Office
Political party Republican
|Born March 31, 1983 (age 32)
Teaneck, New Jersey (1983-03-31) |
Education Fordham University, New York Law School
Robert Anthony Agresta (born March 31, 1983) is an investor, businessman, lawyer, inventor and an American Republican Party politician. He is the founder and president of Agresta Acquisitions, a private investment company and The Agresta Firm, a New York-based law firm. His father was the owner of Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp. in Englewood, NJ.
- Early career
- Business career
- American Swiss Foundation
- Political career
- 2009–2011 Term of Office
Agresta was born at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, New Jersey.
After graduating from Fordham University in 2005, Agresta attended a one-year program in McLean, Virginia, developed by the National Automobile Dealers Association to teach dealership management techniques. Agresta is currently Managing Partner at The Agresta Firm PC and General Counsel at Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp.
Agresta graduated from New York Law School in New York City on June 1, 2009 with a Juris Doctor degree. He began law school as an evening student and in 2007 was elected Student Bar Association senator for the New York Law School Evening Division. In 2008 Agresta transferred to the full-time day division and graduated one year early.
Agresta holds an MBA (EMBL-HSG) from the Universität St. Gallen in St. Gallen, Switzerland and continues to lecture as a member of the faculty in St. Gallen at HSG on strategy in law and business.
At the age of 16, Agresta incorporated the technology business, CapSync Systems, Inc. Subsequently, while attending high school at the Dwight-Englewood School, he and friends formed WMN, LLC, a media technology startup, contemporaneously with the filing of a U.S. Patent Application.
In 2001, Agresta enrolled at Fordham University to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Business Administration, which he was awarded in 2005. By the time he graduated from Fordham, Agresta had filed his second U.S. Patent Application, completed two tiers of fundraising and was marketing WMN’s concept to potential purchasers out of an office in Rockefeller Center.
As one of six brothers and sisters, Agresta has also been actively involved in his family business – Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp. - the Mercedes-Benz dealership his father acquired in 1976 when it sold 300 cars per year. Agresta worked summers during high school updating the dealership's technology system and helped make it into a notably successful enterprise in the New York area.
In 2004, Agresta formed Agresta Acquisitions, LLC., a venture capital, M&A and holding company. In 2009, Agresta formed The Agresta Firm, PC, a law firm specializing in corporate transactions after successfully passing the New York and New Jersey bar exams. Agresta is admitted to the bars of the State of New York, the District of Columbia and the State of New Jersey. Agresta is a member of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, the Bergen County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.
American Swiss Foundation
Agresta serves as Secretary to the Board of Trustees of the Young Leader's Alumni Council of the American Swiss Foundation. In 2011, Agresta was nominated as a Young Leader in the American Swiss Foundation by Christopher Ruddy who acts as Trustee to the organization. He participated in a week-long diplomatic conference to improve relations between the United States and Switzerland sponsored by Nestle traveling across Switzerland through Montreux, Bern, Geneva and Gstaad.
Agresta was elected on November 4, 2008 to serve a three-year term as a Republican councilman in the Borough of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, defeating Democratic opponent Patricia Drimones, 1256 to 1059. On January 6, 2009, Agresta was voted President of the Borough Council after two more Republicans were voted in during the November 2009 general election creating a new Republican majority in Englewood Cliffs.
Agresta was the Republican nominee running for the Englewood Cliffs Borough Council seat held by democratic incumbent Patricia Drimones. Agresta was the winner of the June 2008 primary in which he ran uncontested.
On November 4, 2008, Agresta won a three-year term to the Englewood Cliffs council. He was sworn into office on January 6, 2009 by Judge Maurice Gallipoli, Assignment Judge of Hudson County, New Jersey.
Agresta was endorsed by New Jersey Senator Gerald Cardinale, New Jersey Senator Tom Kean, Jr., Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes, Bernard Kerik and Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Agresta has endorsed candidates for numerous offices including Englewood Cliffs Councilpersons Eric Petrone, Carlo Bartolomeo and Carrol McMorrow.
On August 30, 2009, Agresta joined Gov. Jon Corzine, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Representative Steven Rothman and Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes at a protest in Englewood, NJ against Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi coming to inhabit a home owned in the town by the Libyan government.
On September 12, 2009, Agresta attended a 9-12 rally in Washington, DC against excessive taxation and large government.
On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been captured and killed. Agresta joined Fox correspondent Margaret Hoover, model Melyssa Ford and other revelers at Ground Zero to memorialize the occasion.
2009–2011 Term of Office
In January 2010, Agresta was voted Council President by the majority of the council. In April 2010, the Englewood Cliffs Republicans announced two more candidates to take unanimous control of the council. In April 2010 Englewood Cliffs voters defeated a school board budget in the wake of significant cuts resulting from a statewide initiative to cut local school budgets. The school budget was then passed to the borough council while Agresta was president. Voting in the affirmative with the majority, Agresta and the council cut $87,000 from the school budget without elimination of any additional programs. Council President Robert Agresta said the prevailing interest is that of the kids and he was happy their cut was "far less of a proposal than a lot of our neighboring towns."
In July 2010, Agresta, as Chairman of the Finance Committee, introduced the 2010 municipal budget. The budget, which represented a $588 increase over the borough's 2009 spending plan, carried a $10.5 million tax levy. A taxpayer with a home assessed at $1.25 million, the borough's average, would pay $3,838 in municipal taxes — $200 more than 2009. Agresta said two major factors accounted for this increase: Governor Christie’s decision not to allow municipalities to defer payments to the state pension plan and a loss in state aid this year. Aside from those factors, he said,the tax rate would have remained flat.
During the 2010 election in which incumbent council democrats Ilan Plawker and Melanie Simon were seeking re-election, they cited an article from Agresta's website in which he supports shared services to lower property taxes, arguing that Agresta was in favor of a merger of towns and had spoken with the mayor of neighboring Englewood regarding the same. Huttle was quoted as saying "I did have a conversation with Mayor Parisi, council members and other Democrats and Republican council members in nearby towns and invited them to join me in sitting down to explore very carefully any opportunities that do exist to share services for the sole purpose of reducing costs and improving services."
At the January 2011 mayor & council reorganization meeting, Agresta introduced resolutions to not reappoint a number of borough professionals and employees for the 2011 term including the Borough Clerk / Administrator, Municipal Assistant, Borough Attorney and Labor Attorney. Agresta said that the moves were made to "save the taxpayers money." He added,"The taxpayers deserve an administration capable of efficiently working in their interests to reduce the spending." "I'm still in shock," Mayor Joseph C. Parisi Jr., a Democrat, said a day after the reorganization meeting. "I am aghast of the treatment of the borough employees it's inhumane." On February 1, 2011 at a public meeting of the mayor & council, Agresta introduced resolutions to hire Susan McGinley Spohn as borough Administrator / Clerk, and to eliminate the position of Deputy Clerk from the borough ordinances. Douglas Doyle, of Decotiis, Fitzpatrick and Cole, was appointed as borough attorney and labor attorney, replacing two other attorneys.
Agresta has been a certified Firefighter in the State of New Jersey since 2002 and was a member of the Englewood Cliffs Volunteer Fire Department until October 2008. In October 2008, Agresta was suspended from the department. On November 4, 2008, Agresta won election to the office of Councilman. Later in November, Agresta was terminated by the department for a low call response percentage. Agresta maintains that the termination was a political action taken by the department, spearheaded by his political opponent's brother and husband who are respectively the President and Chief of the department as retaliation for his candidacy for the office of Councilman. Agresta has explained his low call response percentage by stating that he was on academic leave from the department. He filed a suit for retaliatory termination and civil rights violations in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Pursuant to a settlement agreement entered into on September 2, 2009, the insurance company representing the defendants agreed to pay a portion of Agresta's legal fees. The Englewood Cliffs Fire Department agreed to reinstate Agresta and his brother in good standing. Contemporaneously Agresta and his brother resigned from the department in good standing.