Bob Dela Rosa – the municipality’s Electrical Inspector and former Fire Chief – approached the governing body this February at a Mayor & Council meeting, not as an employee, but as a resident. He brought with him a simple idea that got its start at the first meeting of 2015.
“I was at the re-organization meeting and heard all the speeches that were given,” Bob began while speaking during the public portion, “And I truly, truly hope that the honesty that I heard that day is going to manifest over the course of the years to help Roselle Park build back up to the great community is was years ago.”
He continued on saying that one of the comments that he heard stuck with him. He said, “[It] came from the mayor and it wasn’t a comment, it was a word . . . And that word was ‘Parkers’. Not residents, not taxpayers . Parkers. That gave me the sense that I own a part of Roselle Park, which I do. I have a house. I pay my taxes but I am . . . I own a part of Roselle Park.”
“I said to myself ‘How can I be proud to be a Parker when I’m walking around?'”, Bob stated about how to make his idea a reality. The answer he came up with was a simple one, “I got t-shirts made [that] say ‘Roselle Park’ with two hands clasped and at the bottom it says ‘I Am A Parker’.”
Standing up, Bob unzipped his RPFD jacket to show the shirt to an audience of applause. Sitting back down he continued, “Mr. Mayor, you are a Parker – you are the one that did it – so this one’s yours.”
Before leaving the dais, Bob stated that he had 30 more such t-shirts and he donated them to the mayor so he could give them out to people who, in Bob’s words, are truly Parkers.
That one word, Parker, has been used throughout the years to denote people who have lived almost all their lives or a majority of it in town. In other words, old-timers. Bob wants to let everyone know, new residents as well as old-timers, that they are all ‘Parkers’. For Bob Dela Rosa, it is not about how long one has lived in town but that each resident makes up Roselle Park and that it is up to them to become involved in its present as well as its future.