WAYNE, NJ –November 5, 2019 is election day across the State of New Jersey.  Many consider this election cycle to be a slow one because there are no Federal positions to be decided locally.  No President, no Senators or Congressional seats, means no national media coverage and no State media coverage. It wouldn’t be surprising if many people didn’t even know that there was an election going on.

However, loyal TAPinto Wayne readers are well aware because there are very important seats up for election in our town and in Passaic County.

New Jersey Assembly

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Much like the Federal Government, the New Jersey State Government has three coequal branches of Government.  The Governor is akin to the President and the New Jersey Legislature is akin to the US Congress and the New Jersey Judiciary, including the State Supreme Court and the lower courts are akin to the Federal justice system.

The New Jersey Legislature, like the US congress has two houses made up of forty Senators and eighty Assembly Members.  There are forty legislative districts, each with one Senator and two Assembly Members.  Wayne is part of the 40th New Jersey Legislative District and is currently represented by Senator Kristin Corrado and Assemblymen Kevin J. Rooney and Christopher P. DePhillips, all three of which are Republicans.

This year, both 40th District Assembly seats are up for re-election and Rooney and DePhillips are facing off against Democrats Maria Martini Cordonnier and Julie O’Brien.

Passaic County Sheriff

The Sheriff’s Department responsibilities include providing security for the Passaic County Courthouse, the county jail, county parks and other county facilities. As well as prisoner transport, and the seizure of foreclosed properties and their disposition through sheriff sales.  They also provide Crime Scene Investigation, SWAT and K-9 functions, Bomb Squad and more.

The current Sheriff is Democrat Richard H. Berdnik and he is being challenged by Republican Darren Woolridge.

Passaic County Freeholder

From the Passaic County Freeholder website: “In Passaic County’s commission form of government, the Freeholders discharge both the legislative and executive responsibilities of government. The seven -member board is headed by a Freeholder Director who is selected to serve a one-year term at the Board’s annual reorganization meeting held in January. Each Freeholder is elected at-large for a staggered 3-year term.”

The Board of Chosen Freeholders is responsible for the county roads, bridges, parks, the Sheriff’s Department, The Preakness Healthcare Center, Passaic County College, Passaic County Technical Institute, Social service programs for the elderly, poor and disabled, and more.

Two Passaic County Freeholder seats are up for election this cycle which are currently held by Democrats Terry Duffy and Pat Lepore who are running for re-election.   One Republican is running for Freeholder: Maria A. Giammona.  Voters can choose two of the three on election day and the two with the highest vote counts will take the two available seats.

Wayne Town Council Ward Seats.

Much like the Federal Governement and the New Jersey State Government, the Wayne township Government uses a Faulkner-type government with a Mayor who is akin to the President and a Town Council akin to the US Congress who is responsible for setting budgets and enacting laws. 

The Town Council has nine members, one from each of the six Wards and three elected “at-large.” 

All six of the Ward Council seats are up for election this cycle.  Currently all of these seats are held by Republicans and all of them are running for re-election.  Wards One through Five have Democrat challengers, while Ward Six Republican Incumbent Jonathan Ettman is running unopposed.

  • Ward One: Republican Incumbent Richard Jasterzbski faces Democrat Arlene Sullivan
  • Ward Two: Republican Incumbent Al Sadowski faces Democrat Dianne Douthat
  • Ward Three: Republican Incumbent Franco Mazzei faces Democrat Karen Dowicz-Haas
  • Ward Four: Republican Incumbent Joe Scuralli faces two challengers: Democrat Kenneth Tahan and Budget Hawk Christian Smith
  • Ward Five: Republican Incumbent Lucy “Aileen” Rivera faces Democrat Francine Ritter

Board of Education

In this year’s Board of Education race there are three seats up for re-election and only two registered candidates.  Current Board President Michael L. Bubba and Current Board Member Suzanne Pudup are running for re-election, while Mitchell Badiner has decided not to run again.

TAPinto Wayne is aware of four “Write-in Candidates,” but because there is no registry, there may be more.  Eileen Domico, James Fera, Dawn Kumar and Mansi Verma are working social media to get votes on Tuesday. They each have candidate statements up on TAPinto Wayne if you’d like to learn more about them.

There is One State Public Question:
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO GIVE CERTAIN VETERANS' BENEFITS TO RESIDENTS OF CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

Do you approve amending the Constitution to allow eligible veterans to receive the value of the veterans' property tax deduction if they reside in a continuing care retirement community? The deduction shall be provided to a continuing care retirement community, which shall pass the value of the deduction on to the eligible veterans who live there.

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT

This amendment would allow eligible veterans who live in continuing care retirement communities to receive the value of the $250 property tax deduction currently granted to veterans who reside in a private residence. This amendment would give the veterans' property tax deduction to continuing care retirement communities on behalf of eligible veterans.

The total amount of the deduction given to a continuing care retirement community would be based on the number of eligible veterans who live there. The community would be required to pass the value of the deduction on to each eligible veteran.

Deductions would not be paid to continuing care retirement communities that are property tax-exempt. An eligible veteran who receives the value of a deduction through a continuing care retirement community cannot receive a veterans' property tax deduction on any other home he or she owns or in which a spouse lives.

Eligible veterans must be New Jersey residents. They must have served in the military in time of war, or other emergency. They must be honorably discharged.

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Voting is not just a privilege; It’s a right that over the course of time, wars have been fought, blood has been spilt and many have died for the right, yet we’ve been blessed to have this right for so long, that many of us take it for granted and never exercise the right.

Many consider voting a sacred duty.  After all, we the people decide on who our leaders should be and if we don’t vote, then only a small group decides for us.  Grab a friend, or two, or three tomorrow and get out and vote.