GOP council opposes 6 candidates
HAWTHORNE – Six candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for half of the Republican nominations in a borough council primary on Tuesday.
Advisers Bruce bennett and Dominique mele formed a team with Anna Marie Sasso, a real estate broker. They are challenged by Michael Doyle, a former school counselor, and Jay Shortway, whose family has owned the eponymous bar and restaurant on Goffle Road for decades.
To complete the crowded field, Philip Speulda, a retired businessman.
Next week’s GOP showdown only reflects part of the interest in three vacancies on the seven-person board. Each extraordinary seat carries a four-year term.
While waiting for the winners, a full slate of Democratic candidates for the November general election. They include Thomas Bushnauskas, Hope Foley and Ann Marie Peterson. Additionally, Craig Cayetano has announced his intention to run for a board seat under the Green Party banner.
Deputy Council President John Lane, a Republican, will face his colleague, City Councilor Joseph Wojtecki, a Democrat from the 1st arrondissement in an autumn mayoral race. The two men are undisputed in their respective primaries.
Mayor Richard Goldberg, a Republican, said in February that he not running for a fourth term.
Learn more about Hawthorne’s primary candidates
Bennett, 67, is in his sixth term on the board. He decided to run again because another retirement from the governing body would have destabilized the party, he said.
“It would just be too much to unsubscribe, all at once,” said Bennett, a technical editor. “We want to continue the progress we have made under Mayor Goldberg’s leadership. “
Doyle, 49, and Shortway, 55, centered their agenda on toppling members of the party’s old guard. The duo referred all questions to a prepared statement and their campaign’s Facebook page.
Doyle, of Mandon Terrace, is lieutenant in the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, and Shortway, of Goffle Road, manages Shortway’s Barn. They named public safety and youth sports among the top priorities, as well as finding a viable use for the abandoned property of the “Five Corners” gas station in Ward 3.
The running mate said in their statement that they “would bring a more modern aspect to the existing administration”, while defending “conservative values”.
Mele, 75, owns a flower shop on Avenue Lafayette. The borough native, whose term on council began in 2008, said he was not intimidated by the challenge posed by Doyle and Shortway.
“I believe in what I believe in,” Mele said. “Change costs money, and we are trying to lower our taxes.”
Speulda, 66, said he had a plan that could help iron out costs. He wants to get rid of the borough’s garbage truck to provide internal service. He says the move could save up to $ 7 million over 10 years.
“It all adds up,” he said. “Everything becomes clear.”
But Speulda, of Diamond Bridge Avenue, has tried to run for office on several occasions, including as a Democrat.
Along with his goal of cutting expenses through the garbage collection plan, he said he would explore installing four-lane stop signs and speed bumps on some local roads.
“I’m not just running to blow hot air,” said Speulda. “I’m running to make Hawthorne a better town.”
Sasso, of Highcrest Drive, said her volunteer work with the Zoning Board of Adjustment and in several other capacities, including through Project Graduation in high school, prepared her for a demanding role in city government.
“Someone has to have sea legs to be a board member,” said Sasso, 56. “And I feel like I did.”
Philip DeVenceentis is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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