Two Democrats To Run For Committee Against Cirulli and Melchiondo
Government transparency and attracting ratables some of the issues to be raised in the election
Mayor Al Cirulli and Township Committeeman Jeff Melchiondo will face opposition from two newcomers in this fall's election.
Democrats Elaine Taylor, 53 and Susan Conway, 40, will run together on the platform of bringing more openness to the township government and attracting more ratables to Barnegat, among other issues.
"Our slogan is progress not politics," said Taylor, the stay-at-home mother of two who lived in Barnegat since 1990 and has served for five years on the school board. "If I’m elected, the first thing I’d like to do is make everything more open. We have a beautiful web page that doesn’t get utilized as fully as it should. Also, we’ve got to find a way to make our town more attractive to some of those major businesses that don’t want to come here."
"In Manahawkin, for example, taxes are a bit lower, because they have so many busineses for the community," said Taylor's running mate Conway, who is also a mother of two, and an attorney in northern New Jersey.
Conway lived in Barnegat since the age of 5 and served on a charter commission to re-examine the form of government in town several years ago.
"I believe that there are communication issues that need to be addressed between the township committe and the community," Conway said. "I will also be focusing on infrastructure ... and finally the cost. Where is all the money that's coming in and where is it going?"
Both the Republican incumbents Cirulli and Melchiondo have been on the township committee since 2004, and both have served as mayor and deputy mayor. Cirulli works as a vice principal at the Pinelands Regional High School and Melchiondo owns a cigar shop downtown.
“Since joining the township committee one of the things I have prided myself on is being thoroughly involved in the community,” said Melchiondo, 61. “I’ve served on virtually every board or commission that the town has offered — Historic Preservation, Planning Board, Economic Development, Cox Commission, you name it. I’ve also been a police department liaison for the last seven years.”
"I’m available pretty much 24-7,” Melchiondo added. “Both myself and Mayor Al Cirulli made many strides over the years to improve the township; we brought it back from virtual devastation; we resurrected virtually every department in the town, we’ve strived to stabilize taxes.”
“It’s just a desire to continue to serve,” said Cirulli, 59, of his motivation to run again. “We’ve been working real hard to get the community on solid ground.”
The candidates will not face any opposition within their own parties during the June 5 primaries. Monday was the deadline for candidates to file to run for their party's nomination.
Independent candidates still can enter the race, however. Hopefuls unaffiliated with a party have until primary day, June 5, to file nominating petitions.