SECAUCUS – Five of the six candidates running for Secaucus Town Council in November participated in a 90-minute debate Tuesday hosted by the Hudson Reporter newspapers.
Candidates Gary Jeffas, Robert Zych, James Clancy, Nancy Mateo, and Susan Pirro debated such issues as property taxes, development, labor contracts, and the Secaucus Recreation Center in a cordial debate that highlighted several differences in the Democratic and Independent slates.
Voters will be able to view the debate online at this web site (www.HudsonReporter.com) beginning next week.
A sixth candidate, 3rd Ward Democratic contender Mark Bruscino, had a scheduling conflict Tuesday and arrived at the debate towards the end. He arrived in time to answer one question regarding development and affordable housing.
Bruscino is running on the Democratic ticket with 1st Ward candidate Zych and 2nd Ward candidate Mateo.
The trio is running against the Independent Take Back Secaucus slate that includes Jeffas, Clancy, and Pirro. The slate is backed by Mayor Michael Gonnelli.
Jeffas, the incumbent 1st Ward town councilman, is running for his second full term. Clancy, who previously served on the council under former Mayor Paul Amico, was appointed in January to serve out the remainder of Gonnelli’s term on the council after he was sworn in as mayor. Clancy is now seeking a full term.
This year’s campaign against Bruscino is Pirro’s second race for a 3rd Ward council seat. She ran in the 2009 primary as a Democrat, but lost her race to another candidate.
This is the first year Zych, Mateo, and Bruscino have each run for seats on the Town Council. – E. Assata Wright