By VASHTI HARRIS
SPOTSWOOD – Resident Jackie Palmer, current Councilman Edward T. Seely and incumbent Mayor Nicholas Poliseno each have goals and concerns for the Borough of Spotswood as nonpartisan mayoral candidates this election.
Seely, 61, is a lead technician in waste management and owns and operates Championship Awards. He has been a Spotswood resident for 25 years.
Seely is currently a councilman who has served for 12 years and has been council president twice. While being a member on the borough council, he has been involved in numerous organizations, including Cub Scouts Pack 35, Boy Scouts Troop 84 (now 35), Girls Recreation Softball, Spotswood Soccer Club, Golden Bear Chargers Pop Warner, American Legion Post 253, Free Masons and the U.S. Navy.
“In most of these organizations I have held offices up to and including president/commander. I also received lifetime membership to the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for my dedication to the borough and its youth,” Seely said.
Helping to maintain stable borough taxes for 12 years, introducing ordinances and resolutions to insure public safety, and locating a loan/grant that will enable the council to install a new water tower are a few actions that Seely said he considers to be his greatest accomplishments while serving on the council.
During his campaign, some issues Seely said he has focused on have been getting infrastructure projects such as roads and water back on track, continuing with research for funding of Lake DeVoe dredging, and seeking more grants and shared service agreements. He has also expressed a need to form a Chamber of Commerce to better understand business needs as well as bring new business to the borough.
“And most importantly, to ensure that all of our residents get the best services available for their tax dollars,” he said.
“Our borough is faced with many issues that need attention now and experienced leadership is essential. We need a leader that will dedicate themselves to do just that. And I do. And if elected as our mayor I will continue to do just that,” Seely said.
Palmer, 42, is a leadership training analyst and local small business owner who has lived in Spotswood for 17 years.
She has held various positions within the Spotswood Zoning Board, the PTA, the Spotswood Soccer Club and the Spotswood Youth Baseball League.
“As Spotswood PTA president for six years, we restructured the PTA to engage in significant fundraising to supplement the schools and provide additional enrichment programs. We brought town-wide initiatives into our community like the National Walk to School Day which is now an annual event. We worked with the Spotswood Police Department to enhance the community policing programs and build our Neighborhood Watch program,” Palmer said.
“I am a strong leader and am not afraid to challenge issues that need to be addressed. Unlike both of the other candidates, I am not influenced by previously having held a seat on council. I will be able to look at every issue with ‘eyes wide open’ for our residents and provide the needed change with strong leadership, integrity, respect and accountability.”
Poliseno, 38, is a disabled Sept. 11 rescue and recovery worker who has lived in Spotswood for 20 years. He has served on the Spotswood Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years and currently holds varies positions in multiple local organizations.
When elected to the Spotswood Borough Council in 2013, he achieved the highest amount of votes running against three incumbents on the same ticket. Running for reelection as mayor, Poliseno said he considers his greatest accomplishments to be the ones that he believed benefited the residents the most: ending municipal corruption, stabilizing municipal taxes for residents, reducing the borough’s energy bills, and obtaining a grant to help with infrastructural improvements.
When further discussing municipal corruption, Poliseno explained how during his time in office he held local officials responsible for their actions once he was notified that residents’ water bills were being falsified. He said he provided refunds to the residents that were affected by this wrongdoing.
“It’s not what you have just done that people remember about you; I always believe it’s about what you have always done and not flip flopped on things that are popular now. Trust is the most important thing and that is one thing I will never lose, because telling one lie isn’t worth the loss of our residents trust. It’s easier to say I was wrong and ask for forgiveness instead of making up lies,” he said.
Dredging DeVoe lake, restoring residential trust in local government and building recreational fields for Spotswood’s youth are other issues that Poliseno said he is focusing on during his re-election campaign.
Election Day is Nov. 8. A debate is expected to be held prior, though an official date and time were not set as of press time.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.