NORTH BRUNSWICK – Democratic Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack will seek his fifth term as mayor on Election Day in November, challenged by Republican Richard Pender.
The primary for the general election will be June 4.
Womack, 62, has been a North Brunswick resident for 31 years.
He was sworn in to the council in 2000, and was elected mayor in 2003 to begin serving on Jan. 1, 2004. He was reelected as mayor in 2008, 2011 and 2015. His current term expires Dec. 31 of this year.
“Our community has been one where things are accomplished with civility, transparency and in a healthy cooperative manner. We’ve limited residential development while protecting the attractiveness and integrity of the Route 1 corridor. We’re on track to begin construction of North Brunswick’s train station this year. We’ve kept tax increases to a minimum while escalating our road improvement program and upgrading both sewer and water infrastructures. We’ve added the new 100-acre Community Park on Route 130, complete with walking paths, dog park, sports fields and playgrounds. Just last year we re-opened Veterans Park on Roosevelt avenue with a beautiful Veterans Memorial and new athletic fields and we’re currently in the design phase of making long overdue improvements to Babbage Park which will include many features for our senior and disabled population,” Womack revealed.
If re-elected to mayor, Womack said his No. 1 priority would be tax relief. Also, he said he would concentrate on ensuring that the train station and transit village are completed and built in a way that makes North Brunswick a premiere location in Middlesex County; and enhancing quality of life through a revitalized library and senior center.
Pender still resides in Society Hill North that he and his late wife purchased in 1983.
“The Society Hill complex was built on former Boy Scout property. At that time, North Brunswick was on the cusp of development. It still had some vestiges of a rural and agrarian community.
“North Brunswick and surrounding towns experienced the same burst of residential development on former agricultural land around the same time. This morphing into bedroom communities, while slowly losing manufacturing facilities, challenged local governing bodies in dealing with these changing dynamics,” he said.
He thus noted the challenges facing the township administration as quality of life issues.
“Taxes are at the top of every list. axes are the controlling element for rents, both residential and commercial; they also determine the amount of discretional spending available to a given taxpayer. A stable and solvent population is the best generator of a vibrant community. An excessive regressive tax is the easiest way to destroy all levels of quality in a given community. he current administration has been in control for 15 years. Isn’t it about time to start looking at things from another point of view,” he said.
He believes his lifelong experience marks him as a good candidate for mayor.
“It was my generation, both colleagues and peers, who won two wars and who 50 years ago put a man on the moon and bought him back. We also developed equipment and processes to clean up the air and water. We knew of electric and natural gas powered vehicles many years ago. Granted, it takes some time to amass an education, but a lot longer to apply it and acquire wisdom.
“Governance requires not only wisdom and intelligence, but also leadership and courage to make decisions, not just for political expedience, but also for the good of the community and the electorate. The voters have an opportunity to make a change this November. If they aren’t happy, there is always the next election,” he said.