NORTH BRUNSWICK – For the general election in November, Democratic incumbents Ralph Andrews and Amanda Guadagnino will be challenged by Republican candidates George Callan and Susan Hucko for two, three-year seats on the North Brunswick Township Council.
The primary is set for June 4.
Andrews, 67, has lived in town for 40 years.
“Keeping our tax increases as low as possible while not reducing the township services our residents have come to expect,” is part of the success he feels he has achieved so far during his 15 years on the council. “Open space acquisition, total upgrade of all township parks, including adding a major new park Community Park; on the Planning Board, quality planning and development of our town for the future. The Main Street transit village plan which has brought other quality business to our town.”
If re-elected this year, Andrews said his focus will be on keeping taxes in check, finding a way to complete the train station project, analyzing if solar street lighting is feasible, and seeking ways to improve the town’s east to west roadways to reduce traffic congestion.
Callan, 51, is a lifetime resident of North Brunswick with the exception of a few years living in East Brunswick, New York City, Southern California and Franklin Township because of school or business opportunities.
“I hope to engage taxpayers to ask their elected representatives to reduce the costs of our municipal government. We have been asked to accept an ongoing increase in taxes every year. Why can’t responsible government consider an effective plan to reduce taxes for the next 20 years? The disengaged taxpayer needs to ask for better management from their elected representatives to plan for an affordable life in North Brunswick. We need a plan that takes a look at what people earn and what they can afford to pay for a municipal government. Real facts need to be considered. When benefits and costs are considered, I think most taxpayers will look for a cost reduction,” he said. “The goal remains clear: offer choices to those paying for North Brunswick service. We will try to keep everyone satisfied, but we really need a break.”
Guadagnino, 42, is a lifelong resident and 2019 is her third year on the council, her first as council president. She spent two years prior on the North Brunswick Board of Education.
“I am successful because I put the town and the residents first. I make decisions based on what is best for the community. We keep moving forward in our growing town.
Primary goals are to work with all involved parties to make the North Brunswick train station a reality. This is a top concern for our residents and we work on it diligently. We would also love to see a new library/community center, which is already in the planning stages.
“Closest to my heart, we are working on a Community Dome facility that will encourage healthy living for residents of all ages, provide emergency shelter for disasters, event space for community outings, and so many more possible uses. North Brunswick will be the first in this area to have this type of facility,” she said.
Hucko, 56, was born in Perth Amboy but moved at age two to North Brunswick. Her parents are both U.S. military veterans; her father fought in World War II and my mother was a Navy officer and Navy nurse before marrying. She has two brothers and one sister, who was also a Navy officer and nurse.
She attended Livingston Park Elementary School, Linwood Junior High School (now Linwood Middle School) and then North Brunswick Township High School. She attended Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), then transferred to Fordham University in Manhattan and also the American Institute of Banking in Manhattan.
Hucko said she considers herself to be an American nationalist.
“I support our president in making our nation stronger, and in helping all of its citizens achieve the American Dream. I also support our military 100%,” she said.
On a local level, she said she is interested in helping attract more jobs, and better paying ones to the area. She would also like to hold monthly job fairs in the town and county.
She also wants to decrease property taxes, especially for seniors.
“An issue of importance that I especially want to work on locally in our town and also our county is expanding services for the disabled in terms of having access to more jobs, better and more reliable transportation services, and putting benches in more areas for especially those who are struggling with walking disabilities.
“I am interested in working with organizations towards increasing literacy programs on a local level as well as a national level. I want to reach a greater number of people on a even larger stage. I am a tireless literacy zdvocate and long time volunteer with several nonprofit organizations in New York City. I believe we can mirror some of those successful programs in our county. I especially believe we need to roll out more English Second Language programs for adults and by doing so, help new residents be more productive and engaged in society.”
Hucko said she would also like to help homeless children with their school work, offering special programs and field trips while they are in the shelter system, and increase the arts. She was a longtime volunteer with The Children’s Aid Society and a team leader for New York Cares.
“I believe as Americans we are exceptional and we can lead in all industries and fields with the newest technology and by investing in innovation. I want to be part of making North Brunswick absolutely dazzle and I believe we can work together as Republicans and Democrats – as Americans – to achieve this,” she said.