MONROE – Democrat Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro will face Republican challenger Charles DiPierro, who currently serves as the Ward 3 councilman, for the open four-year mayoral position in Monroe in the upcoming November election.
Tamburro is seeking his second term while Dipierro, who is serving his first term as councilman, is seeking his first mayoral term.
Tamburro is a 22-year resident of the township. He and his late wife Carole share six children and nine grandchildren. He is a graduate of Seton Hall University and has been a banker throughout his career. He served in the New Jersey Army National Guard as a sergeant.
Tamburro said his greatest success as mayor has been to maintain stable and low property taxes in Monroe.
“I am pleased we have been able to consistently keep the line on taxes with no increase this year and no increase three of the four previous years,” he said. “It follows an ongoing trend, in which Monroe has the second lowest overall tax rate of any town in Middlesex County. It shows we are running a tight ship, limiting our spending, and investing only in capital expenditures that directly benefit the quality of life in Monroe.”
Tamburro said he is running for another term “to continue that trend, while continuing to enhance services to our residents.”
If re-elected, one of his focuses will be continuing to fight for the residents as it pertains to affordable housing.
“We need to fight state mandates that would force us to build even one more affordable housing unit than mandated by the courts,” he said. “We have made sure that there are commercial components, maximized senior affordable units, and successfully fought the court to reduce the number of units by 63%.”
Tamburro said the township has saved thousands of units from being built in Monroe.
“I will not give the developers even an inch more than the [Middlesex County] Superior Court allowed,” he said. “I am not afraid to go to court where we can win and we are doing just that. I will continue to fight for residents, not the developers who do not care about this town.”
Dipierro, 58, is a lifetime resident and has two adult children. He is a graduate of Monroe Township High School and Stockton College and earned a degree in accounting. He has been self employed as a real estate broker for more than 35 years.
Along with serving on the council, Dipierro serves as a fire commissioner for 1st District.
Dipierro said he believes he can bring change to Monroe with priorities to reduce taxes, control growth, stop wasteful spending and obtain fair funding for the township’s public schools. He said he supports the New Jersey State Senate Bill S3219, which utilizes the actual number of students in Monroe for special education state aid.
“I would cut spending with in-house engineering, attorney, planners and professionals,” he said, adding he would support shared services including New Jersey Senate Bill S3760 requiring municipalities, school districts and local authorities to regularly meet and discuss shared service agreements.
Dipierro said he supports the township’s Master Plan, which has made more commercial zoning in areas of Monroe, not overlay two zones for apartments and condominiums impacting the township’s schools.
“My vision as a lifetime resident is to make Monroe affordable and improve quality of life for all Monroe residents.
If elected, one of Dipierro’s focuses will be on taxes.
“As a local real estate broker for 37 years, many of our Monroe residents are leaving due to the increase in property taxes,” he said. “We have senior communities, residential homes and business owners who cannot afford to stay in Monroe Township. The overbuilding by the current administration has a negative impact on our schools and infrastructure. As mayor, I would propose more commercial zoning to increase our tax revenue to decrease our residential taxpayers.”
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5.