EDISON – The Democratic slate, including two incumbents and two newcomers, beat out the Republican opposition for the four, four-year Edison Township Council seats in the November election.
Incumbents Joseph A. Coyle received 7,487 votes/16% and Ajay Patil received 7,055 votes/15% to win their second terms, and will be joined by newcomers Joyce Ship-Freeman, who received 7,145 votes/16% and Richard Brescher received 7,101 votes/15%, who will serve their first terms.
The Republican slate included former Councilman Wayne J. Mascola, who received 4,630 votes/10% and newcomers Cathleen Lynch-Kilic, who received 4,167 votes/9%, Gerald T. Shine, who received 4,174 votes/9% and Maria Orchid, who received 4,331 votes/9%.
Election results are from the Middlesex County Board of Elections and are not official until certified.
“If someone has won [on Election Day], it’s the people of this great town,” Patil said. “If someone has won [on Election Day], it’s this democracy. We campaigned on issues and ran a very positive campaign. I am proud of my team members Councilman Coyle, Council-elect Rich Brescher and Council-elect Joyce Ship-Freeman. I thank Edison residents for giving me another four years.”
Brescher, 56, who has lived in Edison for 46 years and is currently serving on the Edison Board of Education, said he would like to help the township formulate a long- and short-term facilities and maintenance plan to maintain infrastructure such as sewers and buildings at a level the public requires.
He also said he would like to work with the administration on the township’s master plan for development and give the planning and zoning boards the tools they need to curb overdevelopment of residential properties.
Coyle, 50, who is a lifelong resident of the township, said he would continue to work on quality of life issues, continue touring parks and walk neighborhoods, and continue identifying issues such as graffiti, potholes and safety hazards. He said he will also work on attracting new businesses, making sure they conform with the nature of the neighborhood and create a true economic development program, creating jobs for Edison residents.
During his time on the dais, Coyle has introduced ordinances that target quality of life issues, including a comprehensive parks ordinance, and he has helped attract businesses that he said do not disrupt the neighborhood.
He also believes multi-unit apartment complexes, such as the 220-units on Jackson Avenue, congest roads, create unsafe environments, and cause overcrowded schools.
Patil, 49, who has lived in the township for more than 15 years, said he ran for re-election to continue an agenda of transparency and accountability in local government. He said he believes the township must regulate developers who build multi-unit residential properties, solve the overcrowding crisis, clean up parks, and reinvest in the township’s infrastructure.
As councilman, Patil said he introduced an ordinance holding big banks accountable for abandoned properties. He also introduced a pay-to-play ordinance to stop special interests from buying elections. Along with Coyle, Patil voted against a proposed tax increase, citing systemic fraud, waste and abuse in the budget.
Patil said he would also like to implement an E-Governance program that identifies wasteful spending and increases transparency for residents.
Ship-Freeman, 64, who has lived in the township for more than 42 years, said she ran for a council seat to increase access to government services for residents and to cut wasteful spending on vendors and special interest groups. She currently serves on the Edison Library Board of Trustees.