HomeEB SentinelEB Sentinel NewsFlooding is main focus of incumbents running unopposed for Helmetta Borough Council

Flooding is main focus of incumbents running unopposed for Helmetta Borough Council

HELMETTA – Incumbents will run unopposed for two, three-year terms available on the Helmetta Borough Council in the upcoming election.

The ballot will also feature Councilmen Samuel Mena and Nicholas Stasi, who were appointed to the council to fill the vacancy seats of Councilwoman Noreen Carolan-Genthe and Councilman Joseph Perez, respectively.

The general election is on Nov. 2.

Two, three-year term seats

Michael Duffy, 29, is a lifelong resident of Helmetta.

Duffy earned a bachelor’s degree in history and education from Kean University and an associate’s degree in political science from Brookdale Community College. He is employed as a middle school history teacher.

In the community, Duffy has served as a volunteer firefighter with the Helmetta Fire Department for eight years.

Duffy is seeking a second term.

“I’m running for council again to give back to the community that has given me a wonderful place to call home,” he said. “In the last three years we’ve worked hard on improving roads, preventing local tax increases, and enhancing the morale within our great community. If I have the pleasure of being re-elected, the number one area I would like to concentrate on is working with state and federal officials to bring an end to the flooding that has consistently brought devastating damage to so many homes. Working with the mayor, other council members and different levels of government, we need to ensure that these residents never have to worry again.”

Peter Karczewski, 54, has lived in Helmetta for 23 years. He is married with two children, ages 21 and 18.

Karczewski is a high school graduate and attended some college. He is employed as an operations manager for a brokerage processing firm.

In the community, Karczewski served as a member of the Helmetta Fire Department and served as a member of the Planning Board for two years.

Karczewski has served on the council for 18 years.

“I am running for council for the same reason I have stayed involved for the past 18 years,” he said. “I love Helmetta and I like being involved in finding solutions to keep this a Mayberry-type of town. Our residents step up and help each other when they need it the most, just as they did during our flood last month. And I consider it a privilege to be a representative for them.”

The one area of most concern is the issue of flooding on Railroad Avenue and John Street during major storms and the critical need to work with county, state and federal officials to stop the flooding in the future, Karczewski said.

“I know that these types of issues take a while to come to fruition, but our team led by the mayor [Chris Slavicek] will do whatever it takes to ensure that we can make that happen and I look forward to being part of that process,” he said.

Unexpired seats

Samuel Mena, 33, has lived in Helmetta for three years. He is married with a nine-year-old son.

Mena attended Caldwell College. He is a team mastermind and real estate consultant at REWA brokered by Rite Choice Realty.

In the community, Mena serves as a volunteer firefighter, served as past president of the Kiwanis Club of Perth Amboy and served as past lieutenant governor elect for Kiwanis District 6.

Mena is seeking his first elected term “to be a voice for a generation and promote new innovative ideas while working alongside current proactive administration” being that the current administration has been effective within the community, he said.

If elected, Mena said he “will continue collaborating in [the current administration’s effectiveness in the community and] positive change, bring innovation forward and [continue] truly being a part of the heartbeat of our small town big heart.”

Nicholas Stasi, 33, has lived in Helmetta for two years. He is married to Joanne and they’re expecting their first child in March.

Stasi earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Rider University. He is employed as an operations training supervisor for lineage logistics.

In the community, Stasi donates to local charities and benefits and physically supports and promotes veteran suicide awareness groups Give2Those and Ma Deuce Deuce. He cleans up trails in the woods as he enjoys strolls through nature and helps out at local events including the recent Helmetta Day, he said.

Stasi is seeking his first elected term.

“Aside from my long interest in political theory, I’ve always found satisfaction in helping others,” he said. “I want to be able to make a positive difference in as many lives as I can and what better place to start with than my very own community? I want to be able to promote liberty, ensure accountability and efficiency of elected officials and show the public how far we can advance as a society with neighborly spirit, trust and respect for one another.”

Stasi said flooding is a major issue and an important focus already being discussed by council members.

“On top of that, something I personally would like to focus on is recreational activities for the youth,” he said. “While technology is the way of the future, getting kids out socializing and being physically active is arguably more important now than ever. If elected, I will strongly advocate for healthy social activities and areas for children to enjoy and learn to communicate and coexist with others.”

Polls open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 2.

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