Two candidates vie for late Monroe mayor’s unexpired term


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MONROE – The late Mayor Gerald Tamburro’s unexpired two-year term is available in the upcoming election.

Democratic incumbent Stephen Dalina, who was appointed to fill Tamburro’s seat on Jan. 20, will face Republican candidate Steve Martin.

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Tamburro passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. He was 84.

The general election is on Nov. 2.

Stephen Dalina, 54, has lived in Monroe for 23 years. He is married to Susan and they have two sons who are graduates of Rutgers University.

Dalina earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Rider University and a master’s degree in library and information science from Rutgers University.

He serves as director for business services and oversees the University Record Management Program at Rutgers. He also serves as a part-time faculty member at the School of Communication. In addition, he serves on several academic and professional boards and associations to remain current in his profession, he said.

Before his appointment as mayor, Dalina served on the Township Council since 2011. During his tenure, he served as council president. He also served as chair of both the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Recreation Advisory Board.

For many years, Dalina was a member of the executive board of the Monroe Township Baseball Association, volunteering as league president in 2007 and 2008.

“When I was a councilman, I sat on the Monroe Township Library Board, the Citizens Review Board as chairman and the Affordable Housing Commission as chairman,” he said. “Through my various roles as a public servant and volunteer, I continually seek opportunities to protect Monroe from overdevelopment and keep taxes as low as possible. I’ve built a reputation for being thoughtful, reasonable and deliberative as I work to bring citizens together for the betterment of Monroe.”

Dalina is seeking to continue to fill the role of mayor.

“Appointed as mayor in January, my immediate goal was to secure adequate amounts of [COVID-19 vaccines] for Monroe, home to many older residents and to help secure appointments for those who needed them,” he said. “It was tireless work, but my team worked to help vaccinate more than 90% of our residents.

“Concurrently, we established an Economic Advisory Board to support our affected small businesses, passed a historic tax decrease and made critical investments in public safety, as Monroe is proudly ranked as one of the safest communities in America. I want to continue this important work, fighting over-development, controlling taxes and ensuring Monroe remains one of the safest, most affordable municipalities in which to live and retire,” he said.

If elected, Dalina said “public safety remains a top priority, while I also want to further strengthen our superior township services, continue to stabilize municipal taxes, fight truck traffic from surrounding towns, preserve at least 50% of Monroe’s land area as permanent open space and work with the community to find new opportunities to improve our quality of life.

“I’ve directed a full review of the municipal master plan this summer with thousands of residents participating,” he said. “My team will be using the information to find new ways to serve residents such as with more sports fields, playgrounds, small business areas, walking trails and other places where our residents want to be.”

Republican candidate Steve Martin could not be reached by press time.

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

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