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Two slates square off in bid for three seats on Marlboro Township Council

MARLBORO – Three four-year terms on the Marlboro Township Council are at stake in the 2021 election, which is being conducted with vote by mail ballots; with early in-person voting at 10 polling locations in Monmouth County; and with in-person voting at polling locations in Marlboro on Nov. 2.

The current terms of incumbent Democrats Jeff Cantor, Carol Mazzola and Scott Metzger will end on Dec. 31. Cantor has served on the council since 2004. Mazzola and Metzger have served on the council since 2009.

The Democrats are being challenged by Republicans Antoinette DiNuzzo, Michael Milman and Juned Qazi. DiNuzzo is a retired educator, Millman is a media specialist and Qazi is a civil engineer.

The Republican candidates provided a joint statement regarding their campaign in which they said, “The three candidates running on the Republican ticket for Township Council are a retired educator, a media specialist and a civil engineer.

“Antoinette DiNuzzo, Michael Milman and Juned Qazi provide a very diverse set of skills to approach the job. While all of them are currently elected (county) committee people, they will readily tell you they are not politicians in the traditional sense of the word.

“Their interest in running in this election is to drive the conversation to improve Marlboro for their children and grandchildren. Once elected, their focus will be on council oversight of every aspect of the Marlboro government. Topics in the forefront include overdevelopment and township services, especially current policies and procedures,” the Republicans said.

Asked to comment on his re-election bid, Cantor said, “My biggest accomplishment to date has been helping others in our town. I have answered thousands of calls, texts, messages and in-person meetings with residents who had some issues and I have been able to help them navigate and solve their issues. To me, the greatest thing I can do in this position is to help others. All three of us put people before politics and believe in helping others.

“There are many things I am proud of as a councilman, including my job as liaison to the police department and increasing our community policing profile; setting aside hundreds of acres of property to be preserved as open space; getting the township to a fiscally secure place which allowed us to receive two Triple A bond ratings; working as a member of the Local Emergency Planning Council to ensure Marlboro is prepared for emergencies, and so many others,” Cantor said.

Asked to comment on her re-election bid, Mazzola said, “One of the things I am most proud of is the preservation of over 260 acres of farmland and open space throughout Marlboro over the past 12 years.

“Most recently, we were able to protect the Stattel farm’s 56 acres of beautiful land from the development of more than 500 homes. The farm is at the corner of Route 79 and Route 520 (and is the home of) a farmer’s market that is open on Sundays. … The market serves to support our local farmers and small businesses … and we accomplished preserving the Stattel farm without using local taxpayers’ dollars.”

Asked to comment on his re-election bid, Metzger said, “Our current council has achieved several noteworthy accomplishments. The fact that we have been assigned an AAA bond rating from S&P and Moody’s is a major milestone.

“This designation is special because it is a truly objective way to grade the effectiveness of your government. We are one of only a small number of towns in New Jersey that have such an exemplary rating.

“As a near lifelong Marlboro resident, I am proud of the commitment the council has toward open space. Our team has been responsible for the preservation of over 250 acres. Every time I go to the farmer’s market (on preserved farmland at Route 79 and Route 520), I have a sense of pride. Those we have run against planned to put high density housing right on that very spot,” Metzger said.

Looking to the future, Cantor said, “The biggest thing I hope to accomplish is to establish a true downtown area in Marlboro. Most of our residents go to Freehold Borough or Red Bank to experience the downtown feel.

“Why not keep the money in Marlboro and support businesses here? I would love to create a downtown and have our residents enjoy it without having to travel.

“I would like to work with the state to get assistance on quality of life issues such as traffic concerns, noise concerns, speeding concerns and public works concerns. I certainly hope my deeds have earned the vote of our residents in our great town,” Cantor said.

Mazzola said her goal in a new term would be “to prioritize smart economic growth in Marlboro by continuing to attract businesses that would have a positive impact on our residents’ needs and quality of life.

“Through the Economic Development Committee … the Shop Marlboro program and the residents’ tax rewards program, we have created a win-win situation for new businesses and our residents. When (residents) shop locally and support Marlboro businesses which are enrolled in Shop Marlboro, the residents receive real estate tax credits,” Mazzola said.

Looking forward, Metzger said, “I hope to continue the progress made with open space. I want to continue our seamless relationship with our police so Marlboro continues to be one of the safest communities in New Jersey.

“The Teen Advisory Committee program has flourished during our administration. I plan to continue supporting this wonderful committee that is likely to provide the next generation of Marlboro’s leaders,” Metzger said.

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