Democrats hold on strong to Woodbridge Council ward seats; BOE will reorganize with new member

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NANCY BADER-DRUMM
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SUE BOURDIN
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JENNY PEREZ
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HOWIE BAUER
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DEBBIE MEEHAN
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DANIEL HARRIS
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CORY SPILLAR
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VIRBHADRA "VIRU" PATEL
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NANCY BADER-DRUMM
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SUE BOURDIN
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JENNY PEREZ
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HOWIE BAUER
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DEBBIE MEEHAN
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DANIEL HARRIS
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CORY SPILLAR
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VIRBHADRA "VIRU" PATEL

WOODBRIDGE – Democrats held on strong to ward seats on the Woodbridge Township Council.

And the Woodbridge Board of Education will reorganize with a new member on dais in January.

Projected winners in the Nov. 2 election remain as election results were recently certified.

Woodbridge Township Council

There were elections for the five, four-year ward seats on the municipal governing body for Woodbridge Township.

Ward 1 – Democratic incumbent Nancy Bader-Drumm, with 2,740 votes, beat Republican candidate John Vrtaric, who received 2,096 votes.

There were 12 write-in votes.

Bader-Drumm, who will serve her third term, said during her tenure she has concentrated on a variety of areas in efforts to ensure “Woodbridge continues to thrive as a place where everyone is proud to call their home” and “improves everyone’s quality of life here in town.”

Ward 2 – Democratic incumbent Harold “Howie” R. Bauer Jr., with 2,469 votes, beat Republican candidate Paul Lund Jr., who received 1,584 votes.

There were four write-in votes.

Bauer, who will serve his second term, said one area he would like to continue working with is the youth of the community.

“Through the hard work over the past four years of our administration and support of the town council, we were able to open three new youth centers within the township, all that enrich the lives of our residents,” he said. “A specially designed complex was built for our challenged and handicapped children providing recreational and vocational programs to our special needs population.

”Having a voice and listening to the residents of our township we were able to provide many other opportunities to the youth of our community through pop-up libraries, back-to-school backpack supplies, updated sports facilities, camps and many other youth services. By improving on the development of our children today, we prepare them for the future, thus enabling them to become a responsible part of our community.”

Ward 3: Democratic incumbent Cory S. Spillar, with 2,512 votes, beat Republican candidate John Masculin, who received 1,455 votes.

There were 11 write-in votes.

Spillar, who will serve his third term, said he was running for re-election “so I can continue to provide the residents of Woodbridge Township all the great services and programs the township has to offer.”

Ward 4 – Democratic incumbent Virbhadra “Viru” Patel did not face any challengers. He received 2,931 votes. There were 57 write-in votes.

Patel, who will serve his third term, said his specialty is engineering and infrastructure.

“We have made great strides in paving our roads and rebuilding our sewers and I would like to continue that progress and take a special interest in how we go about doing that to see if my experience can lead to savings in taxpayer dollars,” he said. “I have been on the council for six years and I intend to make this my main focus.”

Ward 5 – Democratic incumbent Debbie Meehan, with 3,664 votes, beat Republican candidate Rocco Genova, with 2,393 votes.

There were three write-in votes.

Meehan, who will serve her third term, said one of the most important things she can do as councilwoman is to “strengthen and beautify the community.”

“There is need for improvement in our downtown and to re-occupy our vacant stores with great community ‘Buy Local’ friendly businesses,” she said. “I will continue to advocate and work to improve the business climate and economic opportunity for the small businesses currently located in Colonia and for those businesses seeking to locate in our downtown business district on Inman Avenue. I also feel it is important to listen to the needs of the people in the community and to help to provide the absolute best quality of life for all of Colonia.”

Woodbridge Board of Education

There were elections for three, three-year seats on the Woodbridge Board of Education.

Incumbents Daniel Harris, with 8,955 votes, Susan Bourdin, with 7,847 votes, and newcomer Jenny Perez, with 7,988 votes, beat candidates Amber Jarrett, who received 6,494 votes, and Thomas E. Maras, who received 6,245 votes.

There were 227 write-in votes.

Harris, Bourdin and Perez ran on the Best Schools Around ticket.

Before the election, the candidates shared what they would like to focus on if elected.

Bourdin said she will continue to advocate for the district’s special needs children and work on more inclusion – not just academically, but socially and outside classroom activities and clubs.

“Making room for and including these kids will do a world of good for all,” she said.

Harris said one of his greatest passions is working on the annual school budget.

“Our budget reflects any district’s priorities and values and, of course, dictates every expenditure from personnel to curriculum to our facilities,” he said. “Equally as important, the budget is 80% funded by property taxes so it is important that any board member thoroughly scrutinize how those tax dollars are spent. Our taxpayers have long trusted our board to deliver value for their tax dollars and I take that role seriously.”

Perez said she plans to work closely with the Special Services Department to address students’ mental health and by engaging with their families to provide all of the resources needed so that each student has the same opportunities to excel and be their very best.

Board member Ezio Tamburello did not seek re-election.