SAYREVILLE – Two three-year terms on the Sayreville Borough Council are being sought by Democrats and Republicans in a race that could determine control of the governing body.
The terms currently held by Democrat Michele Cassidy Maher and Republican Donna Roberts will expire at the end of the year. Two new three-year terms, which will run from 2023 to 2025, will be on the ballot in the Nov. 8 election.
The Democrats seeking the terms are Maher and Damon Enriquez. The Republicans seeking the terms are Roberts and Daniel Balka.
Democrats and Republicans hold a 3-3 tie on the Borough Council. The mayor’s office is held by Democrat Victoria Kilpatrick. A sweep by either campaign ticket would give their party a 4-2 majority on the governing body.
Balka is the chief financial officer for South Amboy and was previously Sayreville’s chief accountant for 20 years. He is currently a member of the Sayreville School District Board of Education, which he has served on since 2011.
“After serving on the Board of Education for the past 12 years, I would like to continue serving the great citizens of Sayreville by representing them on the Borough Council,” Balka said. “I would like to focus on accountability and smart growth. My vast knowledge and experience in the workings of a municipality (well over 25 years in either auditing local governments or working for them) is rare for a council candidate, but would be very beneficial in serving the taxpayers by making sure that every dollar that the council spends is spent wisely and on the projects that would benefit the majority of the community.
“I have learned that listening and researching the issues is extremely important before making a decision or voting on an issue [such as] when I was the only ‘no’ vote on the construction of a bus compound in the Morgan section of Sayreville [in December 2021],” he continued. “I believe my voting record at the Board of Education proves to the taxpayers that I take safeguarding their tax money seriously and will continue doing so on the Borough Council.”
Enriquez is a longshoreman checker at APM Terminals in Port Elizabeth and was previously a telecommunications technician. He previously served on the Borough Council from 2019-21. Enriquez is also on the executive board of the Sayreville Junior Bombers and Cheer program.
“I took pride in serving my country while in the U.S. Navy for eight years, and I feel serving the residents of Sayreville as a councilman is a way to continue making a difference,” he said. “I need to make sure the concerns of the people of Sayreville are heard and responded to.
“In the past, I worked hard in stabilizing our taxes, allocating more of our tax money towards our roads and infrastructure and worked in partnership with the county on bringing in more funding through grants for improvements to this town,” Enriquez continued. “I still have that passion to make Sayreville one of, if not the most, desired places to live in all of Middlesex County. I plan on working hard to make that happen.”
Maher, who is serving as council president in 2022, has served as an English teacher for the past 14 years and holds a master’s degree in education. Previously, Maher worked in broadcast journalism for eight years and for Viacom in New York City. She joined the Borough Council in 2020. Maher has also been a member of the Recreation Advisory Commission.
Roberts has worked in IT support at MUFG Union Bank and also owned and operated a small business and is a professional speaker and certified trainer. She joined the Borough Council in 2020.