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Democratic candidates face Republican challengers for Milltown Borough Council

MILLTOWN – The November ballot will see Democratic candidates face Republican challengers as they vie for the two, three-year terms available for the Milltown Borough Council.

Democratic incumbent Phil Zambrana and Party newcomer Patricia Payne will face Republican candidates John Collins, a former councilman, and newcomer Gary Posnansky.

Zambrana is seeking his second term.

Councilwoman Anna M. Neubauer is not seeking reelection.

The East Brunswick Sentinel sent out an election questionnaire for candidates to fill out. Below are the candidates who responded.

Democratic candidates

Payne, 62, has lived in Milltown for 23 years. She has two adult sons.

Education: Associates degree from Middlesex College, bachelor’s degree from New Jersey City University, and a J.D. (Juris Doctor) from Ohio Northern University.

Profession: College professor at Middlesex College for past 33 years.

In the community: Served as the co-president and co-founder of the Milltown Education Foundation, served two terms as a Milltown Board of Education (BOE) member, and more recently served on the Milltown Municipal Alliance.

Why are you running for a seat for Council? I am a longtime resident of Milltown Borough and have always been an active community participant, whether it was with my children involved in town sports and recreation activities when they were younger, or my own service to the borough.

I am a trained advocate, as an attorney, and now serving as the Faculty Union President of Local 1940 AFT at Middlesex College, I am strong in my convictions. I am an excellent problem solver and listener. I always engage in a collective team approach to reach consensus to resolve issues. I am open to new ideas, creative suggestions, and consider advice and input from all perspectives because I believe that is the only way to get to the right resolution.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected? As a longtime resident myself and listening to friends and neighbors as I am campaigning with Phil Zambrana canvassing door-to-door, I am committed to a “beautification initiative” to make our town an even greater place to live and flourish. All towns need work on infrastructure, and I would like to concentrate on what residents have said to me that are most important to them: maintenance of our many town parks, our Main Street and our neighborhoods.

If elected, I am looking forward to working with the current mayor and Council on the Town Rehabilitation Review planning where residents will be able to work together with the mayor and Council on future borough innovations.

Zambrana, 60, has lived in Milltown for 17 years. He is married with two adult daughters.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance from Baruch College, CUNY.

Profession: Senior manager, business finance for Sample.com, a provider of biological services based in Piscataway.

In the community: Former member of the Milltown BOE, as well as the Milltown Borough Planning Board, Board of Health, and Environmental Commission.

Current member of the Revitalization Committee, Department of Utilities, Department of Public Safety, Ford Avenue Redevelopment Agency, Personnel Committee, Fourth of July Committee and liaison to the Milltown Senior Center.

Why are you running for a seat for Council? To continue the path that I started three years ago, which was to keep the town fiscally sound and to make fiscally responsible decisions. So that this town stays affordable and welcoming to everyone, while providing a great quality of life for all.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected? I would like to continue to concentrate on the finances of the town. I believe that I was elected as a Councilman three years ago, because the residents had faith that I could and would get things done. We have been able to accomplish a lot in the last three years, and I want to keep moving forward, while not forgetting where we came from. Especially since this is “Our Town and Our Future.”

Republican candidates

Posnansky, 65, has resident in Milltown for 22 years. He is married with an adult son.

Education: Rutgers University.

Profession: I spent years as a computer operations manager, and started a successful home contracting business, operating for over 20 years. I am semi-retired, working as a docent and lecturer, at Rockingham, in Kingston, [Gen. George] Washington’s last war time headquarters.

In the community: I have been a little league coach, manager, served on the board, I have been a recreation and travel basketball coach. I have been a scout leader, I have also taught CCD at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

I volunteered at my son’s grammar school, even playing Santa Claus many years. I would like to concentrate on Main Street, bringing back the beauty and respect the town very much deserves. I would like to see pride, again, in the residents, and the shopkeepers.

Why are you running for a seat for Council? I am running for Council because as chaotic as the world and especially our country is right now, I feel that I have to do something to help. I do not want to leave my future, and the future of those I care about to someone else to decide, without my input.

I am in a fortunate position, my son is grown and independent, I work part time, and give of my time freely. I am not looking for a county job for myself, or friends, I don’t want special treatment, or a pat on the back, for ego gratification.

I would like to help my fellow citizens, live a free, and rewarding life, and be a spoke in the wheel to my neighbors. I want those, from the very young to the very old, to have a wonderful life, as I have, as Americans. I only intend to serve one term, and hopefully inspire others to serve their community.

John Collins did not return an election questionnaire before press time. Polls open 6-8 p.m. Nov. 8.

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